"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Monday, July 18, 2011

2011 Medley #6: Teaching Profession, Cheaters, Vouchers

A Declaration of Professional Conscience

Teachers, it is time to reclaim your profession. Endorse Kenneth S. Goodman’s A Declaration of Professional Conscience for Teachers!
We will make the welfare of our students our most basic criterion for professional judgment. We have no greater accountability than that we owe our pupils. We will work with parents and policymakers to formulate programs that are in the best interests of our pupils. We will work with the kids to personalize these programs. We will respect all learners.
Get your own copy to read first.

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Cheaters Never Win Part 4, 5, 6 and 7

Real shame of APS cheating: “We have let testing corporations make mockery of education.”

This is today's most important article. Who determines the directions of America's Public Schools -- testing companies, or professionals in the classroom?
Georgia kindergarteners know about the CRCT and students take practice tests all year long. Children vomit. Parents cry. Teachers vomit and cry. Some youth and educators have even taken their own lives as a result.

The stakes are unbearable, and the tests are not a good measure of the best teaching and learning. But states keep sending millions and billions to the testing industry, giving the industry carte blanche in determining the academic and psychological fate of our children and schools.
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It's Not Cheating. It's Sabotage.
Why are so many education officials like Secretary Duncan "shocked?"...It has nothing to do with being surprised that it was happening. Cheating and gaming the system were guaranteed outcomes of this pernicious system -- Campbell's Law.
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Teachers Implicated In Atlanta Cheating Scandal Told To Resign Or Get Fired
But because teachers have rights to due process, the educator wipe-out could be lengthy and take several months, AJC reports. Some teachers have already hired lawyers.
This is called due process...in the United States we're still innocent until proven guilty.

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Atlanta schools created culture of cheating, fear
This is why teachers need due process rights.
In Georgia, teachers complained to investigators that some students arrived at middle school reading at a first-grade level. But, they said, principals insisted those students had to pass their standardized tests. Teachers were either ordered to cheat or pressured by administrators until they felt they had no choice, authorities said.

One principal forced a teacher to crawl under a desk during a faculty meeting because her test scores were low. Another principal told teachers that "Walmart is hiring" and "the door swings both ways," the report said.
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ALEC Exposed: Starving Public Schools
ALEC's real motivation for dismantling the public education system is ideological--creating a system where schools do not provide for everyone--and profit-driven.

As Benjamin Barber has argued, "public schools are not merely schools for the public, but schools of publicness: institutions where we learn what it means to be a public and start down the road toward common national and civic identity." What happens to our democracy when we return to an educational system whose access is defined by corporate interests and divided by class, language, ability, race and religion? In a push to free-market education, who pays in the end?
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