Thursday, January 02, 2014

Ed News Roundup

Locally (and, of sorts, public education news) comes the announcement that 37th district Senator Adam Kline will not be running to retain his seat.  Naturally, when a senator retires, the obvious replacement often comes from whoever are the representatives in that district (see Jamie Pedersen for Ed Murray). 

I am hoping that Rep. Eric Pettigrew runs so that all the ed reform nonsense he has pushed and supported (and seemingly not understood given some of his past statements), he has to explain to voters.  And then he loses.  I also hear that Eric Liu, a great writer, is also thinking of running.  Eric is a great thinker but has never been elected to office.  He is so bright but also his BFF is Nick Hanauer which would (1) fund his campaign but (2) probably get him to support all Hanauer's ed reform push.

Also locally, interesting story at KUOW about one family's work to get help for their autistic child, this time with a good outcome in Shoreline School district. 

From Anthony Cody's blog, a story about a high school student in Tennessee who boldly spoke out at a local school board meeting against Common Core, PARCC testing, Pearson and standardization.  The young man, Kenneth Ye, is Chinese-American, very bright and has some street cred to speak to this issue.  Here's the video link.

I've taken over 12 Honors courses and 18 AP courses so far in my high school career.
I'm a National Merit Semifinalist. A National AP Scholar. I scored a 35 on the ACT composite the first time I took it. And I am a proud product of Knox County Schools.

It's my teachers that have inspired me to learn and pursue my interests. It's my teachers that have sent me towards success in academics and extracurriculars. It's my teachers that have FOSTERED a sense of creativity, inquisitiveness, and individuality that inspires me to learn.

With the new Common Core system, I see us shifting even further into a "one size fits all" factory of education, where we churn out students seen as "proficient" through testing. 


Investigate the members of the Common Core work group, and you see a board comprised of members affiliated with the ACT, Collegeboard, Achieve Inc. Perhaps the mere presence of these people does not concern you, but it becomes a glaring conflict of interest. For-profit companies should not have such influence over public education. I understand that business makes revenue.  However, while public education is grossly lacking in funds, should we, as citizens, not be directing what funds we do have towards the students, and not these corporations for hire?

Have we forgotten what education is? Education is not a business to be run. It's a process of informing human beings on how to contribute to society. A system formed on the principles of arbitrary testing cannot stand. It's not true education. 

If you look towards the mathematics section of the PARCC website, we see that it "calls for written arguments/justifications, critique of reasoning, or precision in mathematical statements". As a student who has scored 5s on AP Calculus, AP Statistics, and is preparing to take Calculus 3 at a local college next semester, I can honestly tell you that I cannot answer and justify your First grade Pearson math test question "What is a related Subtraction sentence?"

Nationally, when will Arne Duncan either run for something or get his nose out of district/state ed management?  From the Washington Post comes news that he and at least one other DOE aide pressured NYC Mayor de Blasio to NOT appoint Joshua Starr as the NYC Chancellor (the job eventually went elsewhere to Carmen Farina). 

It was an unusual move by the nation’s top education official and came in the wake of Starr’s vocal criticism of some of the Obama administration’s school reform policies.

From Diane Ravitch's blog:


Duncan has endorsed school leaders in the past: When Rhode Island state superintendent Deborah Gist’s contract was up for a vote last summer, Duncan spoke to reporters on her behalf.  He also offered support to D.C. schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, reaching out to the mayor to keep her on permanently. And he’s never been shy about weighing in on other state and local decisions, either.”

She also says this:
Somehow I got the impression when I worked at the US Department of Education that it was illegal for Cabinet members to get involved in local elections or appointments, but I must have been wrong. Let’s just say it was generally understood to be inappropriate.

From Ed Week's Curriculum Matters:

Children's book author Kate DiCamillo has been tapped as the next national ambassador for young people's literature, the Library of Congress announced Thursday.

DiCamillo, best known for the novels Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, will be inaugurated during a ceremony at the Library of Congress on Jan. 10. During her two-year term, she will tour the country to encourage reading among young people and to promote quality fiction.

Past ambassadors have been Jon Scieszka, Katherine Paterson and Walter Dean Myers.

7 comments:

Watching said...

What was Eric Liu's position regarding charter schools?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good question. I don't really know (and I'm not sure anyone asked). If he runs, we should find out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Goldie from the stranger will run?
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/01/02/the-balding-bearded-ultra-liberal-jewish-guy-seat-in-my-37th-legislative-district-just-came-open-hmm

Wait and see

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ann Dornfeld and KUOW for again covering special education issues in our public schools.

Reader

Anonymous said...

Ditto reader thanks for Dornfeld and KUOW. Once school is over all populations will have to live and work together.

It starts at the top ...so if the superintendent and principal are mindful about least restrictive environment as a value, students like the one in this article won't be punished for their disabilities or forced to change schools simply to find some basic tolerance.

sped parent

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chunga said...

I would be very nervous if Eric Liu ran. He spoke at a WA PTA meeting (either leg assembly or their other big one, can't recall). I'm quite sure he supports charters and would be very much inline with LEV - that is, promoting a privatization agenda dressed up in progressive rhetoric. He seemed sincere enough but I believe Seattle is ready for real progressives to represent them.