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Money Tricks or An Old Dog Learns

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Bill Dwyer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11/October/2013 at 9:11am
Thanks, Watcher. 

In a related development, I note with satisfaction that D91 appears to have exercised admirable due diligence in its search to replace former board member John Tricoci. The process appears to have resulted in the appointment of a very well qualified person to the board . 

http://www.forestparkreview.com/News/Articles/10-10-2013/D91-likely-to-fill-board-vacancy-tonight/

Heather Ash Cianciolo should be a strong addition. Kudos to Mary Win Connor and Sean Blaylock for their hard work and excellent results. 

It really does begin and end with community. 
Facts are a bitch and the truth most hurts the liars
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/October/2013 at 8:33am
Review of "Reign of Error", Diane Ravitch's new book

Reign of Error picks up where Death and Life left off. Over the past three years the patterns of corruption and influence have become clear, as has the evidence. Her prose is precise and accurate, and devastating. She does not mince words. The third chapter, "Who are the Corporate Reformers," provides a thumbnail portrait of the titans and their proxies. From Gates to Jeb Bush to Barack Obama, we see the web connected by the power of wealth.

Some have suggested that Ravitch applies too broad a brush in her indictment. Here is what she writes:

    Some in the reform movement, believing that American education is obsolete and failing, think they are promoting a necessary but painful redesign of the nation's ailing schools. Some sincerely believe they are helping poor black and brown children escape from failing public schools. Some think they are on the side of modernization and innovation. But others see an opportunity to make money in a large, risk-free, government-funded sector or an opportunity for personal advancement and power. Some believe they are acting rationally by treating the public education sector as an investment opportunity.

Ravitch is not vilifying. She allows for good intentions as well as selfish ones. We do not need to look into the hearts of corporate reformers to determine that they are wrong for our schools. We just need to look at the results of their policies.

And that is where Reign of Error is most useful.

• While we hear that schools are failing, the truth is test scores and graduation rates have never been higher.
• Poverty is not an excuse for low achievement. It is a significant obstacle which must be dealt with.
• Using test scores to identify and get rid of "bad" teachers will do more to harm students than help them.
• Merit pay for test scores likewise has never worked.
• Schools are not improved by closing them.


The maddening thing for me is that Ravitch's odyssey since the 80s has brought her full circle to hyper-local control providing the needed local solutions.

It's painful, but necessary, to realize it starts and ends at community.

"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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