Welcome to the racing world of my inner mind. As a mother, teacher, and advocate for all children, my mind swirls with the issues we are faced with today. This blog welcomes you to ponder and wonder with me as we think about the ideas that matter...the big ideas.
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Parents are clamoring for this?!
If you haven't read my Einstein against
standardization entry yet, please read that here.It is an important entry to read before you move
on to this one on the brazen effort to get the business world's interest peaked
in this, "...amazing
moment for private equity investors to explore for-profit education
Yes, you have heard it here, and
actually it is no secret at all. That line of marketing genius comes from this ad, which attempts to grab the interest of
investors looking for the next big money making opportunity.
"This is a
long-overdue shift the public has been clamoring for -- measuring quality
by what students are able to master, not by time spent in a classroom -- and
the private sector is offering numerous opportunities to ride this wave."
Really? We are clamoring
for this? You think we want you to
ride the wave at our children's expense?
Not only are these opportunists
salivating at the thought of getting their hands on our tax dollars, but the
Kindergarten - 12th grade is not enough. They are sinking their talons on the
higher education "market," as well.
That is the reason business and education
shouldn't mix. Business people see a market, educators
Unleash powerful market forces...?
I am so naive. I thought he was going
to say something about his belief that students will benefit, and learning will
They are selling kid's
I wonder why they want so much data...
"...The most influential new
product may be the least flashy: a $100 million database built to chart the
academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school.
In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children
identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning
disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some
cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward
school - even homework completion. Local education officials retain legal
control over their students' information. But federal law allows them to share
files in their portion of the database with private companies selling
educational products and services.Entrepreneurs can't wait.”
is going to be a huge win for us," said Jeffrey Olen, a product manager at
CompassLearning, which sells education software. Read about it here.
“The database is a joint project of the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided most of the funding, the
Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from several states.
Amplify Education, a division of Rupert Murdoch's news corps, built the infrastructure over the past 18
months. When it was ready, the Gates Foundation turned the database over to a
newly created nonprofit, inBloom Inc, which will run it.”
“States and school districts can
choose whether they want to input their student records into the system; the
service is free for now, though inBloom officials say they will likely start to
charge fees in 2015. So far, seven states - Colorado, Delaware, Georgia,
Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Massachusetts - have committed to enter
data from select school districts. Louisiana and New York will be entering
nearly all student records statewide.”
It states that parents are spooked....indeed. UPDATE: "After months caught in the crosshairs of parents, advocates, and educators concerned about student-data privacy, controversial nonprofit
inBloom announced... that it will close its doors." Guess who stopped it? PARENTS. Read more here. And it is not over: " Leonie (Haimson) almost singlehandedly stopped the effort to mine student data,
whose sponsors wanted confidential and identifiable information about
every child “for the children’s sake.” Leonie saw through that ruse and
raised a national ruckus to fight for student privacy. Privacy of
student records is supposedly protected by federal law (FERPA), but Arne
Duncan weakened the regulations so that parents could not opt out of
the data mining. It is not over. The Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corporation put up
$100 million to start inBloom, and Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation
got the contract to develop the software, and amazon.com plans to put it
on a “cloud.” They will be back. We count on Haimson and the many
parents she has inspired to remain vigilant on behalf of our children.
As a grandparent of a child in second grade in a Brooklyn public school,
I have a personal interest in keeping his information private."
Is Pennsylvania next? Keep an eye out.
know my school district’s on-line grade book is a Pearson product…)
Even our colleges aren't safe...
Read below about what Diane Ravitch
posted on her blog about the Gates Foundation and higher ed:
this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Just as it has done in K-12 education,
the foundation has bought the research, bought the evaluations, bought the
advocacy groups, and even bought the media that reports on what the foundation
But as the article reveals, good
journalists have a tendency to tell the full story, even if their employer is
on the Gates' dole."
"The story is shocking. It describes an
experimental online degree program with no traditional professors or courses.
"Instead, students progress by showing mastery of 120
"competencies," such as "can use logic, reasoning, and analysis
to address a business problem."
Here is the typical, local way to
address the business problem of corporations taking over schools...
By the time most communities get to
this point, the struggle is difficult to win.
We need to speak up long before it is
in our own neighborhood. Our neighbors & friends in Philadelphia, New
Orleans, Chicago, LA, New York, and now the suburbs of DC, and entire states, like North Carolina (Which is destroying their public education system) are being sacrificed:
"According to the National
Association of Counties (NACo), Prince George’s County—which lies on the
eastern border of Washington, D.C, and is home to nearly 900,000 people and
125,000 students who attend the county’s schools—is the first county in the
United States where the executive has that level of control over a formerly
autonomous school district. It is similar to some cities, such as Philadelphia,
where the mayor appoints school board members."
This blogger hopes that once our eyes are open, that we will just say no...
"Once people realize that their
own children are being experimented upon and used for profits, the greed grab
will end. The testing craze, the corporate education reform industry, the
for-profit and non-profit charter industry, the online educational programing
business, etc. will dwindle and either die out or become minuscule."
"The profit margins are estimated, the marketing planned, and the
technologies used to lure parents into believing that purchasable technology
and the education of their children are one and the same thing – all of these
and more are planned with little or no long term proof or assurances that
children will benefit as little human beings. Create a brand. Do market research.
Sell-Sell-Sell. Use fear marketing or exclusive-limited-edition appeal –
whatever. Sell-Sell-Sell. (Edu-Brands: InBloom. Pearson, KIIP, Broad, White
Hat, Uno, K12 Inc., etc.)"
Corporations sell widgets. Schools
teach children. All the technology and Race to the
Top money won't help children.Children need passionate, properly
trained, well-educated teachers. And that is why I moved to the district
where I teach. I wanted my own children to get the
education that I saw the students in my district receiving. I suppose that means that strong
school districts help keep property values up. And I suppose that means that if our
public schools are compromised, our home values will go down...
Standing up for our schools seems to
make good educational sense, good ethical sense, and wait...good financial sense.
much in potential profit is at stake? $$$$$$$$$$$$ Billions. Federal and state
tax “incentives” guarantee that these testing/textbook/online-programming
corporations will double their money within a few years. Guaranteed. (See here.)"
You have got to click on the link
above. This is a bipartisan effort, and it will take a bipartisan effort on the part of caring parents, teachers and community members to come together.
No matter our politics, it seems that people who really care about kids, all kids,
are standing together.
of the corporate reform movement, "... is coming from liberals (who say
Gates is trying to privatize education and is attacking unions) as well as conservatives
(who say Gates and President Obama are in cahoots to federalize education
through the Common Core learning standards)." Read more in this editorial called, The Trouble with the Common Core.
It seems to me, that nobody wants the
corporate reform movement, except the corporate reformers...
Which brings me back to that
"... new wave methods are
exactly what students, parents, and employers believe is necessary for America
to keep pace with the world. Delivering education through the right means for
success -- be it online, ground-based, a blended model or some other hybrid --
continues to be a for-profit industry specialty."
market research have they used to determine that WE want on-line or a
hybrid or blended model of education? oh,
right, the $$$$$$ model. Watch
them ride the wave....or make your voice heard.