Saturday, September 14, 2013

News From Susan Ohanian Plus Brief Commentary for a Sat Nite

I broke the fast
But I did not eat the humitz
(to the tune of "I Shot the Sheriff).

Well, I'm as full as a bull after 24 hours of fasting. We had 6 people at the break the fast and me and the guys went down to my recently refurbished room which I'm trying to brand my new "man cave." Now pre-Sandy I wouldn't be found dead down there -- though I could have been found dead down there (like my neighbor was in his basement) when my wife sent me down in the flood -- twice. Was she trying to tell me something?

Today I managed to get some yard construction work done, digging post holes for some new structures to cover up areas damaged by Sandy. Work goes slowly because I spend most of the time staring at the problem or reading and smoking my pipe while listening to NPR or sports radio. It's nice outside, won't be fairly soon, so let's take advantage of it.

So you can see I have nothing of note to write - though I did want to point out that the reason Bloomberg is not endorsing anyone is because his endorsement is the kiss of death (like he claimed the UFT endorsement would be). I have an idea. He should endorse de Blasio and claim Bill is really a closet Bloomberg guy and just hiding it.

So let's end this with a great pile of suggested readings from Susan Ohanian's last update. I have barely scratched the surface reading it all but don't want to lose track of these articles in a sea of email so I am archiving it here. It's all Susan from now on.

Sept. 11
You haven't heard from me in a while because I've been hard at work on this piece for VT Digger. I hope you will go to their website and commend it to Twitter and Facebook. And leave a comment.Although I wrote the piece to stir the pot in Vermont, the issues affect us all.

New cartoons:

This kid had the goods on tests in 2nd grade
Message Ignored & Obliterated by the Common Core State (sic) Standards

People Who Care About Food

'The Administration and the Department of Education are continuing to support education reform and success for all students'--Arne Duncan

Assessments 2.0

New Infographic: Welcome to Charterland

Arne Duncan Likes Change

NM State Parent Exemption Form 2013-2014--Albuquerque

Whew! I think that cartoons often get at the heart of the matter, but on with the matter.

And if you're the praying sort, please pray for a hard freeze in Vermont. My doctor says that this is what I need for asthma relief.

How one great teacher was wronged by flawed evaluation system
Valerie Strauss and Carol Burris
Washington Post Answer Sheet

There is only one answer to the systematic drive to destroy teaching as a profession: Refuse to cooperate. Mass refusal. Start by refusing to give the tests--en masse.

David Coleman Chosen to Write English Language Arts Common Core Standards Because Standardisto Triumverate Liked his Math Paper
Susan Ohanian

Just when you think you can't be surprised by anything Standardistos do. . . .

Common Core Assessment Myths and Realities: Moratorium Needed From More Tests, Costs, Stress
Fairtest Fact Sheet

FairTest explains that rather than ending 'No Child Left Behind' testing overkill, the Common Core will flood classrooms with even more standardized exams. Read their factsheet and donate to help support their research.

Lieutenant Governor Releases DPI's Response to Common Core
Office of the Lt. Governor
Press Release

NC Governor gets answers to his 67 questions & finds it baffling why 'a Department that is supposed to promote the Common Core Standards is hiding behind mountains of information and not offering clear, concise, common sense responses to very reasonable questions.'

Guggenheim's 'Teach,' another Bill and Melinda Gates Project
Robert L. Arnold


A long-time educator reviews the new Guggenheim film 'Teach.'

Baby Branding Nurseries
Susan Ohanian


Ok, so I got really ticked by a Wall Street Journal exhibition of conspicuous display of wealth-- in babies' nurseries.

To the editor
Walt Gardner, Lawrence Harrison, & Mariga Temple-W
New York Times

I just sat in disgust as I looked at the way the New York Times featured Amanda Ripley's book. Fortunately, these letter writers did something. Kudos.

Mayor Emanuel,
Stephanie Jemilo
Mayor's office

This letter needs absolutely no comment

To the editor
P. L. Thomas
Post and Courier

It seems especially egregious that on Labor Day the Post Courier sees fit to pronounce what 'good teachers' should be able to do

Schools Put Security Lessons to Test After Newtown Shooting, Many Districts Place Renewed Emphasis on Safety
Joseph De Avila
Wall Street Journal

One more step in making public schools as ugly and uncomfortable as possible: In the name of keeping children safe, make them more like prisons.

How Much We Have Backslid
Richard Rothstein
Economic Policy Institute blog

 Richard Rothstein calls out  Arne Duncan for his  statement on NPR show about school integration in particular and about his ed policy in general.

Cuomo floats 'death penalty' for failing schools
Jon Campbell
Poughkeepsie Journal

New Yorkers and everybody else should pounce on Cuomo's outrageous remarks. You can comment at the newspaper site.

Restore teaching as a respected profession
Lynn Stoddard

Stoddard notes 'Clearly, something is terribly wrong with a teaching profession that meekly submits to non-educator politicians telling them what and how to teach.' And then proposes a controversial solution.

In the Name of Ann Richards
Richard Whittaker
Austin Chronicle

AISD's School for Young Women Leaders is a district showcase -- does its glittering reputation hide a darker side for teachers and students?
Order the CD of the resistance:
"No Child Left Behind? Bring Back the Joy."
To order online (and hear samples from the songs)
Other orders: Send $15 to
Susan Ohanian
P. O. Box 26
Charlotte, VT 05445

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