First published on LA Schools Matter on August 05, 2014
The main difference between the Gates Foundation funded Common Core and Dr. Maria Montessori's method is this: Montessori did not create educational theories and then try them out on children. She did the opposite. — Jeffrey Katz
It's been a very busy summer. Here in Los Angeles we're faced with a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board special election to replace my dear friend, the late Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. I've been super busy working on the campaign to elect Dr. George McKenna, working on projects around the house, and preparing for my first semester of law school — which starts in a couple of weeks. The LAUSD race is critical, the billionaires have spent millions and brought in Michelle Rhee to support neoliberal corporate reform candidate Alex Johnson.
Got a great email from a reader on the Value-Added Modeling (VAM) is pseudoscience, but profitable pseudosciences persist piece. They asked to remain anonymous:
Dear Mr. Skeels,
I enjoyed your post on VAM and SAS. You might want to refute this bogus claim from SAS you quoted:
Another way to see this is that the most important factor of "current" test scores is prior tests scores and, once enough prior test scores are included in the model, the socioeconomic/demographic factors become relatively small or even non-significant, despite enormous sample sizes.
Bruce Baker does a good job of debunking this claim. I've found the same is true for [REDACTED] version of EVAAS.
ed®eformers confused as to why there aren't more teachers
Paul Bruno is a big neoliberal corporate reform cheerleader. In a post trying to scold the AFT for not supporting the reactionary edTPA test initiative, he ponders why teaching should be more, or less, professional than that of fields like medicine or law. He decries things that "complicate any efforts to reduce the profession's attractiveness or to throw up additional barriers to entry" without any sense of irony.
I let Mr. Bruno know what I saw as barriers to entry:
Last spring I had to decide between pursuing a teaching credential versus attending law school. For the former, the idea of having to complete nearly the same amount of coursework as a masters degree for a job that pays considerably less was still palatable, but Common Core and Vergara made the decision easy for me.
At least as an attorney I can go after corrupt charter school chains that discriminate against special needs students.
Corporate reformers dominating university discourse
When I found out that UCLA was hosting an event featuring poverty pimps from Green Dot Charter Corporation and their spinoff Nonprofit Industrial Complex (NPIC), Parent Revolution, I was appalled.
I'm so angry my Alma Mater is allowing these poverty pimps from Green Dot Corporation and their hideous pRev spin off do a #NPIC cheer-leading event. You too can use your degree to help privatize the remainder of the public school system at the behest of Eli Broad and Bill Gates. We can do better #UCLA https://www.facebook.com/UCLAYoungAlumni/posts/10152340023341288
I wrote on the page itself.
I'm a Life UCLA Alumni member (UCLA 2014), who has spent two decades documenting how many of these so-called nonprofits carry out the agenda of their funders. To wit, this event features two members of the school privatization project. Progressive minded Bruins might want to read this before attending the event: The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
I have a prior commitment, so I won't be able to attend the event. If I could, I would pass out this FAQ on Parent Revolution, and the privately managed charter corporation they were spun off from—Green Dot.