- the Chicago Teachers Union issued a resolution against Common Core that was brilliant.
- in NY state, a former Regent spoke out against Common Core, mostly because of the work that had gone into developing NY State standards (only to see them tossed aside).
- from the right, came Peggy Noonan (formerly President Reagan's speechwriter) with a piece in the Wall Street Journal. It's a good piece that didn't come from Tea Party people but true conservatives.
That law exists because the people who pushed for it fell in love with an abstract notion and gave not a thought to what the law would actually do and how it would work.
- yet another prominent, non-Tea Party conservative, George Will, broke down CC in under two minutes.
From Diane Ravitch: Pearson, the British publisher, plans to launch a new PR offensive to push back against the anti-testing and anti-Common Core groundswell. Pearson has been steadily buying up every aspect of American education:
- it recently won the contract to administer the Common Core test called PARCC, which is worth at least $1 billion;
- states using Pearson tests buy Pearson textbooks;
- Pearson bought the GED;
- Pearson owns the online EdTPA, to evaluate teachers as they finish their training;
- Pearson owns virtual charter schools called Connections Academy;
- Pearson owns a curriculum aligned with Common Core.
What? A business is accountable to its stockholders/owners. How would the public - especially parents and teachers - hold Pearson accountable?
Despite millions poured into the Newark mayor's race by DFER (and other ed reformers), their candidate lost and Ras Baraka, a Newark school principal, won. It was seen as something of a slap to former mayor, Cory Booker (now a U.S. senator).
One television spot featured a clip of Mr. Christie declaring: “I don’t care about the community criticism. We run the school district in Newark, not them.”
Part of me hopes Christie will run for president in 2016 just to hear him say this kind of nonsense to the American public.
Wyoming is also not applying a waiver for NCLB. They actually chose not to apply because they weren't ready to meet waiver demands. Once again, the issue seems to be the evaluation system for teachers and educational leaders. It's interesting because no on in that state seems to be tearing their hair out over this issue.
Arne Duncan wants to create a corps of "principal ambassadors." This from the Deutsch29 education blog which is probably one of the best public education blogs in the country.
To this end, Eli Broad offers former TFAers (and others willing to privatize public education) “training” in corporate-reform-friendly “leadership” via his unaccredited Superintendents Academy. Here is the lure to districts: Broad agrees to subsidize its superintendents’ salaries during a two-year “residency and enlists long-term career support for its grads.
You may recall Broad did this in the past as well for some other administrative positions. SPS had some Broad "residents."
Now Duncan is creating its own "Principal Ambassador Leadership Program (PAF)." From the DOE:
"Over time, it is possible that like Teaching Ambassador Fellows, all PAFs will spend time gaining greater knowledge of the content of key federal programs and policies, in addition to the context and process by which they are designed and implemented. They will be asked to share their expertise with federal staff members; provide outreach and communication about federal initiatives to other educators on behalf of the Department; and facilitate the involvement and understanding of educators in developing and implementing these efforts at the federal, state and local levels, to improve the likelihood of their success. [Emphasis added.]"
Thus, it appears that Duncan’s “ambassadors” might be equipped to reshape the CCSS development narrative into a clearly-false-yet-feel-good fluff designed to convince teachers that they must buy into CCSS because they really did write it.
The “outreach to other educators” is the component in which the USDOE is able to model Eli Broad’s technique of supplying privatization-minded converts (in this case, “ambassadors”) to school districts in order to “assist” a district without that district’s having to pay a full salary:
"…The Campus Principal Ambassador Fellowship is a paid part-time position that enables principals to work with the Department on a more limited basis in addition to their regular school responsibilities. In the first year, this is anticipated to be approximately 20 hours a month, though may vary from month to month. [Emphasis added.]"