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Michigan Superintendent: How to Kill a Profession

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steve Matthews, superintendent of the Novi school district, here explains how the education profession has been attacked and demonized, with premeditation.

He begins:

So you want to kill a profession.

It’s easy.

First you demonize the profession. To do this you will need a well-organized, broad-based public relations campaign that casts everyone associated with the profession as incompetent and doing harm. As an example, a well-orchestrated public relations campaign could get the front cover of a historically influential magazine to invoke an image that those associated with the profession are “rotten apples.”

Then you remove revenue control from the budget responsibilities of those at the local level. Then you tell the organization to run like a business which they clearly cannot do because they no longer have control of the revenue. As an example, you could create a system that places the control for revenue in the hands of the…

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Peter Greene: See This Film. It is Free. It is a Stunning Portrait of the “Reform” Hoax

Diane Ravitch's blog

Peter Greene watched “Defies Measurement,” and he urges you to see it too. It was made by a teacher, Shannon Puckett. You can see it free here.

Greene writes:

Let me cut to the chase– I cannot recommend enough that you watch Defies Measurement, a new film by Shannon Puckett.

The film is a clear-eyed, well-sourced look at the business of test-driven corporate-managed profiteer-promoted education reform, and it has several strengths that make it excellent viewing both for those of us who have been staring at these issues for a while and for teachers and civilians who are just now starting to understand that something is going wrong.

The film is anchored by the story of Chipman Middle School in Alemeda, a school that up until ten years ago was an educational pioneer, using the solid research about brains and learning (and where Shannon Puckett once taught). They…

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Stephanie Simon: Who Is Spying on Your Children?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Ever wonder who does the fun job of reading your children’s tweets, Facebook pages, and Instagrams? Stephanie Simon has done the investigative work, on behalf of politico.com, but really on behalf of parents and children across America.

In the new age of Common Core and online testing, student privacy is dead.

Simon visits companies that do the “monitoring.” She calls them “Common Core’s cyber-spies.”

She writes:

“Pearson is hardly the only company keeping a watchful eye on students.

“School districts and colleges across the nation are hiring private companies to monitor students’ online activity, down to individual keystrokes, to scan their emails for objectionable content and to scrutinize their public posts on Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram and other popular sites. The surveillance services will send principals text-message alerts if a student types a suspicious phrase or surfs to a web site that raises red flags.

“A dozen states have…

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Posted in information literacy

Information Control/Filter Bubbles

I recently attended our state technology conference.  One of the sessions talked about Google and filter bubbles.  This was very interesting to me.  As a school library media specialist who teaches and promotes information literacy, now I’m learning that some web companies are “filtering” the information for a searcher based on some criteria.  Here is a video from TEDTalks that explains “filter bubbles” and the harm it may cause.

http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles

Posted in Uncategorized

Has Pearson Gone Too Far? Write Michael Barber!

Diane Ravitch's blog

We learned in the past few days that Pearson is monitoring the Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts and other social media used by America’s children. Some call it spying. Pearson expects America’s teachers and principals to help them police the children to make sure that they don’t write about or even discuss the PARCC test. (The corporation administering the Smarter Balanced Assessments is trying to exercise the same control to protect its tests.)

Mercedes Schneider here describes Pearson’s intrusive policy for non-native speakers of English who take the “Pearson Test of English Academic.”

Part of the agreement signed by the test-taker states:

I confirm that I have carefully reviewed the PTE Academic Test Taker Handbook, including, but not limited to, those provisions relating to testing, score cancellations, privacy policies, and the collection, processing, use and transmission to the United States of the PTE Academic test taker’s personally identifiable data (including…

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The Net Neutrality Drama Train Heads To Congress

TechCrunch

Let’s presume for the moment that you did not awake early this morning, straining to tune into C-SPAN, excited to watch a nearly three-hour congressional hearing in the House concerning a recent vote held by the FCC on how to best undergird new regulations of Internet service providers, along with certain questions relating to procedure, and edge provider interconnection.

I thought not. You had better things to do. TechCrunch did not. We are here to help.

Yes, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler did sit before a cattle call of House members, receiving, in alternating fashion, consistent praise or vitriol. Briefly, and this is from a surface reading of my time spent staring blankly into monitors this fine morning in the San Francisco fog, Wheeler is either single-handedly destroying the engine that leads to dynamic innovation online, or he is, in fact, the only thing standing between said innovation and rapacious corporations.

So things…

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