Robert Reich: On Schooling and Income Inequality

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Robert Reich clearly explains the importance of poverty on educational achievement.

He writes (see his article for the links to sources):

“American kids are getting ready to head back to school. But the schools they’re heading back to differ dramatically by family income.

“Which helps explain the growing achievement gap between lower and higher-income children.

“Thirty years ago, the average gap on SAT-type tests between children of families in the richest 10 percent and bottom 10 percent was about 90 points on an 800-point scale. Today it’s 125 points.

“The gap in the mathematical abilities of American kids, by income, is one of widest among the 65 countries participating in the Program for International Student Achievement.

“On their reading skills, children from high-income families score 110 points higher, on average, than those from poor families. This is about the same disparity that exists between average test scores in the United…

View original 611 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Laura H. Chapman: What Federal Law Says About the Role of the Federal Department of Education

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Laura H. Chapman provides here the relevant federal statutes that restrict the role of federal officials to prevent federal intrusion and control of public education. The prohibition of federal employees exercising any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, instruction or personnel of public schools was enacted when the U.S. Department of Education was created in 1979. Secretary Duncan insists that the Department of Education is not directing or influencing curriculum or instruction by its ardent support for the Common Core standards or its $360 million funding of CCSS tests. We all know that standards and tests don’t influence curriculum and instruction, right?

Legal Restriction: “U. S. Congress. General Provisions Concerning Education. (2010, February). Section 438 (20 U.S.C. § 1232a). US Code TITLE 20 EDUCATION CHAPTER 31, SUBCHAPTER III, Part 2, §§ 1232a. Prohibition against Federal control of education. No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize…

View original 286 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Remarkable Idiocy: “Economically-driven Education”

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

On October 2, 2014, I will be speaking in Indiana to an audience chiefly comprised of university students who have a passing understanding of the intentions of moneyed interests to usurp control of public education.

With a mind toward preparing for my upcoming engagement, I happened to read three pertinent (and powerful) articles: This one on September 26, 2014, in Chalkbeat on Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s plan to use workforce data to determine what schools teach in order to subjugate education to the requirements of the job market, excerpted below:

Indiana is quietly taking steps to position itself for a future where data drives much of what is learned in school. Gov. Mike Pence has made connecting education and workforce development a centerpiece of his administration’s agenda.

This year, a bill he wrote created a new state office, under Pence’s direction, with a director who has been nicknamed the…

View original 1,073 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adam Urbanski: Teacher Ratings Are Nonsensical

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester, Néw York, teachers’ union, is struggling to make sense of the state’s teacher and principal evaluation system, which varies wildly from district to district. Scarsdale, perhaps the most affluent and high-scoring district in the state, had no “highly effective” teachers. But Rochester, one of the districts with high poverty and low scores, had many. The reality is that none of the formulas for reducing teaching to a number make any sense. Teaching is an art, a craft, and a bit of science. A great teacher may be great one year, not the next, or great with this class but not another. (APPR in Néw York is the Annual Professional Performance Review.)

The ratings in Néw York are referred to as HEDI: Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, Ineffective. A commenter on the blog recently said that “Developing” is considered a low grade but she hoped that…

View original 189 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 29, 2014 – NATIONAL COFFEE DAY – VFW DAY

Originally posted on National Day Calendar:

National Coffee Day

Each year on September 29, people across the United States celebrate one of the most beloved morning beverages on National Coffee Day. It is a morning favorite however, it is found being drank throughout the day either hot or cold and either black or with additives such as cream, creamers, milk, sugar, flavored syrups, ice and etc.

On September 29, 2014, there are a number of national and local places that are offering free, or discounted, coffee to their customers to celebrate National Coffee Day.

  • Krispy Kreme –  Free 12 oz coffee or $1 small latte, mocha or iced coffee on 9/29.Dunkin’ Donuts –  Free medium cup of Dunkin’ Donuts hot Dark Roast Coffee, with a limit of one per guest.McDonalds –  Free small coffee during breakfast hours through 9/29.

    Kangaroo Express - Get a 12 oz. Bean Street Coffee for…

View original 499 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Missouri Education Watchdog: Someone, Please Tell US DOE about 10th Amendment

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Missouri Education Watchdog is a wonderful blog that I discovered only recently.

In this post, these questions are raised: why doesn’t the U.S. Department of Education know about the tenth amendment to the Constitution? Why, under Arne Duncan, is the DOE unaware of federalism? Why is the DOE constantly overstepping its bounds, trying to impose its ideas not only on states but on districts? Don’t the leaders and lawyers know that they are breaking the law? The law is clear: no employee of the U.S. government is supposed to influence, control or direct the curriculum or instruction in the nation’s public schools. Democrats and Republicans agreed on that provision; neither wanted the other to interfere in what is a state and local responsibility.

The most recent transgression is an initiative called “The Future Ready,” in which the DOE is bypassing states and going right to the districts to hawk…

View original 403 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Originally posted on National Day Calendar:

images (20)


The table is set, the batter is mixed, the griddle is hot, the butter and syrup are ready and so is everyone, ready to celebrate National Pancake Day.   This food holiday is celebrated each year on September 26.

You may not have time to make a pancake breakfast but that is okay, pancakes make a great dinner as well.

Pancakes can actually be served at any time and with a variety of toppings or fillings some of which are jam, fruit, syrup, chocolate chips or meat.

****There is archaeological evidence that suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread breakfast food eaten in prehistoric societies.

Pancakes are also known as flapjacks or hotcakes.

To celebrate National Pancake Day, enjoy one of the following “tried and true” pancake recipes:


Within our research, we were unable to…

View original 444 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment