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View Diary: Some thoughts on education in light of Vergara v. California (81 comments)

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  •  Good Diary...couple of things (17+ / 0-)

    First off, don't forget the education technology piece here as is the vehicle whereby the corporatism will enter the classroom...

    Neil Selwyn's Distrusting Educational Technology and Joel Spring's Education Networks: Power, Wealth, Cyberspace and the Digital Mind both address this.  If you haven't seen it, two things to review are the Hoover Institution's Terry Moe talking about the confluence of ed tech, the death of the teaching profession in about as open a way as I have seen:

    Also, see the Knewton video--starts off with the chilling phrase

    "So, the human race is about to enter a totally data-mined existence."

    As far as the decision goes, in the post-trial brief, the defense is claiming:

    "Plaintiffs have not established that the statutes have ever caused them any harm or are likely to do so in the future. None of the nine named Plaintiffs established that he or she was assigned to an allegedly grossly ineffective teacher, or that he or she faces any immediate risk of future harm, as a result of the challenged statutes. The record contains no evidence that Plaintiffs Elliott, Liss, Campbell or Martinez were ever assigned a grossly ineffective teacher at all. Of the remaining five Plaintiffs, most of the teachers whom they identified as “bad” or “grossly ineffective” were excellent teachers. Because none of the five Plaintiffs are reliable evaluators of teacher performance, their testimony about the remaining purportedly ineffective teachers should not be credited. Nor could Plaintiffs link their assignment to purportedly “bad” or “grossly ineffective” teachers to the challenged statutes. Not a single witness claimed that any of Plaintiffs’ teachers were granted permanent status because of the two-year probationary period, would have been dismissed in the absence of the dismissal statutes, or would have been laid off had reverse seniority not been a factor in layoffs. Indeed, Plaintiffs did not call any administrator of any of Plaintiffs’ schools to corroborate their testimony or in any way connect the teachers they identified to the statutes they challenge. Furthermore, any threat of future harm to Plaintiffs caused by the challenged statutes is purely speculative. Plaintiffs Elliott and DeBose are high school seniors who will almost certainly graduate in spring 2014. Plaintiffs Monterroza and Martinez both attend charter schools that are not subject to the challenged statutes at all. Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara both attend a “Pilot School” in LAUSD that is free to let teachers go at the end of the school year for any reason, including ineffectiveness. As for the remaining three Plaintiffs, there is no concrete, specific evidence supporting any claim that they will be assigned to grossly ineffective teachers due to the challenged statutes; instead, their claims are based on pure speculation."
    What a mess.

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 04:42:23 PM PDT

    •  Now in looking at "data-mining" (9+ / 0-)

      I would mine the whole technological effort for its "data" (i.e. prior assumptions) about how it constructs the student -- is the student in any sense free to not consume?

      "Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives." -- John Lennon

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 05:02:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not in this brave new world..the student is (11+ / 0-)

        to provide data and said data will be sold to third parties so they can establish brand loyalty at as early an age as possible.  

        The sad part is (and Selwyn discusses this) that not all of the reformers are corporatists--they started in the land of open source software and saw ed tech as a way to bring about anti-authoritarian classrooms, providing a way for the vision of Dewey and Freire to come to fruition.  The problem is that the devices themselves are laden with ideology--they promote an individualistic and consumerist type of education which does not provide for deep thinking.  

        By decentralizing the classroom and pushing "student centered" learning, they actually develop a more authoritarian-prone student, who sees not need for the common good...

        To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

        by dizzydean on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 05:13:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The post trial brief - Wow! (7+ / 0-)

      How were the plaintiffs ever granted standing to bring the suit?

    •  That Knewton video is one of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, Egalitare

      scariest things I've seen in a long time. Think of what it could result in if applied to higher education (it's already entrenched at Arizona State):

      No more professors using their own knowledge to write their own syllabi or lectures or do their own grading (not only would it be unnecessary, but that would get in the way of Pearson). Professors will continue to exist, but only in very small numbers at the handful of Ivy League institutions serving the privileged 1%. The rest of the population will attend Phoenix U-type "labs" in industrial parks or strip malls.

      Instruction will be "flipped" to the utmost so that all learning occurs on the students' home time and the class session can be devoted entirely to standardized testing. To rack up enough data points for Knewton to continue customize learning material standardized testing will have to be constant.

      "Instruction" wouldn't even need adjuncts knowledgeable in the subject-- just a supervisor/tender to make sure students' terminals are working and passing out to them their "personally customized" lesson packets produced by Pearson.

      Knewton would have in its data banks a cumulative personal learning profile for every student, showing the thousands of concepts the student encountered and aced or failed. This profile could follow the graduate through the rest of his life and be used by employers far more "precisely" than grade transcripts to fit graduates to jobs according to their Cognitive Task ratings. (NB: the Knewton CEO in the video confesses the movie Gattaca just fascinates him.)    

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