A Great Divide: The Election Fight for California’s Schools

By: Thursday March 6, 2014 6:00 pm

An election campaign now being fought almost completely out of public view could radically alter the way California’s school children are taught. If Marshall Tuck unseats incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the state’s public education system could become a laboratory for a movement that prizes privatization and places a high value on student test scores over traditional instruction. The contrasts between the two top contenders in the nonpartisan race could not be more dramatic – nor could the stakes for the country’s largest education system.

 

Teachers & Children Last: California Trial Showcases the Corporate War on Public Education

By: Thursday February 20, 2014 1:56 pm

Are job protections for teachers to blame for educational underachievement among low-income students of color in California? That’s the provocative question ostensibly at the heart of Vergara vs. California, which seeks to invalidate the tenure, due process and seniority rights of hundreds of thousands of educators.

Astute observers of the nation’s escalating education wars, however, may be asking another question: When did it become permissible to use the welfare of children as a fig leaf for an all-out legal attack on teachers?

Arne Duncan Doubles Down on “White Suburban Moms” Comment, Promotes Economic Ignorance

By: Thursday November 21, 2013 12:47 pm

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan doubled down on his “white suburban moms” comment concerning the Common Core Standards. Duncan at first said opposition to the Common Core State Standards was interesting because “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

Public Education “Reformers” Discredited by Yet Another Study

By: Tuesday June 4, 2013 8:30 am

The privatization of public education movement sometimes called “ed reform” has always had one fatal flaw – none of their claims are supported by the evidence. In modern American politics being completely nonfactual is only a minor handicap, especially if like the “ed reform” movement you have money behind your agenda. Just shout louder and bribe anyone who still has their hearing left.

Anti-Union Ads in Chicago Paid for By Hedge Funds, Billionaires

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 6:30 am

Apparently the above anti-union ad played non-stop on television in Chicago throughout the strike. It’s the product of Education Reform Now, a group that also sometimes goes by Democrats for Education Reform, depending on what pot of money they want to use. Formed in 2005, Education Reform Now has spent millions of dollars over the past few years, whether massaging public opinion or lobbying state legislatures or intervening in school board races.

Teacher’s Unions in Tension With Democrats in Charlotte

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 8:00 am

Two facts help explain the dichotomy on education in the Democratic platform. First, teachers make up a substantial portion of the delegates in Charlotte this week. Second, the Obama Administration is committed to education reforms that really stand in contrast to the goals of most teacher’s unions. They have worked around this tension for four years, but in the platform you see it come to a head.

Test Gains at Michelle Rhee’s Favorite School Possibly Fabricated

By: Monday March 28, 2011 8:37 am

I think it’s important that this is part of Michelle Rhee’s legacy, while I’m not necessarily holding her responsible. She put a premium on success at DC schools, and that pressure can lead to some dastardly things. Moreover, if the Noyes School is found to have cheated on standardized tests, it invalidates a lot of the results Rhee held up as a model in how to best teach students.

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