Educational CyberPlayGround ®

K12 Department of Education administrators Are accountable.

School "Reform" Rhetoric: Intellectual Dishonesty and political Liars

Politics, not evidence, drive education reform.

Public Schools vs. everything else
Charter and voucher schools reason for being is not education - it is profit. By law, public schools are not for-profit. They pay for goods and services, but at the end of the day, they aren't beholden to shareholders or investors. They don't need to bring in more money than they spend. All they have to do is educate children, and if they somehow end up with extra money at the end of that process, that money is bound by law to be reinvested as savings for next year. Charter and voucher schools aren't as accountable as traditional public schools, they are run by appointed boards who are only accountable to investors and their documentation, budgets and meetings are not transparent the public is not allowed to know what it does with out money.

K12 Dept of Ed Is A Business
Trump Annoints huge republican donar anti-public education activist Betsy DeVos @BetsyDeVos Secretary of Education focused on making charter schools as private as possible. The large majority of Michigan charters are run by for-profit companies, in contrast with most states. The DeVos family donated more than $1 million to Republican lawmakers 2016 during a successful effort to oppose new oversight of charters.
@CoryBooker was on the board of Betsy DeVos's anti-union, pro-charter, pro-voucher Koch/Walton/Olin-funded org PDF .@BetsyDeVos' AFC called for reauthorization of DC school vouchers, which was supported by Booker, Feinstein, Warner

EducRAT MONEY America's system of public schools is a bedrock of the Republic. Public institutions are provided for the general welfare of our communities NOT the private mercantile interests of its citizens. The power and influence of 4 major foundations in education-reform screw democracy!


StudentsMatter is a corporate reform lawsuit factory, and the organization is okay with that.

The finances of Students Matter, the organization that tried to declare teacher tenure unconstitutional.

It turns out that the organization is funded by the usual billionaires, has spent millions on legal fees, and is deep in debt. It exists to litigate. It wants to ruin teachers' lives, assuming that's the best way to help children of color. Who is on the board? “

Board members include:
StudentsMatter lists a single staffer, David Stanley. Prior to joining Students Matter in January 2014, David was Executive Director of Teach For America….” What a close-knit little world the “reformers” inhabit! Bruce Reed is also CEO of the Broad Foundation that funds Students Matter. Arthur Rock is a major donor to TFA (he personally funds all the TFA interns who work on Capitol Hill and protect TFA).


  • 3 national studies show no discernible benefits for children attending charter campuses relative to their peers in regular public schools.



k12 school reform accountability Educational CyberPlayGround


Achieve is the only education reform organization led by a Board of Directors of governors and business leaders which served as the project manager for PARCC from 2010-2013 to support the development of the Common Core State Standards

Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from US States: Academics and practitioners alike lavish attention on corruption, commonly defined as the misuse of public office for private gain. The misuse of political and administrative power at the expense of citizens remains a problem in both developing and developed democracies

Achieve 2012 State Report
Created in 1996 by the nation's governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization leading the effort to make college and career readiness a national priority.

Department of Defense Education Activity Joins PARCC
DoDEA is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing pre-K through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense. DoDEA operates 172 accredited schools in 14 districts in 11 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The agency employs approximately 15,000 employees who serve more than 74,000 children of active duty military and Department of Defense civilian families. The value of the contract is estimated at over $20 million.
What Privacy? PARCC and PARCC contractors: Only have access to personally identifiable student information when authorized by a state agency to use that data for specified purposes; and Implement stringent policies and procedures to ensure the security of data and limit access to student data to only those employees who require it to conduct activities authorized by states.
DRAFT? PARCC Data Privacy and Security Policy
States must give permission to PARCC and PARCC contractors in order for them to access any personally identifiable information — and only for specific purposes defined by states. Monitoring of the implementation of this Policy is the responsibility of a PARCC Committee on Data Management, Privacy, and Security. Enforcement of this Policy is a critical responsibility of PARCC, Inc. and its Chief Executive Officer.

The top 4 school systems are Maryland, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. None of these states bully children using Corporal Punishment

Education Week ranks states in six broad areas, looking at a comprehensive list of statistics and policies. It awards a grade and ranking for each. Florida earned a B- overall. No state earned higher than a B+. In K-12 achievement, Florida earned a C+. But that was higher than the national average of D+ and enough to put it at # 6.

In most of the academic categories considered by Education Week, Florida students are in middle of the pack or worse when it comes to overall performance. In eighth-grade reading, they're # 30. In graduation rates, they're # 44.


2011 Florida's education system is # 5 in the country, according to the latest annual "Quality Counts" report, released this morning by Education Week, the newspaper of record for American education news. It's up from #8 in 2010 and #11 in 2009.

To understand education today, most relevant book is Raymond Callahan, "Education and the Cult of Efficiency," published in 1961. Lesson for "reformers": Read Dewey, School & Society," Mann, 12th Annual report to Mass Board of Education. Dewey: anything less is unlovely and damages our democracy. Look around you. He was right! John Dewey: "What the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community." Elite private schools spend lots more to provide excellent education for those who can afford it. It's so interesting how many of leading corporate reformers attended elite private schools with class sizes of 15 or less. We are all becoming pawns in the Gates Game Eviscerates the hobby of our richest citizen gates. How stupid is the Pennsylvania State Education Association who backs use of test scores in evaluating teachers!!

Between 2000 and 2007, only one state improved its graduation rate more than Florida (Education Week uses its own formula, not Florida's.) And between 2003 and 2009, no state made a bigger jump in eighth-grade reading (Education Week uses a highly regarded national test, not the FCAT.)

The bottom line has never changed. It is only about motivation and if students aren't motivated, they fail. Motivation is weak because more students (of all races and economic classes, let it be added) don't like school, don't work hard and don't do well. 866.K12CARE 866.512.2273 advertised as an Online Virtual School Tuition Free Learning alternative to Public School.

2010 43% of all K12 students are now minority.

Tags: #bill bennett radio show #k12 com, #k12 online school, #k12 charter school, #k12 virtual School, #distance Learning, #for profit schools, #cyber playground

Deforms "Reforms" haven't worked because no one has redesigned the Department of Education or discovered transformative changes in curriculum or pedagogy.

Since the 1960s, waves of "reform" haven't produced meaningful achievement gains. Why?

The most reliable tests are given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The reading and math tests, graded on a 0-500 scale, measure 9-year-olds, 13-year-olds and 17-year-olds. In 1971, the initial year for the reading test, the average score for 17-year-olds was 285; in 2008, the average score was 286. The math test started in 1973, when 17-year-olds averaged 304; in 2008, the average was 306. Achievement gaps among whites, blacks and Hispanics; haven't changed. Teacher to student ratio or how much they are paid haven't changed anything, and Charter schools are showing any difference.


2016 State Standards are Dead

Administrators - Teachers - Parents
should hold BIG MEDIA responsible to report the truth.

Query the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database

Public Institutions and Agencies Weaken the Trust of the Public.
Media Literacy: These gigantic media corporations are not going to do anything to threaten their relationships with their biggest advertisers and are always going to express the ideological viewpoints of their owners.
Media - Business Journalists are cozy with Wall Street and Government, so they don't report the truth.


Candidates have a legal right to lie to voters just about as much as they want. Federal truth-in-advertising laws apply to ads for products, not political candidates. Candidates have a legal right to lie to voters just about as much as they want.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech," and that applies to candidates for office especially. Political appointments seem to be able to lie as much as they want without consequences.


In politics, money talks when large amounts are given to campaign funds and corporations have become rich moving tax payer money into:


  1. K12 Schools for Profit
  2. Testing and Assessment
  3. No Accountability - Office of Assistance and Dissemination, OERI laboratories, Council on Educational Development and Research
  4. No Accountability Dept. of Education CIO

k12 educationThe Gates Foundation has invested $335 million in video evaluation of teachers: "The goal is to study what is taking place on a scientific level; to note what is working and what is not working...

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) - Baloney

Data: here to stay
Although the main purpose of D.C.'s new teacher evaluation system is to rate teacher effectiveness, its troves of data are beginning to be used for other purposes, such as assessing administrators and determining which universities produce the best- or least-prepared teachers, reports The Washington Post. "There are hundreds of human capital questions you need to answer to effectively run a school district," explained Jason Kamras, personnel chief for D.C. public schools and the main architect behind the evaluation system IMPACT. "And for the first time, we have really good data allowing us to answer those questions. There is a bigger picture we are now able to understand." Across the country, reformers have been pressing for more rigorous, quantifiable ways to evaluate teachers. A lesser-known result of such new systems is that they are generating mountains of data that school officials are starting to use to guide key decisions aside from which teachers to fire or reward. Critics of value-added evaluation models, who have objected to using these data to fire teachers, say that expanding their use is unwise at this point. "The core problem with these data is the creation of incentives to narrow the curriculum," said Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute, co-author of a report critical of value-added evaluations.

While you wait around for Stupidman to come along to save children and the economy, we are fortunate to have those with the means like Gates to reach out and do something about our failing schools."




Diane Ravitch Education Historian 2010 admits:
The Bush / Obama education reform plan is Bad Education Policy.
Conservative education scholar Diane Ravitch Assistant Secretary of Education and counselor to Education Secretary Lamar Alexander under President George H.W. Bush
Today there is empirical evidence, and it shows clearly that choice, competition and accountability as education reform levers are not working. Most studies have found that charters, on average, are no better than public schools. If our goal is to destroy public education in America, this is precisely the right path.

Listen to Diane Ravitch on 'The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.'

Listen to Diane Ravitch Op-Ed: Rage Simmering Among American Teachers

K12 Dept of education is for sale Bill Gates, and Arne Duncun
in 2010 push "privatization" and In politics, money talks when large amounts are given to campaign funds.
Warren Buffett's gift of $31 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will double the foundation's assets, bringing it to more than $60 billion, and will increase its annual giving to nearly $3 billion.
BILL GATES, THE NATION'S SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS? Never before has an individual given such a large amount of money to someone else's foundation, writes Diane Ravitch. Never before has a private foundation had assets of this dimension. Never before has any individual or foundation had so much power to direct the course of American education, which is one of the primary interests of the Gates Foundation.

[ Diane's from Reform 2 Deform Education ] thinking process.
An interview with Diane Ravitch on her school Reforms conversion. She describes the process by which she changed her mind about education reform.

[ The More We Teach to the Test ]
For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.

[ The assessment folks say that NCLB throttled invention and imagination! ]
Center on Education Policy President Jack Jennings, doesn't think No Child Left Behind policy works either.
The four turnaround models, had not yielded much success among the schools, districts, and states. States have had a good deal of flexibility in trying to improve their lowest-performing schools, and have not delivered the results the Education Department would have liked to see even when they Cheat!

Politicians and their super-rich campaign donors create a scapegoat (schools/teachers/teachers unions) that distracts attention from the economic policies that are really harming our society -- policies like job-killing trade deals, bank deregulation and revenue-draining top-bracket tax cuts that the political/economic elite have a financial stake in preserving.

We need to fix the economy to fix education. Diane Ravitch's position gains support from a new study that suggests job losses affect student performance

New York University professor/former Deputy U.S. Education Secretary Diane Ravitch argues that larger social ills such as poverty, joblessness, economic despair and lack of health coverage negatively affect educational achievement, and that until those problems are addressed, schools will never be able to produce the results we want.
Ravitch has been named 2011 winner of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize. The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a new report further supporting her position

Corporate-backed deformers "reformers" like U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan want to charterize and/or privatize public education under the premise that the primary problems are bad/lazy teachers and "unaccountable" school administrators.State Job Loss effects Test Scores
Duke University Researchers: NBER study Cross-referencing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics with 4th and 8th grade test scores
, discovered a powerful connection between the social/psychological effects of job losses in a state and that the educational achievement of students in that state. Results indicate that job losses decrease scores. Effects are larger for eighth than fourth graders and for math than reading assessments, and are robust to specification checks. Job losses to 1% of a state's working-age population lead to a .076 standard deviation decrease in the state's eighth-grade math scores. This result is an order of magnitude larger than those found in previous studies that have compared students whose parents lose employment to otherwise similar students, suggesting that downturns affect all students, not just students who experience parental job loss. Implications for accountability schemes:
We calculate that a state experiencing one-year job losses to 2% of its workers likely sees a 16% increase in the share of its schools failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind.

Break The Rules Buy What You Want


'Faking the Grade: Classroom Cheaters' 12/27/12 CNBC
Students, administrators, parents and teachers share their experiences with academic integrity.



school accountability for student performanceStatewide job losses, which occur from factors external to schools
The significant effect these job losses can have on schools' ability to meet accountability goals suggests that policymakers may want to consider recent economic change when defining whether a school is meeting accountability targets.
Rather than open up debates about those neoliberal economic policies, these politicians and their donors spend lots of political capital and money labeling themselves "education reformers" and manufacturing an Orwellian discourse that demonizes public education as the root of all our problems.
And it's no coincidence that the leading self-described "education reformers" are the politicians who rely most heavily on corporate campaign contributions and the business elites who have so handsomely profited from the economic status quo -- after all, they are the ones who have the most to lose from a public debate about neoliberal economic policy.


VS. The Role of Public Education in Our Democracy


The Daily Show 3/3/2011
Crisis in Dairyland - For Richer and Poorer

Wisconsin's schools Only 1/3rd of 8th graders were proficient on National Assessment of Educational Progress reading in 2009;
" I assume they don't realize that "proficient" on NAEP is far higher than proficient on state tests and is equivalent to an 'A.'"

Diane Ravitch: 'A moment of national insanity'
Bridging Differences blog,
I'm beginning to think we are living in a moment of national insanity. On the one hand, we hear pious exhortations about education reform, endlessly uttered by our leaders in high political office, corporate suites, foundations, and the media. President Obama says we have to "out-educate" the rest of the world to "win the future."
Yet the reality on the ground suggests that the corporate reform movement --- embraced by so many of those same leaders, including the president --- will set American education back, by how many years or decades is anyone's guess. Sometimes I think we are hurtling back a century or more, to the age of the Robber Barons and the great corporate trusts.
Consider a few events of the past week:
In Detroit, the school system will reduce its deficit by closing half the city's public schools and placing students into classes of 60. These are among the poorest and lowest performing students in the nation. Parents and teachers should be rioting in the streets of Detroit, along with everyone who cares about these children and our future. This is an outrage.
The school board of Providence, Rhode Island, sent notice to all of its teachers that they could be terminated at year's end to address its deficit. Most will be retained, but now the board has maximum flexibility to choose which ones. At the same time, Providence's leaders are humiliating every teacher, breaking the bonds of trust that are essential for the culture of a good school. Will anyone hold these reckless, heedless, unprofessional "leaders" in Rhode Island to account?
And the business leaders in Idaho have a plan to lay off 770 teachers and replace them with online learning. Do they know there is no evidence for the efficacy of virtual learning? I don't think they care. For them, this is just a cost-cutting measure. And it's other people's children who will get this bargain basement training, not their own.
If more was needed to strip away the mask of "reform," consider the deafening silence of the corporate school reformers in response to these events. A few, like Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform, surprised their confreres (and me) by siding with the teachers of Wisconsin.
Most, however, complained that public employees are overpaid, have unnecessarily rich benefits, and need a comeuppance. All those who wrote such articles enjoy comfortable upper-middle class lives; do they want to reduce teachers to penury? Some circulated spurious claims that Wisconsin's schools were dreadful, because only one-third of eighth-graders were proficient on National Assessment of Educational Progress reading in 2009; I assume they don't realize that "proficient" on NAEP is far higher than proficient on state tests and is equivalent to an 'A.'
I was disappointed when my friend Rick Hess, who blogs for Education Week, expressed his support for Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker ("I Stand with Governor Walker") and noted in another post that the average salary of a Milwaukee public school teacher is $56,500. I wonder what the average salary is for professionals at the American Enterprise Institute American Enterprise Institute backed by Koch brothers Money where Rick does his thinking and writing. I'm sure it's far more than what teachers earn, and that the working conditions are pleasanter, the stress level lower, and the responsibilities fewer.
The corporate reformers have done a good job of persuading the media that our public schools are failing because they are overrun by bad teachers, and these bad teachers have lifetime tenure because of their powerful unions. (See the corporate reform film, "Waiting for Superman"). I'm sorry to say that Race to the Top, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and the Gates Foundation have stirred up a frenzy of anti-teacher sentiment that hurts even our very best teachers, by their much-publicized search for "bad teachers."
National Board Certified Teachers are organizing a march on Washington this July to fight back against the vilification of their profession.
In the wake of the attacks on teachers and public schools this past year, the haters of teachers feel respectable as they write their venomous diatribes and post them widely. When I recently defended teachers and their right to bargain collectively on, I was startled by the raw expressions of rage in the thousands of comments that poured in.
So much madness on the loose. So many districts firing teachers and closing schools. So many legislators slashing education budgets while refusing to raise taxes on millionaires or allowing taxes on the wealthiest expire as they layoff teachers.
What do we hear from the corporate reformers?
Merit pay. Really? Bonuses for some, layoffs for others? Fire teachers with low value-added scores? Ah, more teaching to the test, more narrowing the curriculum.
Nothing to improve education. Just "innovation"
(i.e., no evidence) and "disruption" (I.e., firing the whole staff, closing the school).

Our schools remain subject to a failed federal accountability system.

We are packing children into crowded classrooms, ignoring the growing levels of child poverty (the United States now leads all advanced nations in infant mortality, according to Charles Blow in The New York Times), and putting fear into the hearts of our nation's teachers. Who will want to teach? How does any of this improve schools or benefit children?

Do you understand it? I don't.


Harvard economist finds "no evidence that teacher incentives increase student performance, attendance, or graduation."

Wisconsin in Idaho: Fighting for teachers

Meet 17 year-old Jonny Saunders (transcript at this link), a young man from Boise, Idaho who has helped spark a mini-revolution, a la Madison, here in Idaho.

The fight in Idaho is targeted directly at teachers, the only union with any strength at all in this "right-to-work" state. The superintendent of public education, Tom Luna, has proposed a new education plan that would slash 770 teaching positions across the state (a significant chunk in a small-population state), increasing class sizes and picking up the slack with online learning—every high school student would get a laptop.

The Idaho Statesman ran what in another state would have been a deal-breaking story, detailing how Luna's major campaign donors and cronies in for-profit education will cash in on his plan.

If Luna's “Students Come First” proposal passes the Legislature, online education will be mandated in Idaho and a laptop will be available to every high school student. That means 115 school districts, with 82,000 high school students, will be in the market for computers, software and online courses.

Among Luna's contributors in October 2009:

  • K12 Inc. of Virginia, an online company with 81,000 students and operator of the Idaho Virtual Academy.
    In Idaho, IVA enrolls 2,930 students and received $12.8 million from the state in fiscal 2010. K12, its employees and major stockholders spent about $44,000 supporting Luna; $25,000 of that was funneled to an Idaho interest group for independent advertising on Luna's behalf.
  • Apollo Group of Phoenix, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, an online university with more than 400,000 students. Luna's plan would allow high school students to earn college credits at state expense once they complete high school requirements. Apollo Group gave Luna $5,500.
  • Executives of Scantron Corp., a Minnesota-based leader in testing technology that is aggressively expanding into online education. Scantron employees and family contributed $7,450.

Idaho's Republican-dominated legislature barely blinked at these revelations, having long been in the back pocket of corporate interests. It's just politics as usual in this state. But it's getting a very strong reaction from Idaho families and particularly students. Led by kids like Saunders and Tyler Honsinger of Boise High, hundreds of students across the state have staged three days of protests, walking out of class to protest the plan and to support their teachers. Tiny Clark County School District shut down school on Monday, when a quarter of their students left school. In Boise Wednesday, about 130 junior high students joined the walkout.
It seems to be working. The plan was presented to the legislature as three bills, one that would implement the teacher firings, huge class sizes, mandatory online learning appears to have stalled out in the Senate. The Education Committee passed it 5-4, but it was returned without a vote from the full Senate, and might not be acted on again. Eyes now are on the House Education Committee, where testimony continued to run at about 95 percent opposition.
The other two components aren't as blatantly pernicious, but are still very damaging to teachers. They would "give local school districts more power in labor negotiations with teachers' unions (SB 1108) and implement a pay-for-performance plan for teachers (SB 1110). In Luna's words, they give districts the chance to reward great teachers and get rid of bad ones." In other words, pit teachers against one another and break the union. That's the Republican way. by Joan McCarter
dailykos Wisconsin-in-Idaho:-Fighting-forteachers


K12 Education Redesign

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