Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning Commentary - September 20, 2011

Hot topics: 
Occupation of Wall Street

Teachers strike in Tacoma - no time now - google it.

Chicago longer day story (I'm working on it.) Read Schmidt at Substance - see bottom of my blog roll -

Lois Weiner's presentation at the GEM meeting was powerful. Even the fairly sophisticated audience seemed blown away. Video should be up by tonight. It's an hour but you will really see what neo-liberalism is all about.
Follow up to my piece on Elizabeth Green and her class size clap-trap article in NY Mag:
In case you missed this comment:
She [Green] pretty much repeated all the cliches, all of which by the way are factually incorrect. The sort of piece that you would expect from someone who knows nothing and is too lazy  to do any research.

More class size clap-trap? Watch this video; the DOE plans to send 2nd graders in crowded class of 36  out of their zoned school to another school, rather than hire another teacher to reduce class size; outrageous.

Thank goodness NY1 reporter Lindsay Christ doesn't view the class size issue as clap-trap.

I headed over to CUNY for the E4E Walcott appearance after the GEM meeting last night but ran into Walcott walking alone on the street, his head buried in his Blackberry. Sydney and crew were moving people upstairs to the 9th floor where they had the Kool-aid stashed. I had my press pass Sydney stopped me - "no press," she said  - "we want to have an honest conversation about education." - 'As opposed to the dishonest conversations you usually have," I said.
Did someone win the Broad prize yet? Who really cares? Maybe chief of ed deform Broad can throw another million bucks at the UFT charter school.

Well, I got my apology from Netflix' - er Quikster - or quipster - CEO Reed Hastings - and major ed deform supporter - Reed Hastings. People are tailing it out of Netflix so fast there is a fire hazard. I will give the streaming service a shot for a few months. Reed co-wrote a piece with Arne Duncan, Susan Ohanian linked and commented:

A Digital Promise to Our Nation's Children

Ohanian Comment: Nearly 15 million children in the United States -- 21% of all children -- live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level --$22,050 a year for a family of four. And our federal politicos make them a digital promise.
From the National Center on Children in Poverty:

Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty.

Research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to children's well-being. But effective public policies -- to make work pay for low-income parents and to provide high-quality early care and learning experiences for their children – can make a difference. Investments in the most vulnerable children are also critical. [emphasis added]
So research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to children's well being, and Arne Duncan declares, "Give them videogame graphics." And he declares worse. Insisting that learning is sequential, he declares that a computer will automatically deliver the curriculum a second grader needs next.

As to Digital Promise, if you want to see a video in which Arne's lips don't synchonize with his words, go here. If you want to see the board of directors of this "independent 501(c)(3), created through Section 802 of the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008," go here.
More from Susan:
When Free Trips Overlap with Commercial Purposes
Michael Winerip
New York Times
Winerip gives us a hard-hitting column on Parson's junkets.

Education Points of View
Susan Ohanian, commentary
FAIR and New York Times
In case you hadn't already noticed, the New York Times reveals its true colors about education.

Getting teacher evaluation right
Valerie  Strauss & Linda Darling-Hammond & others
Washington Post Answer Sheet
Will any other journalist in the country print this information?
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

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