Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Fearless Forecaster Prediction on Darling-Hammond Chances

With the battles swirling around the potential next Education Secretary - for and against the Joel Klein/Michelle Rhee/Arne Duncan, a major attack has been launched on Linda Darling-Hammond, who has been a key advisor on Obama's ed team even though a critic of those media darlings Teach for America. Naturally, the TFA machine is sweating a bit and has been part of the attack on Darling-Hammond.

Some people are optimistic, thinking the D-H critics have gone too far. That Obama will move in her direction. Witness the John Affelt post at Huffington (which I posted at Norms Notes). Affelt opens with this:

A slickly-coordinated string of editorials and columns in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Republic, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere has poured forth recently, all decrying the possible appointment of Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond as Secretary of Education. Obviously responding to the same talking points, the pieces paint Darling-Hammond a status quo, incrementalist and anoint a new group of pro-merit pay/pro-testing/pro-charter school advocates as the hard-charging "reformers."

Darling-Hammond has spent 30 years pushing for a radical restructuring of public schools and the systems that serve them so that all students will have high-quality teachers and rich learning opportunities, not just well-off, predominantly white kids. To call her a defender of the status quo is like calling Lincoln a defender of slavery because he wasn't as absolute in opposition as were some on his team of rivals.

By drawing so heavily from the old playbook, the hard-chargers may have just charged off the cliff--virtually ensuring Obama will be less receptive to their pleas.

So I have borrowed WFAN's Steve Somers' FEARLESS FORECASTER to predict the fate of D-H. Unfortunately, I don't agree with the view that Obama will turn out to be the kind of politician who will pick D-H. He seems to look at how easy it will be to get a person confirmed. And with both Republicans and many Democrats taking a view that D-H is easy on teachers, we can expect quite a battle if Obama chooses her. On the other hand, if he chooses Duncan or Klein or Rhee, there will be screams of protest from educators but not from politicians.

Note: If you read Randi Weingarten's letter to the NY Times (posted at ed notes Dec. 13) you will see she did not put the AFT/UFT in the Darling-Hammond camp at all - which shows how the union lines up as more political than educational. A recent quote is in effect an endorsement of Arne Duncan: “We have no candidate in the race,” Ms. Weingarten said. But last week she publicly praised Mr. Duncan in an interview with The Associated Press. “Arne Duncan,” she said, “actually reaches out and tries to do things in a collaborative way.”

FEARLESS says that Obama will go the route of least protest and choose some non-controversial politician who is palatable to all sides. After all, Obama himself has gone both ways on education and left people guessing.

Thus, FEARLESS' prediction is that for Darling-Hammond, becoming Education Secretary is

More Speculation on Education Secretary at Norms Notes.


  1. Why isn't anyone calling Klein on the facts?

    Despite six years of the Klein administration’s misinformation to the public, there is sufficient data to prove that his reforms have been basically ineffectual and have produced no significant improvement in student achievement.

    The Klein administration claims of a 12 percent increase in Reading and a 19 percent increase in Math scores on the New York State Assessments are inflated. These results include the scores obtained in 2002-2003 well before the implementation of Klein’s reforms. Without the 6 percent increase in Reading and the 15 percent in Math in 2002 - 2003, the figures read a dismal 6.4 percent rise in Reading and only 4.2 percent in Mathematics.

    The only independent check on student achievement in New York City also shows a completely different picture from that claimed by Klein. The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress administered by the US Department of Education, considered the gold standard in testing, show that student achievement in New York City has stagnated since 2003 with virtually no improvements for Black, Hispanic and low income students.

    We need real accountability and transparency, not Klein’s version of it. Mr. Klein’s public relations team has made sure assessment information is not accurately presented to the public. The failure of Klein’s reforms become all the more evident when we consider all assessment measures – declining SAT and High Schools Advanced Placement Subject Tests, one of the worst graduation rates in the country (43rd out of 50 large US cities), a 50 percent drop in students attending gifted programs in NYC, etc.

  2. Obama indicated that there are not enough resources in NCLB to meet what is to be measured realistically;teachers were not allowed in crafting this legislation;and modifications are needed on how we make assessments. No doubt ! NCLB is a punitive law that uses flawed standardized tests to label schools as failures and punish them with counter productive sanctions,assessment and accountability. Where is the over sight with the testing corporations and there is very little. Isn't interesting that McGraw Hill is a an old friend of the Bush family.Linda Darling Hammond makes sense and the reformers are getiing chewed up on the court and now attacking her.1. The provisions to encourage multiple measures of assessment and multiple indicators of school reform.2.The provisions to improve the quality and distribution of the teaching force. GS 115C-321. The means for measuring school progress from year to year. Testing created high costs and administrative challenges that have caused some states to abandon their performance assessments for machine scored multiple choice tests that are less expensive to score.Connecticut sued the federal government for the funds needed to maintain it's sophisticated performance. Dept.said drop the testing. Interesting,Finland soars ahead of the US viewing PISA and TIMSS and don't give standardized tests until students are in HS. They say it takes all the fun out of learning.See Forum For Education and Democracy with Hammond,Dr.Wood and Noguera making good common sense connecting policy and it's far from radical. You want to check out radical see Rhee reform and that's Twilight Zone scary. What a mess of proceedual violations flying and now alleged discriminatory intent pushing her agenda with the 90 day plan.You would think the reformers with all this radical educational reform would have a school system audit for Public Accountability.Good luck finding it !What's really going on ?From Public investment to a private good,answerable not to the values of a democratic society but to the imperatives of the marketplace.Are your eyes closed to busy to see ?The dismantling of democratically elected local school officials.Radical socialism vs decentralization ? Maybe reformer ships leaning way right docking! No Dings Testing on the Push Out Policy ! NCLB and that rat 10% !At the heart of the rat poop we can't turn to methane is privatization. Now were selling Public School buildings to subcontractors and developers.All in the name of NCLB and 10% called restructure. We see the philanthropy and educational tax credits connected to the children's pie.Who asked the American citizens across the US if they wanted to sell out Public Education to corporatism ?Have we not all seen enough of the golden parachutes ? One fire truck and a marching band and Public Education is not for sale ! Now principles with radical Rhee reform are reported falisifying PPEP documents to push her political agenda for contractual terms of agreement and mandates.It most certainly has gone to far and proceedually and operationally out of control.Let's see John F.Kennedy executive order 10925 Affirmitive Action ! Equal opportunity and justice for the advantaged and disadvantaged. We don't need to be closing Public School buildings under NCLB,a law unfunded and selling those school buildings to developers. We need to be supporting with resources and support from the bottom up.Read Manufactured Crisis !There is a skunk loose on Rhee's proposed contractual terms of agreement !Go open your own autonomus schools reformers and come back with results and at least a few school system audits for tax payer review of accountability. Reformers your riding shetland ponies and leave Hammond alone. Linking teacher bonuses to student test scores and other incentive pay provisions ? The tests are flawed we've had to adopt under NCLB and 10%. No wonder we're placing 19th out of 40 countries in reading,28th in math and 20th in science. We do need to restructure and are doing so in reauthorization. 1.4 million teachers across the US on watch with Rhee reform. "We are going to change the face of education in this country" Rhee quote ! You're right and we will end the mandates on NCLB Pl 107-110.Race you all to the Washington Monument for a Public Education rally and 14th Amendment ! Rhee appears to write our Constitution and educational laws as she goes along but stays busy hammering away at the democratic party on education. So,we're headed for Washington and we'll find a permit. The firetruck speakers via a jam box will play James Brown ! "Get up off of that thing and dance,you'll feel better." We're here to pick up the Public Education bailout package.No rum and it's not allowed in the school buildings ! Sink that NCLB and 10%,it's really not working !Look folks, Public Education got hit with bad press and a lousy politically manufactured plan.We'll rise from the ashes and make a come back. Buzzer blew reformers and the NCLB and 10% game is over.Good try !"Everybody Needs Somebody To Love." Go Hammond,we'll cover ya ! Tuck and Duck !Thank-God we've got a few making sense in all this reform.

  3. I can't type in these boxes anymore ! Call Ringling Brothers and go to edit ! They give us a box to type in for our reauthorization educational concerns.Gees,peas Louise !


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