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Progressives of all walks, educators, public education and union workers/supporters on site, can we please dig ourselves out of the mountain of feel-good Obama/Dem jottings that pile up here to note that Obama is once again going stage right non-progressive on a major issue - education "reform"?

Obama just wrapped up his health reform victory, ie, Romneycare writ large - which is markedly non-progressive at its core (since I began this diary, a few days ago, we now have his offshore drilling plan and a move to break his promise on the whaling moratorium, to add to an alarming pile up of bad policies and broken promises... ask Greenpeace about the whaling issue) and now President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, are seeking to further GOPify education, to more deeply embed and widely spread the worst aspects of NCLB, the privatization/race for money of our schools and the implementation of off-target policies that target teachers for punishment, which only hurts teachers and does not helps kids.

But dont take it from me - take it from Diane Ravitch whose quote I pulled for this title, from a recent interview on Democracy Now!  

Diane Ravitch is a nationally reknowned education historian, someone who has been paying keen attention to education for decades and who has sided with both the left and the right, sometimes with both as when they merged in support of NCLB. She was a former advocate of NCLB, but came to see that it has done more harm than good and has publicly acknowledged her mistake. Here's a brief look at where she stood on it and where she stands now on Obama's ed "reform": Facing Up to Our Ignorance and The Big Idea -- it's bad education policy

Here's a portion of what she said recently about Obama's education plan, on Democracy Now:

DIANE RAVITCH: Well, unfortunately, the Obama administration has adopted and is building on the foundation of No Child Left Behind. [... ] The kids are getting a worse education as a result of No Child Left Behind.

The Obama administration, however, has bought into this rhetoric of accountability and choice, and they’re actually taking the Bush policies to a greater extreme. There is more support from the administration, this administration, for choice, because they have no opposition in the Congress[... ].

They’ve said to the states in the “Race to the Top,” this competition that was just held, that the requirements to be considered are, first of all, that the states have to be committed to privatizing many, many, many public schools. These are called charter schools. They’re privatized schools. The Bush administration would have never gotten away with that, because Congress would have stopped them.

They’ve also required states to commit to evaluating teachers by the test scores of their students, which means that that will put even more emphasis on standardized testing, more drill down of test prep, more emphasis on basic skills. And also, it’s a very unfair measure, [... ].

And Obama has said that he wants to see 5,000 low-performing schools transformed or closed, as we saw just recently in Rhode Island, where the only high school in a desperately poor community is supposed to fire all the teachers, close the school. And I think this is a terrible thing for public education. And I think we’re going to see a devastation of public education over the next—however long this president is in office, unless he changes course, which I hope he will, and doubt that he will.

Last Sunday, as I was reading some of Ravitch's writings on this issue, with Cspan's BookTV on in the background, I suddenly realized she was speaking from my TV... in yet another interview, this one on Afterwords with the Washington Post's education reporter, Valerie Strauss, an interview I recommend. In it Ravitch covers many chapters of her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.

In one of these chapters, "The Billionaires' Boys Club," she shines light on the adverse effect of high dollar influence from the private sector, increasingly pumped into our public ed system, eg, the Gates Foundation, to the tune of their mandates. She says, quite simply, it would be far better off for kids learning outcomes, the schools and teachers if the Gates Foundation would put its focus (and money) on addressing poverty issues, which often negatively impact kids' school performance, and get out of the business of managing and reshaping our schools.

It heartens me tremendously that Diane Ravitch is sounding the alarm, out in the forefront to counter Obama's alarmingly flawed education reform, but I have to wonder whether she will get the back up she needs. Why arent there more progressive voices spreading the same message of concern and criticism around Obama's Race to the Top education "reform"?

Ravitch says that since the publication of her book last month she receives hundreds of emails daily, many from teachers, filled with both gratitude for her stance, stories of experience with NCLB misery, and distress over Obama's plan to take us even further in the wrong direction, ie,  NCLB testing and "teaching" to test with all its attendant baggage - dumbing down the curriculum, dumbing down the tests, dumbing down the promotional standards, and the cheating to avoid the axe, with teacher performance based on that muddled maze of uninformative testing results, along with rewards and punishments and merit pay based on all that. All this as part of the march to weaken unions and public education, while strengthening the privatization of our system (see: charter-ization/private funding)... etc and so... wrong.

A case in point: Bloomberg/Klein's self-interested horn-blowing of 'victory' in turning around the schools in NYC, based on students' test performance. (Bloomberg has guided us toward the taking of much private money eg, the Gates' "intervention" with its breaking up of high schools plan, now abandoned, deemed not helpful for all the turmoil it created). It has become quite a joke that so many of our schools are now graded "A" - proven to be a sham accomplished by dumbing down standards in testing and promotion. Any wonder why the success, when it's so hard to fail?:

Another part of the problem is that the states have been quietly but decisively lowering their expectations and passing students who know little or nothing. New York State's tests have recently been deconstructed and shown to be a sham. Diana Senechal, a New York City teacher, demonstrated on gothamschools.org a few days ago that she (or anyone) could pass the New York state examinations in the middle school grades by guessing, not even looking at the content of the questions but just answering A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D, in order. Frederick Smith, an independent testing expert, determined that virtually every student got enough credit on the written portion of the state tests to be able to guess randomly on the multiple-choice questions and pass.

Wow and ugh!

Here's more: yet another Ravitch interview in a recent Salon piece on this awful plan, written by a very concerned parent of a child in the NYC school system, who poses questions (bold text) to Ravitch, who lays down the score in her answers (italicized text). It is appropriately titled: Dear Obama: You're destroying education

Yet why not create competition if the public schools aren't doing well? What about the mantra that my own school's principal says all the time about standards and test scores, that the "data doesn't lie"?

Has your principal heard of Ponzi schemes? Has he heard of Enron? The data lie all the time. Business lies all the time. It's easy to fudge the numbers. In New York, for instance, the Board of Ed dropped the passing mark for the tests. In 2006 a seventh-grade student needed to get 59.6 percent to be considered proficient. By 2009 the mark dropped to 44 percent. That produced a dramatic increase in "proficiency."

That's like how our neighborhood school went from earning an F from the Board of Ed to an A in two years.

Last year, when Mike Bloomberg was running for reelection, 97 percent of New York City schools got an A or B. It's about prestige -- these people like Bloomberg are considered leaders and pioneers because they're saying they can improve the data. The data are sanctified and the data are bullshit.

Ravitch, yet again, on the score inflation of NYC, aptly and bluntly titled:

New York education officials are lying to the state's schoolkids

She starts out with this:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says that when states lower their standards, "We are lying to our children." He must be talking about New York State, which has a well-established record of lying to our children about their progress in school.

Every year, state officials announce another set of dramatic gains on state tests for the children of New York.

Here's how she knows (as well as many others) that this is NOT true:

But last week, the federal government released scores for the nation and the states, and New York did not fare well. In fact, almost all of New York's reported gains for the past seven years disappeared into thin air.

The federal test - the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP - is the gold standard of testing. Congress requires all states to take NAEP tests to audit state claims. The federal audit was an embarrassment for New York.

But then, who can blame those who work in our public schools for accepting and promoting data manipulation when this is, after all, a desperate race to escape the NCLB sword that hangs over their heads... even though the "evidence" of success is as phony as Bush's claims of evidence of WMD in Iraq... New School Order, New World Order -->> The Bush Legacy of FAIL.

So why do Democrats buy into this shite?

Obama is not only putting teachers under that NLCB sword, but also, sharpening the blade, as he and Arne Duncan publicly demonstrated when they applauded the firing of an entire school, Central Falls High, in RI. (Guess Central Falls should have taken a leaf from NY's "fail-proof" ABCD guess-to-success testing instruments... maybe then their heavily disadvantaged, English Language Learner, special needs population wouldve made the grade, and teachers would have been spared that sword. How amazing that a school with the same test results not far away from Central Falls got kudos... because their promotional standard was much lower... so the school made the "grade")

Diane Ravitch is a force to be reckoned with in this fight (witness how many interviews and articles I have linked from her... If one simply googles Diane Ravitch Obama reform, one can find her all over the place, sounding the alarm on Obama's ed "reform" package. But no one can go it alone. (She said she had a very nice conversation with Arne Duncan last fall, but it was clear he wasnt buying her message, that he was singularly focused on the notion of merit pay as answer.)

It concerns me that, as with health care "reform", so many so-called "progressives" are willing to buy into whatever Obama and the Dems issue forth, now with Obama's piss poor model to get kids to gold at the end of the academic rainbow.

None are so blind as those who will not see. In this case, that would be those whose view of whether a policy is rotten or not is determined not by a clear eyed look at the policy, but rather, at whose hand is holding it out - Democrat , Republican X

And that, like his education policy, is freakin' scary.

As Ravitch says in Obama's Awful Education Plan

This is not change that teachers can believe in. These are exactly the same reforms that President George W. Bush and his Secretary Margaret Spellings would have promoted if they had had a sympathetic Congress. They too wanted more charter schools, more merit pay, more testing, and more "accountability" for teachers based on those same low-level tests. But Congress would never have allowed them to do it.

Now that President Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan have become the standard-bearer for the privatization and testing agenda, we hear nothing more about ditching NCLB, except perhaps changing its name. The fundamental features of NCLB remain intact regardless of what they call it.

The real winners here are the edu-entrepreneurs who are running President Obama's so-called "Race to the Top" fund and distributing the billions to other edu-entrepreneurs, who will manage the thousands of new charter schools and make mega-bucks selling test-prep programs to the schools.

At the end of that Salon piece linked to earlier, the writer asked Ravitch: what can we parents do?

Ravitch starts her response by urging her (all of us) to act: Organize, organize, organize!

Originally posted to NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:06 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I wanted to make this my tip jar. actually... (7+ / 0-)

      It's from a letter in Diane R's mailbag, from a NYC public school teacher who is leaving East Harlem (Spanish Harlem) for a school in Conn, where he feels he can actually practice the ART of teaching, rather than continue to suffer under an oppressive, stressful and unrewarding teaching environment, thanks to Bloomberg's fake reform,  cookie cutter madness... See what these boots on the ground think of the ObamaPlan.

      Dear Ms. Ravitch,

      [snip]

      I have recommended your book to every educator with whom I come into contact. [ .. ] Is this madness all in our heads? Is this a nightmare from which we will awaken?"

      Your empirical substantiation of the current trends in testing, evaluation, and management made for a page-turning literary event.[... ]I learned an incredible amount of "behind-the-scenes" happenings that occur each day in Washington and the board offices of the nation's wealthiest foundation moguls. I thank you for the insight into the machinations and mechanics of that which is causing this national breakdown in what ought to be a world-class education system, especially in 2010.

      I write to encourage you to continue to voice your statements and findings to those in power who can render change in our nation's schools. [... ] As a native of Rhode Island (where an entire high school faculty was recently fired for its school's low test scores), I am particularly incensed at the fashionable scapegoating of teachers [... ].

      As I write to you now, I have already begun the process of relocating personally and professionally to a Connecticut school system  [... ] I am coping with the guilt of leaving District 4 mid-career, but have personally had enough of the micromanagement as well as the egregious lack of vision, foresight, and development that daily impedes our school administrators.

      Many congratulations to you for a timely and pertinent book. I hope your sage advice will find its way to the growing number of indifferent naysayers before any more damage is done to our nation's students.

      With deepest appreciation and admiration,
      (reprinted with writer's permission)

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:30:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent diary, tipped and rec'ed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, nandssmith

      The system won't be fixed by making teachers the fall guys.

  •  No hes not (8+ / 0-)

    the education system is not exempt from change.  Its been messed up for decades.   Why is it that people think that teachers and the education  system is sacrosanct and can't be critised?

    Love is the force for saving all animal life- humans included.

    by GlowNZ on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:15:34 AM PDT

    •  the question has to be asked (5+ / 0-)

      is our children learning?

      All seriousness... not enough.  America's children are falling way behind other nations.

      Love is the force for saving all animal life- humans included.

      by GlowNZ on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:16:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you think (9+ / 0-)

        the schools are failing, teachers are to blame and privatization is the answer ?
        Read Ravitch's book, inform yourself.

        •  This is such a bogus (4+ / 0-)

          argument.

          As adults, we've been consumers of education ourselves.  Our children are consumers of education.  If one is involved in one's kids' education, reading a book isn't required homework to understand what's wrong with the education system.  We get plenty of examples just by being alive and observing.

          •  No. It's Not a Market Activity (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eugene, NYCee, Azazello, OldAthena, mojada

            We don't consume education any more than we consume health care.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:39:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WIds, yella dawg

              a very idyllic construct.

              •  But it's true! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yella dawg, pvlb, nandssmith

                Lots of people get "educated" -- they sit in classrooms, listen to teachers, and take tests, which is about all that the "education" system demands of them.

                Very few people consume education -- actually absorb, retain, and actively seek it out with a view to being able to find and evaluate sources of information and utilize the highest-quality sources efficiently and frequently, thereby becoming reliable experts in any field they choose.

                Somehow, though, I suspect that's not what Gooserock meant...

          •  I didn't make any argument (6+ / 0-)

            in this comment. I suggested that the commenter above might want to inform him/herself before forming an opinion. Is this a bad thing ? Books can be a good source of information. Many people, incidentally, believe that education is a public good and not a consumer product.

            •  After having (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt, OIL GUY, nippersdad, tnproud2b

              consumed 18 years of my own education, and 13 of my daughter's, I think I'm very well informed.

              It's impossible for me to count the number of 'educators' who told me some equivalent of 'we don't have special programs for gifted kids, because the smart ones do fine on their own.'  FAIL.

              Exactly ONE school principal was forthright enough to tell me 'there's nothing we here can do for your daughter, and I'd rather have that conversation now, than in December'.

              No 'education reform' will be complete until there is a basic understanding that academically talented kids have special needs just as those who are academically challenged.  Until then, we are squandering a vast intellectual resource.  

              Essentially, there is no common denominator among children.  IMO most of the problems in education come from trying to create one.

              •  With all due respect, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYCee, denise b, nandssmith, OldAthena

                I'm not sure you understand the issue. For example, your comment below, (just wow), indicates that you are unaware of the effects of socioeconomic factors on educational outcomes.
                The issue is this : Do we wish to preserve non-profit public education in the U.S. ?  
                There are powerful groups who would like to replace our current system with a privatized for-profit model, like our health-care. All the teacher-bashing, the propaganda about "failing" schools and the push for more charters are ultimately about privatization.
                If you like corporate for-profit health "care", you'll love corporate for-profit education.  

                •  Condescending much? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kurt, crankyinNYC, tnproud2b

                  My daughter and I are part of the 'socioeconomic' lower class.  She's 'gifted'.  She's attended public schools (in Chicago) all her life. Large percentages of kids at her schools (the HS is the top rated public school in the state) met free lunch criteria.

                  And I still say WOW.  Economically disadvantaged does not mean stupid.

                  •  Keep Asking Questions (5+ / 0-)

                    Our current system has serious flaws, as you have seen. Look at the proposals being put forward by Obama and Duncan, however, and ask yourself if they are fixing the flaws or making them worse. Don't assume that all change is positive change.

                    "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

                    by Reino on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:56:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course economically disadvanted (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NYCee, sandblaster, miss SPED, nandssmith

                    does not mean stupid. I have never heard anyone make that claim. In general it is a statistical fact that kids from lower SES homes have a harder time in school. Test scores can be accurately predicted by zip code. It is undeniable. Thirty years of pro-corporate conservative economic policy have amounted a top-down class war. The effects of the class war show up in the class room. Easier, I suppose, to blame the teachers for our social problems than to solve them.  

                    •  And it's much (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kurt, crankyinNYC, tnproud2b

                      easier for those within the education bureaucracy to blame it on the non-experts for 'not understanding' what the problems are.

                      I think if you are reading my comments honestly, I have not placed the blame on teachers or the schools for failing.  There is blame to spread everywhere.  Saying NONE of the blame is due to teachers is as false as saying ALL the blame is due to teachers.
                      I started out my comments by saying that if attitudes in homes regarding active participation in a child's education no amount of 'reform' was going to fix what's wrong with education in this country.

                      The teaching profession is not exempt from the bell curve of abysmal >> extraordinary.

                  •  But you didn't answer the question (0+ / 0-)

                    Would you prefer non-profit or for-profit education?

                    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                    by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:14:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  A absolutely don't care (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      crankyinNYC, tnproud2b

                      I prefer effective education.

                      •  Pathetic and sad... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nandssmith, mojada

                        that you "absolutely dont care" if our education system is no longer public.

                        I guess when roads are privately funded you might squeak into some sort of "road usage" scholarship...

                        Please let the rest, left to the rubble of ye olde public roads (those not so lucky) know how much youre enjoying that ride. Honk your horn at them as you pass them by.

                        Weeeeeee!!! (I got mine.)

                        Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

                        by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:54:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  The reforms Obama is pushing (5+ / 0-)

                won't help your daughter any more than the current system. Instead it'll continue to be a race to the middle.

          •  What you get is a lot of anecdotal evidence. (5+ / 0-)

            Your experience and your children's experience is limited. You might very well be informed about a couple of schools, but not about the big picture.

            •  Here's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fiddler crabby, tnproud2b

              another thing to think about.  All the folks who are touting the book and decrying the administration's program are all in on this comment section about how the parents are any combination of uninformed non vigorous, parochial etc.

              Could it be that that's part of the problem?  That the 'experts' are unwilling to listen to the very parents (the involved, invested ones) who should be their strongest partners.

              •  The problem is with schools that don't have (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYCee, nandssmith

                very many involved, invested parents.

                The basic statistic of American public schools is that 2/3 are doing fine.

                One third is struggling, and those schools are disproportionately in high poverty areas.

                Too many discussions about education tend to treat all schools as if they're somehow monolithic, as if there's something called "public schools."

                I could show you schools in my state -- some urban, some rural -- that would shock those from more prosperous states. Those schools' needs are very different from those in a neighboring county that ranks in the top 5% nationally in income.

                To talk about "public schools" as if they're all alike will never solve whatever problems are out there.

                Until we as a country are willing to look seriously at the tremendous disparity of educational experiences provided to our students -- and why they happen -- we'll continue to write off those in the 1/3 of schools that are struggling.

                •  And, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NYCee, nandssmith

                  It's a great thing you're so invested in your child's education. I admire that, and wish more parents would be that involved. Many, many schools would benefit from that.

                  My point about anecdotal evidence is that you're well qualified to take on the problems of the schools you've been involved with, but their issues might be very different than those of other schools.

                •  Forgive me for repeating what I have said before (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NYCee, fiddler crabby, nandssmith

                  I have been a public school teacher for over ten years- four of those years have been in special education.  Other than for a party, I have not ever had a parent volunteer in my classroom for any academic purpose.  Ever.

              •  I hear exactly what you are saying (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYCee, kurt, miss SPED, Tentwenty

                For a student to get maximum educational experiences requires all parties working together - teachers, parents, students, administrators.

                The problem with this reform, however, is that the teachers, and teachers alone, will face consequences - based upon scores on a standardized test (taken once per year) that is the least-effective tool for assessing student learning.

                In high school, for example, each teacher sees the students usually approximately 1 hour per day.  Many teach subjects other than Math and Language Arts - yet they will be fired based upon tests taken once a year in subjects other than what they actually teach.

                These consequences do nothing to improve the system, only to punish most teachers unfairly.  It is, at its core, an underhanded attempt to squash the unions in order to privatize public schools.  Once schools are privatized, without union protections, they can pay teachers whatever they want.  

                Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:25:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not actually (0+ / 0-)

                  The problem with this reform, however, is that the teachers, and teachers alone, will face consequences

                  If reform efforts, ostensibly to improve educational outcomes fail, the brunt of the consequences will not be borne by the teachers.  They will be borne by the pupils.  Teachers can and do leave the profession.  The kids must stay in the schools.

                  This thread makes me seem like I'm anti-teacher.  I'm not.  I tutored 'inner city' kids in HS.  I taught my child to read and do addition before she started kindergarten.  Then I changed jobs so I could be available to help in her classrooms, the school library, etc.  When situations arose in which something 'unfair' was happening in school, 99.9% of the time, I came down on the side of the administration and the teachers.  

                  What I am, is tired of hearing about the teachers as the punching bag of reform, when the pupils have been the punching bag of what's wrong in education for more decades than is reasonable.

                  •  I do agree (0+ / 0-)

                    Ultimately, the students in the poor-performing schools will be the biggest losers - there is no doubt about that.  

                    These precious children are our futures, and they are being used as pawns in an attempt to divert our public education tax dollars to pro-profit entities - rather than addressing the root causes of our educational failures.  

                    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                    by nandssmith on Sun Apr 04, 2010 at 12:20:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  'all the folks'? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYCee

                guess again.  I have not said any of those things.

                •  Join the club... (she has no basis for that) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nandssmith

                  Im getting a whiff of support Obama, right or wrong.

                  No... that's wrong. He cant be wrong.

                  Obama right! No wrong about it.

                  Right.

                  Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

                  by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:02:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's sad that you can't come to DKos (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NYCee

                    for an intellectual discussion or exchange of various ideas any more without having to weed through all the garbage.

                    There is a group that will attack any commenter/diary questioning Obama, regardless of the topic/comment.  Best to ignore and focus on the commenters there in good faith.

                    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                    by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:35:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  THIS is the attitiude... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYCee

            we've been consumers of education ourselves

            ...that causes education to become something else: Indoctrination.
            A system that prizes obedience, rewards assimilated conformists, and penalizes critical thinking.

            Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

            by mojada on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:53:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  GlowNZ never thinks (5+ / 0-)

          he/She has a pattern of negative reaction to any criticism,justified or not,of Obama or his administration and although it would probably be smarter to ignore his/her comments this one really bugged me.

          When someone spends considerable time and effort on a diary like NYCee obviously did and it is immediately dismissed without thought simply because it criticizes our President it makes this site smaller.

          http://dumpjoe.com/

          by ctkeith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:41:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No one is talking privatization in the Obama (4+ / 0-)

          Administration. It is a lie to say that harter Schools are private schools. They are, and will remain, public schools.

          They are publicly funded and utterly accountable to the Superintendent.

          Surely you can understand that?

          God has no religion. - Gandhi

          by OIL GUY on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:29:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't bother responding (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, ohmyheck, Azazello

          Look at this diarist's history.  All he/she does is read the diaries (sometimes only the titles) , and if there's anything negative about Obama in it, trashes the diarist/diary.

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:10:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  actually not (18+ / 0-)

        because the international comparisons actually do not show that when they are properly parsed

        and using our own internal measurements such as NAEP NCLB is NOT improving the situation

        the remedies that the Blueprint proposes and that are imbedded in RttT have no demonstrated record of success and will serve to exacerbate the kinds of damage done under NCLB.

        There are many things about American schools worth criticizing.  No one involved with them thinks they are above criticism.  But that does not make the recommendations of the current administration sacrosanct just because they have a D instead of an R after their name.

        What NCLB has done is narrowed the educational opportunities for those who most need assistance.

        And what this administration is proposing largely continues some of the worst features of NCLB, at the same time as it is imposing additional mandates that bear no proven relationship to educational success.  Why is it this administration is demanding widening of charters when the evidence is that charters perform no better (and when controlled for important factors worse) than the neighborhood schools from which they draw?  Why have as a sanction totally dissolving a school when there is no proven evidence of improvement from such a sanction, and when it often results in destruction of one of the last neighborhood institutions, and when - as happened in Chicago - it then results in children having to cross the territory of hostile gangs to get to school, so absenteeism and dropouts both increase as a result?

        Sorry, on this you are quite off.

        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:25:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  TK, wanted to give you kudos for your Ravitch (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          miss SPED, nandssmith

          diary, your review of her book. Also your diary re not supporting Obama's education plan.

          You told me about them, I took a look.

          Nice you got to speak to her, too.

          Appreciate your contributions here, as well.

          Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:30:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, they're not. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYCee, nandssmith, Azazello

        Here's a starting point for understanding what the numbers really say:
        The late Gerald Bracey wrote this last year on Obama's speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

    •  Well, making things worse in terms (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, assyrian64, Reino, J M F, nandssmith

      of actual learning by our children is change, after all. Just as promised. Let's all approve then, there's no problem here.

      You do realize the point of the criticism, right?

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:24:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Go join Scarborough, if you wish to laud this ... (13+ / 0-)

      and bash teachers/unions.

      He was filling up the airwaves for praise of Obama/Duncan over last few weeks.

      Even Bloomberg, a guest on Morning Joe, who has made a mess of NYC's system, along these lines (lies), had to tamp him down in Tampa, where he held a MJ show... telling him unions/teachers shouldnt be bashed.

      Tamp... Tampa... oh, that's where they held the show to showcase that Florida's arsebackward legislature is making Florida into a test case for killing unions and promoting this merit pay crapola...

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:27:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see you got the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Warner is God

        insults done.

        Do you actually have anything of substance though? Preferably without the over the top 'world is ending' chicken little nonsense?

        •  So the policy is good? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, nandssmith

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:37:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you define good and we'll talk nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark Warner is God
            •  Let's define "good" as you would have it. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NYCee, nandssmith

              Is the policy good?

              Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

              by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:03:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  as I define good (0+ / 0-)

                both the education and health care legistration are good. Not perfect nor awesome but good.

                •  My understanding is that, at least (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NYCee, nandssmith

                  in the opinion of many (maybe most) teachers, the NCLB act has been a disaster. Now we have a policy of extending and enhancing that program. Could you explain what modest advantages you see in that extension?

                  Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                  by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:02:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  PS (0+ / 0-)

                    Hope you're handling your recent sadness with equilibrium, if not yet reconciliation to it.

                    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                    by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:03:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  and my understanding is (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tnproud2b

                    there is nothing wrong with standards or merit based, in fact let's face it our schools are failing and badly.

                    Now if you have alternative suggestions I am open to them but as it is now we have merit based pay or _______ so please fill in the blank tell me how you would fix our education system.

                    I am not entirely a fan of NCLB but it has some good points to and this education bill is not a strict extension and enhancing of it. Frankly I am tired of the nuance here being ignored just because it's inconvenient to a side in a hurry to make the facts fit their pet theories.

                    •  I don't, not my field. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NYCee, nandssmith

                      I would imagine all those teachers would have some ideas, but I don't have the background, nor power. Nor am I an elected official with the ability to gather the most experienced people to advise me.

                      Apparently, what we had before NCLB worked better than what we have now, since the entire idea, if you read the thinktanks which first proposed it, is to undercut public education. Dismal as it is.

                      If the house is on fire, some might propose taking a stroll in nature, others might propose staring at the Milky Way, but the house will still burn down under either program.

                      As to nuance: I assume you read the diary.

                      Diane Ravitch is a nationally reknowned education historian, someone who has been paying keen attention to education for decades and who has sided with both the left and the right, sometimes with both as when they merged in support of NCLB. She was a former advocate of NCLB, but came to see that it has done more harm than good and has publicly acknowledged her mistake.

                      Is it your opinion she has no clue? What shall we wait for to discuss this issue, or is it better it not be raised at all if there is any criticism implicit in it?

                      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                      by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:59:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, NYCee wrote the diary (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eugene, NYCee, fiddler crabby, ohmyheck, mojada

          Do you actually have anything of substance though?

          I'd say the diary is quite substantiative.

          A top person in the Bush administration is stating that Obama's policies are more draconian than even Bush, and will be even more damning.

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:34:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and you do not see the conflict of interest (0+ / 0-)

            in that statement?

            Really you do not?

            Well go drown yourself in red meat if you want even if it's questionable.

            Oh and as to your question no that's not substantive. Frankly it should be laughable but in the bizzaro world of the 'true left' apparently it makes sense.

            I see now I was naive to think that self styled purists would ever learn.

            •  Conflict of interest in what (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NYCee

              statement?  Have no idea to which you refer.

              Drown myself in red meat?  And that will do what for me exactly?

              Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

              by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:42:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  seriously? (0+ / 0-)

                really want to try that?

                I think you have an idea but hey play stupid either way I am done here

                •  Seriously, (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't know to which statement you are referring.  If I knew I would have responded to the statement in question.

                  I asked you to clarify (because I was responding to your statement), but instead of answering you chose to imply that I am lying by stating that you think I already have an answer to the question I was asking.

                  Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                  by nandssmith on Sun Apr 04, 2010 at 12:25:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  there was no implication (0+ / 0-)

                    I really do not believe that you have no idea of which statement I am talking about.

                    I think you are far too intelligent to not be able to follow what should be some simple logic.

                    •  Maybe for you the logic is simple because you (0+ / 0-)

                      made the statement.  I have no idea, however, of which statement to which you are referring.  It would be very helpful if you would clarify instead of implying again that I am lying:

                      "I really do not believe that you have no idea of which statement I am talking about".

                      This is getting nowhere.  I truly tried to respond.

                      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                      by nandssmith on Mon Apr 05, 2010 at 08:04:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks... I guess I could have restated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tnproud2b, nandssmith

            Ravitch's words with my own... but what is the point? She is the fucking expert, one with whom I wholeheartedly agree.

            This diary is chock full of links, info and evidence toward its main thrust.

            I have seen so many silly and half baked diaries make it to the wreck list - I couldnt care less that someone like drache, OIL GUY, et al wants to call this lacking in substance.

            I would say their main beef is that they dont like any substance that calls out so-called progressives for being, in fact, party/machine people and/or ObamaFans, and not progressives at all, not on the issues.

            And they dont like exhorting folks to take action... if it is not against an R.

            Hell, a lot of these people couldnt even make it out to protest the Bush invasion of Iraq.

            And they wonder why the Rs are scared of the teabaggers... lol. They can laugh at them all they want, but at least they are making the party they mostly belong to curry favor with them. And the media pay attention.

            Cant say the same for the tactics of many "progressive" Dems... which amounts to a lot of online grousing... and throwing money at the better Dems... Hey, I thought we had a bunch of them in the progressive caucus... And look what a grand success theyve been on defunding the wars and getting us the public option.

            Sad.

            Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

            by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 04:19:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Um, she just wrote (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, nandssmith

          a well-researched diary about it.  Not enough substance for you, drache?

          Would you care to inform us what would meet your substance standards these days?

          One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

          by ohmyheck on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:39:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  May I edit? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, ohmyheck, nandssmith

      No hes not the education system is not exempt from change.  Its been messed up for decades.   Why is it that people think that teachers and the education  system is sacrosanct and can't be critised?

      No, he is not. Or: No he's not, the education system is not exempt from change. It (it's is a contraction of it is, which would be present tense and, presumably,  not what you meant to say) has been messed up for decades. Why is it that (do would be more concise in this case) people think that teachers and the education system is (are would be the plural here) sacrosanct and can't be criticized? (s would be a British spelling)

      English can be hard, don't take it to heart. However, it is posts like this which emphasize the value of a good public education without the artificial constraints on teachers that "reforms" like NCLB impose by teaching to an arbitrary test. Not all subcultures in the United states respond well to whatever is in vogue on the Texas School Board at any given time. One might think that an obvious point to make, but you would be surprised at the number of people who haven't really thought it through.

      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

      by nippersdad on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:11:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, GLowNZ, but this is fraudulent bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee

      If you are not a professional straw man manufacturer, you have truly missed your calling.  Name one critic of Obama's education policies who believes that the education system is exempt from change.  You can't, because no such person exists. Name one critic of Obama's education policies who believes that teachers and the education system is sacrosanct and can't be criticized?   Again, you can't, because no such person exists.

      Certainly this thoroughly silly description does not apply to a major figure in education like Ravitch.  If you bothered to read the diary, Ravitch clearly thinks that the system needs MAJOR changes -- but that the Duncan/Obama solution is based on profoundly false notions of what actually takes place in a classroom and as such will make worse that which it presumes to make better.  

      One could just as easily say that you think that Obama's policies are sacrosanct and can't be criticized -- yes, just as easily and just as stupidly.  I voted for Obama and will again and by and large I will do so enthusiastically.  But on this issue, he is wrong and Ravitch is right.  If education is reduced to test prep and success is judged by test results, schools will become dumbed down and uncreative, and no one but talentless, clock-watching drones will be interested in becoming teachers.

  •  Great dairy, I have been listening (11+ / 0-)

    to recent comments and interviews of Diane Ravitch. She is coming to the Tattered Cover here in Denver and I plan to attend. I think she is dead-on in how she characterizes our current education policy.

  •  Thank you, Diane Ravitch! Many times over... (10+ / 0-)

    in gratitude over your tireless fight to give us the truth about "Obama's awful education plan" and help us understand it.

    Now, I cannot help but pose this question:

    Will you, for all your efforts, be joined by a thunderous roar of public outrage over this rightwing plan or by a roar of deafening silence? Will the outrage meter of progressives be shown to be set off not by the wrongness of a policy, but by whether said policy is attached to an R (engaged) or a D (disengaged)?

    Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

    by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:20:52 AM PDT

  •  Teachers are to be held accountable (22+ / 0-)

    but not torturers
    not bankers
    not fund managers
    not military contractors
    not drug companies
    not members of congress who abuse their offices
    not A Supreme Court that appointed a President
    not a President, Vice President and two Secretaries of     State who lied us into war
    add what I have left out

  •  Very Substantive diary (6+ / 0-)

    with an unfortunate title.

    Your intentions are clear with this statement,

    Obama just wrapped up his health reform victory, ie, Romneycare writ large - which is markedly non-progressive at its core

    HCR was not 100% what progressives wanted, but to say insuring 32 million Americans was "markedly non-progressive" makes you disingenuous.

    It always has to be "Progressives" vs Obama.

    "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected". -Barack Obama

    by indepenocrat on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

    •  I think too many are stuck (5+ / 0-)

      in the combative 'us vs them' thinking that was needed in the Bush years.

      Either that are they just suffer bloated egos not really sure which is better.

    •  let's be honest (18+ / 0-)

      What Obama got is less than what could have been achieved when Nixon proposed something far more progressive but some Dems rejected it as insufficient.

      As far as educational policy, on many key issues what Obama and Duncan are proposing is no better and in a few cases worse than what we had under Bush.  Yes, we will drop 100% proficient by 2014, but we are no more likely to reach 100% college ready by 2020 than we were tor each 100% proficient in 2014.

      If we do not address the societal issues from which many struggling students come, we will not be able to fix things in schools.  These are especially issues of economic equity, as Richard Rothstein has so cogently written.

      Hungry children don't learn.  Yet the percentage of Americans on food stamps is going up.

      To give credit where it is due, the Agriculture department is attempting to improve the quality of the school lunch program, because Secretary Vilsack understands the connections between nutrition on one hand and health and learning on the other.  But that is one of the few bright spots.

      Children who need glasses or hearing correction do not learn as they are capable, yet this administration has offered nothing to support hearing or vision testing in schools.

      A year ago Ravitch described Duncan as Margaret Spellings in drag.  That appellation now seems even more appropriate.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Saying that the bill we have is (10+ / 0-)

      "Romneycare writ large" is factual. Thinking that the bill is substantially different from the Republican program proposed by Dole is counter-factual.

      A person can reasonably say the bill is markedly non-progressive on the basis that a) yes, some people now have access to a health care system that remains, and will remain, the worst in the industrialized world, b) tens of millions (and the number is growing) are still left uncovered, c) premiums can continue to rise at ridiculous rates, when the original problem, the main problem is that people and small business are crushed by today's rates.

      The situation is that you've pulled some people out of the water, leaving the rest in it, while those pulled out are now on a ship which is still sinking. Maybe that's a big "yippie" if you think maintaining the status quo is a good thing, but you'll find only devoted Obama followers thinking so.

      That Republican policies enacted by a Democratic President are good, that anyone saying otherwise has something wrong with them, ... that's just weird.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:36:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HCR... (7+ / 0-)

      HCR was not 100% what progressives wanted, but to say insuring 32 million Americans was "markedly non-progressive" makes you disingenuous.

      Didn't Obama himself compare the current HCR to Romneycare?  I'm glad this HCR plan will cover 30 million people, but to say this particular plan is progressive is laughable.

      •  You should be laughing at yourself (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indepenocrat

        indepenocrat never said the plan was 100% progressive.

        •  Who cares about facts right? (0+ / 0-)

          as i said it's always has to be progressives Vs Obama.

          To some here he will always be "anti-progressive" while to teabaggers he is a "Socialist" "far left Nut" LOL.

          "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected". -Barack Obama

          by indepenocrat on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:50:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama... (6+ / 0-)

            To some here he will always be "anti-progressive" while to teabaggers he is a "Socialist" "far left Nut" LOL.

            The fact is that Obama has been progressive on some issues, but on a wide variety of other issues he has provably not been progressive at all..

          •  Ah yes, "tired old arguments btw left and right" (8+ / 0-)

            Well I am tired of Obama's usage of the "yawn, tired of left v right old fights" argument that has come to signify, for me, he is ready once again to give the right what it wants.

            This is really code for shut the fuck up and take the crumbs you get, progressives.

            NCLB is nothing new, nor is offshore drilling (or spilling) nor giving the corporate/MIC establishment carte blanche, with crumbs for the rest. This is DLC or Republican (or as we often find them today - Democrats)...

            Except, hold on re left v right, tired old fight...

            Diane Ravitch wasnt on the left, in fact, as Wiki says, she was rather hard to pigeonhole -- she was considered somewhat rightwing by some... although most found much of what she had to say over her 40 year career as Ed historian, quite cogent and instructive. She was never in the business of teacher bashing and always promoted a strong liberal arts ed. She is now against a program she thought might help the schools... NCLB. So much so, she says dont reform it, scrap it.

            Now go back to excusing and take solace. You are at the Party and you are in the power circle  (D!) ... for now.

            True progressives know they are outnumbered. We learn to live without the champagne corks popping. Just like we were in warning against Iraq. (Wonder what these Dems who so strongly defend Obama's policies, no matter what, would have to say had he started up the Iraq invasion, instead of Bush? hmmm....???)

            Enjoy the party...  Let us know how you like the outcome of these policies after they have been given a chance to work their rw magic, but embossed with a D.

            Maybe it is all in the name. (Tell Shakespeare)

            Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

            by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:36:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Please... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, nandssmith

          You should be laughing at yourself indepenocrat never said the plan was 100% progressive.

          I suggest you quote people accurately when you attempt to take them to task.  I did not say "indepenocrat said the plan was 100% progressive".

          However I think its quite fair to say the indepenocrat thinks the HCR plan is generally progressive, after he/she said to the diarist:

          HCR was not 100% what progressives wanted, but to say insuring 32 million Americans was "markedly non-progressive" makes you disingenuous.

          BTW I also think its laughable that indepenocrat knows the diarist is being "disingenuous".

    •  Then why should that matter? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, kurt, ohmyheck, nandssmith, OldAthena

      It's the issue here that is important, despite the impressions of the diarist on other matters, which seem to further establish the pattern here.

      Why not just leave it at that, the substance, which you acknowledge?

      As for the 32 million, what of the other 40% of uninsured. Why are they owed any less?

       

      I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

      by citizen53 on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:48:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no problem with the substance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg

        of this diary which contain valid criticism of the presidents educational policies.

        The undertone is pretty obvious and unfortunate, when you start equating Obama to bush you loose credibility.

        "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected". -Barack Obama

        by indepenocrat on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:55:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So when the substance of the policies... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, kurt, tnproud2b, ohmyheck, Tentwenty

          can be equated, I suppose that matters not.  That seems the gist of your remark oversimplistic remark.

          It is a reasonable argument that Obama has turned some Bush policies mainstream, something Bush never could have done.  

          I say what I believe, and disagree if you like, but offer substance, as I will pay no heed to personal insults or gratuities.

          by citizen53 on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:39:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, Bush already turned his policies mainstream (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYCee, mojada

            with NCLB.  What Obama is proposing is much more draconian - and what the GOP has been gunning for for years.

            Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:51:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not equating... making WORSE than Bush! (6+ / 0-)

          Sheesh.

          Please give credit for the actual quote and its meaning, do not dilute it!

          That happens to be Ravitch's quote, and there are a lot more strong ones from her on this topic. Quotes I happen to highly appreciate for their strength and substance, and with which I am in agreement.

          I am not of the School of Make No Waves.

          Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:54:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not when it's true (6+ / 0-)

          No need to genuflect,  It really isn't a liberal thing.

          I have always hated the whole "we'll call ourselves progressives because the Republicans made liberal a nasty word shtick"  Progressives can pretend success with a teeny movement to improvement and pat themselves on the back when it has barely made a dent.  Just keep convincing yourself.

          When the Obama administration is finished with their so-called reform they will have made it totally miserable to teach and set the stage to destroy public schools.  I think that is the purpose.  This is the same as the lame group he has put together to destroy Social Security.

          Republicans couldn't have dreamed of the mess he is making.  He is blowing up the social fabric of the country.  I'm glad I am old and will die anyway.

        •  The point is on this issue he is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, tnproud2b, mojada

          actually worse than Bush.

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That is my opinion... based on my observations... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nandssmith, OldAthena, mojada

      over lo these many months on the road to hc "reform"

      I am of the kucinich school (a small but stubborn minority)... before he dropped out of his own school to support Obama's endangered presidency, (whatever his lame arse excuse was (in rebuttal to his own rebuttal to Ed Shultz, just a week before he flipped, when he rejected Ed's attempt to shame him over to the "aye" side by saying he should do it for the president.)

      At that time, it was like this:

      SHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.

      REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  Ed, it‘s good to be with you.  And I

      just want to say that the characterization that I don‘t care is not

      correct.  I do care.

      I care that this bill privatizes health care, that it took out public

      option, that it doesn‘t protect states that want to create a single payer

      system.  And that, in fact, there is no control in premiums.  I care a lot

      about that.

      SCHULTZ:  OK.  Then why not give the president a victory and vote for it?

      KUCINICH:  Well, this isn‘t about whether the president has a victory.

      This is about whether the American people are going to win.

      If you give the insurance companies $70 billion, why do they have to

      put the middleman in there?  Why do they have to be in there at all?

      Why not just create a system where the money goes right to the people

      without the insurance companies getting a cut?  Why do you have to give the

      insurance companies a cut?

      Why was the public option taken out?  Why can‘t states have the

      ability to create their own single payer system without getting attacked by

      --(CROSSTALK)

      Lol - nothing like good old crosstawk to stop someone from saying what you (Ed) dont want said... obviously, Kucinich had even more to say on how rightwing awful this health plan is... before he decided to scrap his pledge and principles and vote for it  

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:02:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know the Obama Justice department is (10+ / 0-)

    fighting to keep the veterans of the Cold war experiments out of court to keep them from learning how deeply involved the CIA was with human experimentation at Edgewood Arsenal between 1955 - 1975

    here is the lastest court filing  asking for  among other things that the "state secrets clause" be invoked  this is for experiments that were illegal that were stopped 35 years ago and started 55 years ago   http://edgewoodtestvets.org/...

    filed March 17, 2010   this protects whom and why?

  •  And this (6+ / 0-)

    At the end of that Salon piece linked to earlier, the writer asked Ravitch: what can we parents do?

    Ravitch starts her response by urging her (all of us) to act: Organize, organize, organize!

    is the main thing that is wrong about education in this country.

    The assumption that organizing to support schools and teachers is the solution.

    The solution to education issues is for parents to do something.  That something is to be invested (not financially) in their kids' education.

    In grade school my daughter had perhaps one ineffective teacher.  In HS she had 5 good ones out of 35.  She's not on a full-ride academic scholarship because of what she got from school.  She's there because of what she got from home.

    Schools do need reforming, but all the reforming in the world is not going to help if children are not taught the importance of education at home.

    Additionally, I'm pretty convinced, that with rare exceptions, schools are not where kids go to get critical thinking skills.  Perhaps they SHOULD be, but largely, they aren't.  And we have examples every day in the media about what a lack of critical thinking means in a society.

    •  Parents have every right to speak up. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      proud2Bliberal, nandssmith, mojada

      Let's hope before they start to complain, they are doing their part, both with their children at home (no, it is not just up to school's to educate them) and by being involved with the school.

      If they are, and they have a beef with a teacher, let it be known. I hope, also, let it be fair... if they are involved, they may find it is more than just at the teacher's doorstep where the blame must be laid.

      However, if they are going to speak up in the PUBLIC SQUARE, they had better do so quickly... before it, like our military and so many other govt functions, becomes PRIVATE.

      Then you might try writing the CEO and/or the Board of Directors.

      Good luck!

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:38:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's Ludicrous, It Requires Parents to Be Exprt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      assyrian64, yella dawg, tnproud2b

      or very knowledgeable about the subject of education.

      Typical conservative solution, it would benefit maybe 10-20% of the population who have the remotest ability make the required judgments at the required time.

      It's as crazy as having people "invested" in their health care or climate change.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:42:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aren't you invested (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY, yella dawg

        in your health care?  I certain am, and always have been.  

        I've been more than invested in my daughter's education.  

        I don't really need an 'expert' to tell me whether something is working for me, or for my daughter.  That is what observational skills and pattern recognition are for.

        But, that's ok.  You can be the direct object of health care and education.  I prefer to be an active partner.

      •  And it's not hard to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY, tnproud2b

        become very knowledgable -- it's not rocket science, just alot of reading and elementary statistics.  IMO it's the educational "experts" who are the problem.  Since the advent of "teacher education" the quality of education has gone down.
        As a progressive idealist I believed public education could and should work.  After years of involving myself at even the district level I gave up and sent them to private school like the majority of urban white parents in my red state.
        I don't know what the answer is but there are charter schools (thinking of the Ron Clarke Academy in Atlanta) who have acheived great success with the same demographic of kids our public schools fail.

        •  Normal schools (0+ / 0-)

          A normal school was a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose was to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name. Most such schools are now called teachers' colleges; however, in some places, the term normal school is still used.

          In 1685, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded what is generally considered the first normal school, the École Normale, in Reims. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, normal schools in the United States and Canada trained primary school teachers, while in Europe, normal schools educated primary, secondary and tertiary-level teachers.[1] The first public normal school in the United States was founded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1839.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    •  What I wouldn't give to have my (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, miss SPED, mojada

      parents invested/involved like you are.

      The problem, is, however, the majority in the areas of high poverty are not/cannot not get involved at that level.  And many are undocumented, so they are afraid to get too involved in a public way.

      This reform bill, IMO, takes advantage of this by allowing horrific consequences to the schools that test lowest on these ridiculous assessments that do nothing to assess critical thinking, synthesis, creativity, work ethic, etc.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:57:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  oh look another diary (4+ / 0-)

    that manages to lie repeatedly while beating it's chest in it's vanity.

    Really not remarkable in fact rather boring. I have no doubt though it will find it's way to the wreck rec list

  •  Except that this "Race for the Top" (7+ / 0-)

    includes a requirement that programs MUST BE DEVELOPED WITH UNIONS.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:28:22 AM PDT

    •  Which was how DE and TN won. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, yella dawg

      It was through cooperation with the teachers' unions.

      Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

      by KingofSpades on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:42:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee

      The unions, however, were forced to make many concessions because they knew they needed the money from Race to the Top badly - because states are literally closing schools down for lack of money.  

      Doesn't mean the unions support the majority of the reform; they don't.  Sort of like the lawmakers who voted for HIR even though they really didn't like it or felt it was missing many key ingredients.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:06:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unions capitulate sometimes... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nandssmith

      I think they did by postponing the excise tax.

      They shoudve stuck with tax the rich, stop dealing with Pharma, get us a public option...

      Unions do good, but thank god they had REAL progressives willing to fight, to build them up, back in the day... or I doubt we'd have what is left of them today.

      Now you say something as garden variety in union parlance as "demand"  and some folks on this site get offended, think it is too strong (if issued re progressive policies toward our 'good' Dems)

      They are of the "pretty please" variety re Dems... and sure to say thank you, of course, when they get crumbs as a reward... for not making waves.

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:52:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Washington State teachers punished by this (8+ / 0-)

    Washington State generally has decent schools.  But Washington State carefully developed its own means of evaluating teachers.  Therefore Tennessee got $600 million in the first round of funding and WA state received nothing.  Washington State's schools did not deserve to be penalized.  The state is having a severe budget crisis and in its time of needs, Duncan pulls the plug on the funding.  And basically the teachers are given no authority and all of the blame.  And if they have to fire half of a school's teachers, or shut down schools, good teachers who have no problem in their individual performance get fired for no reason.

    •  The same thing happened in Oregon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, fiddler crabby

      where a plan was developed that was a good compromise between all parties.  Because it didn't go far enough to "punish" teachers to Duncan/Obama's liking, Oregon got zero money.

      What Obama/Duncan are doing is only giving money to the states where the teachers are rolling over, to put it bluntly and truthfully.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:08:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please (3+ / 0-)

    So Ravitch says "Obama taking Bush Policies to greater extremes" and we are supposed take her word as law.
    Folks here have legitimate criticism about Obama education policies, but this kind hyperboles used by some progressives does nothing to advance your point.

    And we wonder why we sometimes fail to get our points across.

    •  Afghanistan isn't Bush extreme? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tnproud2b

      Afghanistan is another example.

      •  Obama made his intentions in Afganistan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Warner is God, yella dawg

        pretty clear during the election.

        Looks like someone has selective amnesia.

        "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected". -Barack Obama

        by indepenocrat on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right, he made it clear... (5+ / 0-)

          perhaps not how far he would go but that he would go... continue to amp up the war in Afghanistan.

          But see... back when folks (like me) voted for Obama, a lot of us thought that we could hope for the best on those promises he made that were more progressive... and could spend our time pushing back on things like his move re more war.

          However, with each week he is showing more and more disdain for progressives and the notion that a promise (to progressives) should be kept.

          At this rate of promises broken on the left (gays, detainee issues, health, environment, education... ), the right ought to calculate that the more he promises progressives, the better the chance for them... to get what they want. (I cant wait to see which suggestions he follows from his deficit commission re reforming social security... look out seniors!)

          Sorry, not a fan of this.

          Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:12:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  no, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg, pvlb

        Iraq was Bush extreme. Invading a country under a false premise of WMD and imminent threat to our national security is not comparable to President Obama inheriting a war in Afghanistan where NATO allies had joined the US in an effort to pursue Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the US and their taliban protectors.

        Conflating these two wars is a Bush tactic.

    •  Ravitch Is Right (7+ / 0-)

      Read the proposals in Race to the Top. With NCLB, schools tested every student and were judged by those tests. With RttT, states are being encouraged, and paid, to judge teachers, meaning salary and continuing employment, based on those tests. The tests are still very crude largely multiple-choice assessments that are not aligned with curricula for anything other than average students at average schools, and the tests do not measure well many cognitive skills that are important in a democracy or in a workplace.

      Ravitch is not just spouting crap off the top of her head--she is a highly regarded academic who is closely following the work of Obama and Duncan and who backs up what she says.

      "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

      by Reino on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:12:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should take her word (0+ / 0-)

      She knows more about NCLB than just about anyone in the nation.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:49:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know why Ravitch chose to tell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg, indepenocrat, nandssmith

    such an obvious lie about charter schools. Charter schools are PUBLIC schools, not private as she claims. Her claim that Arne Duncan is pushing for privatization is completely false.

    "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

    by seanwright on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 11:55:26 AM PDT

    •  That's Not A Lie (8+ / 0-)

      The funding is public, but the management is private.

      "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

      by Reino on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:16:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're defined, by law, as public schools. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tnproud2b

        People don't just get to decide for themselves what's a public school & what's not.

        "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

        by seanwright on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:37:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's My Point (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, ohmyheck, nandssmith

          If you're going to call somebody a liar, find a good reason.

          "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

          by Reino on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:52:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps you should read up on (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYCee, testvet6778, miss SPED, Tentwenty

          Charter schools.  They get the public's money but they are run privately.  And these private corporations are free to make huge profits on these Charter Schools with the public's money.  Sort of like Wall Street.

          Just asking.  Is that what you want?  Do you want your education tax dollars going to for-profit entities?  Who do you think they will care more about, your children or their bottom line?

          Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:12:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And as you're reading up (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYCee, testvet6778, miss SPED

            you will learn about the scandals out there involving charter schools (and the big bucks) that have been made off off of them.

            Would you rather a principal make maybe $100,000/year for running your child's school - or the CEO/management making millions per year?  You do know there are mega-corporations that are opening up charters all over the nation, right?

            You don't get to make up your own facts either.

            Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:16:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Honestly? (0+ / 0-)

            I don't care as long as my child got a better education than at a 'public' school. Pay the principal a million dollars a year. So what? If charter schools provide a better result for the same money then maybe all schools should be charter schools.

            •  Except they don't. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NYCee, Tentwenty

              Research has repeatedly demonstrated charters don't do any better than public schools when SES is taken into account.

              Often they do worse.

              Even with the benefit of being able to kick "problem" students back to their home schools, they still can't demonstrate they're doing a better job.

  •  I disagree with you on healthcare (7+ / 0-)

    but the more I've read about Duncan and Obama's education policy, the more concerned I've become. Seems like a recipe for disaster to me. Thanks for the diary, I've been meaning to read more about it.

    Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - Rep. Alan Grayson

    by StepLeftStepForward on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:10:21 PM PDT

  •  Charter Schools (10+ / 0-)

    I would like to make it clear to Sean Wright that Charter schools take public money but are not all non-profit schools.  In fact, non-prfofits can still pay their founders a LOT of money.  Recently at the award-winning charter, Basis School in Tucson, the founders decided to more than double their own pay to over $300,000.  They also chose to outsource their accounting to a relative in Europe, all perfectly legal.  Basis is a school in the European model, which means it is a highly accelerated curriculum.  Students who can't keep up are counseled to find another school.  This, to me, is the hidden segregation in charters.  They are open to all but also have wide open"exit" doors they encourage student to take when they are not "keeping up".

    •  So the only bad charter school you could find was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg

      in Tucson, AR? My cousin teaches public school in Tuscon and the only place she's ever taught which cares less about students and teachers is Texas.

      Charters in New York and Chicago would never get away with that. They need to account for every dollar they take in.

      God has no religion. - Gandhi

      by OIL GUY on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 12:47:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BASIS is not a "bad" charter. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYCee, miss SPED, nandssmith

        It one of the few charters that actually outperforms traditional public schools, that's why they get all the press. The point is that charters operators are not shy about paying themselves outrageous salaries, even when their schools don't do any better than regular public schools.

    •  There's a lot of this going on in charters. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYCee, assyrian64, kurt, miss SPED, nandssmith

      Did you see this in the Star ? The couple that operate "La Paloma Academy" are paying themselves a total of $337k. They have two charter schools with a total of 1,200 students. By comparison, the superintendent of Sunnyside district, with 18,000 students, earns $150k.

      •  Charters have less oversight. (7+ / 0-)

        Less unionizing too, in many cases.

        Studies have shown they are not a panacea. Mostly no improvement, some worse... A few better than public schools.

        They are able to skim off the most motivated from poorer communities, leaving those with the least support and advantage to the public schools, who must take all comers. As they gain in strength, under Obama's new plan, this will only hurt the public schools.

        (Btw, have his kids ever been to public school? Has he? And Duncan? His kids? I believe the answer to those is No, no, no and no again. Is it any wonder they have so little appreciation for our schools, that they are willing to close so many down, fire teachers, and presume that some rw policy created in the rarified air up there, which they breathe, is the answer...)

        Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

        by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:05:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely ... Ravitch has written much on this.. (6+ / 0-)

      There are a high number of kids who drop out of charters... or are "eased" out...

      There is a lot of unchecked corruption, too.

      Well, less oversight...

      Some are quite good. As are some public schools.

      They have not proven to be the ANSWER. Big disappointment to the voucher happy crowd, I know.

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:09:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice try. But they're still public schools. (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously they do some things differently than traditional public schools or else they wouldn't have a special new name for them, but they are fundamentally public in nature: i.e. no tuition, public funds, open to all. Maybe they're better than traditinal public schools & maybe they're worse, but that doesn't change the fact that they are public schools, that Diane Ravitch knows they are public schools & that it was a lie for her to call them private schools.

      "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Psalms 50:21 h/t R. Browning

      by seanwright on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Open to all, yes. However, (6+ / 0-)

        they can boot students back to their "home" schools if those students don't meet standards.

        KIPP is held up as an example of the amazing achievements of charters.

        No one mentions the 60% attrition rate.

        In that way, they're like private schools.

      •  No, not really public... (6+ / 0-)

        Not made to live by the same rules. Get lots of private money. Hurt public schools, by draining off the most motivated (and kick out those who dont "fit") Give their higher ups sky high salaries. Dont have the same oversight. Are steadily shifting the system away from public ed and public ed advocacy...

        Kind of like, yeah, Cinderella was in the same family as her sisters, therefore, got the same treatment as her sisters. Not quite.

        It took a fairy godmother to save her from her dilemma. Ravitch is no fairy godmother, but at this point, she is the closest thing to a friend to the public school system.

        What we need is for people to wake up and join her in protesting yet another Obama rightward FAIL. (His ed "reform" ideas have proven to be so)

        Diane Ravitch on Why Charter Schools Are A Really Bad Idea

        *"Charter schools are no panacea. The nation now has about 5,000 of them, and they vary in quality. Some are excellent, some terrible; most are in between. Most studies have found that charters, on average, are no better than public schools."
        [... ]

        *"[C]harter schools have many advantages over public schools... [... ] Because the public schools must educate everyone, they end up with disproportionate numbers of the students the charters don't want."

        *"[... ]Meanwhile, public schools will become schools of last resort for the unmotivated, the hardest to teach and those who didn't win a seat in a charter school. If our goal is to destroy public education in America, this is precisely the right path."

        *"We don't want schools to compete and try to put the other schools out of business...that's wrong."

        *"What is, I think, going to be the undoing of the charter sector is the outrageous salaries that some of the charter operators are paying themselves...the rainmakers, the people who make the deals with the politicians... [... ] I mean, this is something that in the public sector people would find shocking."

        *"We're in the process of not only privatizing our schools but deprofessionalizing what should be an honored and esteemed profession."

        *"What's sad about this...the charter schools started in 1988 with the idea that they would become R&D laboratories to help public schools. Instead, they have been taken over by private entrepreneurs with the idea that this is a great money stream, you can go to the bank with this commitment of the government funds, and then in many places they're trying to put public schools out of business."

        More here on the things to be wary of re charter success:

        Scholar’s School Reform U-Turn Shakes Up Debate

        Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

        by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:50:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Public school are run by public (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYCee, fiddler crabby, miss SPED

        employees.  Charter schools take your tax dollars and give them to corporations to pay themselves as much as they want.  Some are becoming multi-millionaires.

        Interesting that Obama wants to fire the teachers making piddly, but has no problem forcing taxpayer's education dollars to go to enrich Wall-Street backed charter-school corporations.

        If that's how you want "public" education to be run more power to you.  I happen to think it's hideous.  

        Wall Street has already taken our jobs, pensions, 401Ks, homes.  Now Obama wants to hand them the keys to our children's future, as well as to mess with our Social Security and Medicare.  Check out who he has chosen to head up the "Deficit Commission".

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by nandssmith on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:25:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  His DC is worrisome. He has been making noises... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nandssmith

          about reneging on his SS campaign promise. (Will probably find Simpson's arguments quite persuasive)

          There have been so many broken progressive promises, at this point, it will be no shock.

          What is shocking is how many faux progressives abound.

          Getting outraged over only what Rs and FOX does is a fucking joke.

          Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:37:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks For The Diary (8+ / 0-)

    I approve of the Health Care Reform Bill, but I rec'd and tipped this diary, because it primarily is about education and got that right.

    I teach at a school that has possibly the only good merit pay system in the country. It is based on classroom observations, peer support, and an examination of what good teachers do for their students and the school overall. Soon, we may have to replace it with a horrible system based on test scores thanks to Obama/Duncan, even though many teachers are in subjects that are not tested and even the ones like me who do teach in tested subjects are difficult to measure because our courseloads vary greatly and many of our students can pass the state tests years before they actually take them.

    "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

    by Reino on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:23:34 PM PDT

    •  You are welcome. I appreciate your contribution. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nandssmith

      We are on agreement re the ed reform plan. Ironically, Obama's plan for merit pay has no merit.

      Sadly, the norm, for me, re his policies.

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:40:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is more than one Ravitch, you know. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    If you want to talk about Diane, call her that in the title. I was wondering what the illegal Lt. Governor of New York had to say about Obama.

    •  If I add Diane, I lose part of the title... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nandssmith

      I preferred using "Leading Education Scholar" but that was way too long.

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 01:53:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until people realize that public education as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvlb

    currently structured is broken beyond anyone's ability to repair or to afford to repair, and require real revolution, all the talk is just noise.

    Maybe in another ten or twenty years.

    Meantime the best thing parents can do is turn off the TV.  How many politicians have you heard say that?  Other than Obama, whom I have heard say that three different times in different settings, I haven't heard anyone.

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 02:27:19 PM PDT

  •  Obama=Bush (0+ / 0-)

    Troll diary.

    LOOK IT! I WROTE A COMMENT ON BIG ORANGE SEXY TIME!!!!

    by Mark Warner is God on Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 03:21:34 PM PDT

  •  Some British research (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nandssmith
    Academics looked at the marks given to thousands of children at age 11. They compared their results in Sats, nationally set tests marked remotely, with the assessments made by teachers in the classroom and in internal tests. The findings suggest that low expectations are damaging children's prospects.

    The study concludes that black pupils perform consistently better in external exams than in teacher assessment. The opposite is true for Indian and Chinese children, who tend to be "over-assessed" by teachers. It also finds that white children from very poor neighbourhoods were under-assessed when compared with their better-off peers.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

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