EON #13

May 14, 2013 Subscribe
THIS WEEK: Cigarette Tax Up In Smoke … Arne Duncan-Created Schools To Close … Schools Game System To Meet Standards … Solution Is Not In More Testing … Decaying Schools in New York City’s Poorest Neighborhoods … Student Debt Crushing The American Dream


Unified Backlash to Education Mandates Grows, Spreads

By Jeff Bryant

“Anti-government collectivist actions related to public school policy are scaling up from isolated protests to a nationwide movement of unified resistance. The movement is widespread among teachers, students, and parents. It is grassroots driven and way out in front of most journalists and political leaders. And it’s scaling up in intensity … The movement is propelled by forces far greater than what education journalists and policy leaders understand – widespread grievances about inequity, unfairness, and public disempowerment. The revolt is happening. The revolt is now.”

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President Obama’s Cigarette Tax Up In Smoke


“Remember the cigarette tax hike President Barack Obama proposed in his big budget rollout? The White House barely does … The president hasn’t mentioned it. The White House didn’t coordinate with outside anti-smoking groups. Tobacco companies never worried about putting together a lobbying strategy to kill it. Obama’s political arm hasn’t sent an email calling on Congress to consider it. Not even Obama’s surgeon general, who calls curbing smoking ‘the single most important issue for all the surgeons general of the past five decades,’ put out a press release applauding the idea.”

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CPS Wants To Close First Renaissance Schools

WBEZ 91.5

“Chicago has been opening and closing public schools every year for the past decade. It’s a controversial strategy that former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan believed was an answer to improving public education. But in the most recent round of proposed school closings, CPS is shutting down the very schools Duncan created … All these changes raise a much bigger question. Does the idea that closing down bad schools and opening new ones actually work? Does it lead to better schools?”

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Schools Game System To Meet Standards, Paper Finds

The Wall Street Journal

“The way some schools are being held to account for student performance can corrupt how these institutions seek to achieve the standards, a new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York warns … Schools deliberately moved underperforming students into exempt categories in order to have those students not drag down the performance of the school as a whole … Critics say the testing, while it has a place, can distort education and thwart real learning, as classroom leaders ‘teach to the test’ … Anywhere where testing and statistics become the guiding forces in how something is judged, cheating and misrepresentation can follow.”

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The Solution To A Bad Guy With A Test Is A Good Guy With A Test

The Huffington Post

Arnold Dodge, chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration at LIU-Post writes, “Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, gave what was billed as a Special Invited Address, at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) … attended by thousands of higher ed scholars in education departments … What we heard was breathtaking in its lack of awareness about the effects of Race to the Top (RTTT). Far from being chastened by what is going on in schools around the country, the Secretary doubled-down on his test-driven offensive. … Race to the Top, with its federal dollars as leverage, has wrought untold misery on schools across the country. This fact escapes the officials in Washington as their rhetoric clearly demonstrates.”

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Falling Further Apart: Decaying Schools in New York City’s Poorest Neighborhoods


A new report finds, “years of deferred maintenance and inadequate facilities funding have taken a toll on public school buildings, with serious consequences for some of New York City’s most vulnerable populations. Students from the poorest families and neighborhoods attend some of the most neglected school buildings in the city. Because poorer students are generally nonwhite, this disparity in building conditions predominantly affects Black, Latino and other nonwhite schoolchildren.”

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Student Debt And The Crushing Of The American Dream

New York Times

Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz writes, “America – home of the land-grant university, the G.I. Bill and world-class public universities from California to Michigan to Texas – has fallen from the top in terms of university education. With strangling student debt, we are likely to fall further… To be competitive in the 21st century is to have a highly educated labor force, one with college and advanced degrees. Instead, we are foreclosing on our future as a nation … Along with tougher regulation of for-profit schools and the banks they connive with, and more humane bankruptcy laws, we must give more support to middle-class families struggling to send their children to college, to ensure that they have a standard of living at least equal to that of their parents … Those concerned about the damage America’s growing divide is doing to our ideals and our moral character should put student debt at the top of any reform agenda.”

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