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Showing posts with label ESEA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ESEA. Show all posts

The Case for Annual Testing

By: Grover J. "Russ" WhitehurstMartin R. WestMatthew M. Chingos and Mark Dynarski

The new U.S. Congress is moving post haste to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). With Republicans in the majority in both houses and the relevant committees chaired by individuals with considerable legislative skills (Lamar Alexander in the Senate and John Kline in the House) the smart money is on Obama seeing a bill in this session.
The most recent incarnation of ESEA, signed into law in January of 2002 by President George W. Bush, is the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). NCLB is the seventh reauthorization of ESEA since 1965, which means that Congress historically reworked this legislation roughly every five years. We’re now 13 years into NCLB, so reauthorization is long overdue. It is not just the long delay that argues for congressional action, but the extent to which the Obama administration has replaced the provisions of the bill with its own set of priorities implemented through Race to the Top and state waivers. Whatever one thinks of the appropriate federal role in education, there are surely strong reasons in our constitutional democracy to prefer that we get to where we are going through law rather than executive edict.

This is really a good article, well researched, thoughtful and I learned quit a bit from it. I've been so busy with awareness that Common Core has no testing requirements, I've been a little derelict with whether standardized testing should be out there. Not sure I'm qualified to press it one way or the other.

Anyway , if it caught your attention at all, it won't waste your time. 

No Child Left Behind

Facts On A Tormenting System



Q. What is No Child Left Behind?

A. The law, adopted in 2001, requires annual state tests in reading and mathematics for every child in grades three through eight. Public schools whose scores fail to meet targets two years in a row face consequences that get more severe each year a school falls short. The law requires that schools raise the percentage of students proficient in reading and math to 100 percent within 12 years — which is this year. It hasn’t happened.

Common Core Lesson Plan on the Fly

Kids have some serious opponents between them and getting Common Core into their classrooms. Not many strong allies either. The President has helped all he can -- since he is forbidden by Fed Law from interacting with the local school system in any way. They really need all the help they can get. 
Why? Fair enough question. With everything on Fox News and conflicting information on the real news channels, What exactly, does Common Core offer our children and school system that is worth  the fight? 
Just a quick overview of our school systems. Since districts were formed back with Thomas Jefferson, each area has done things there own way. States control the public schools. Fed backed off.There was no need to be involved. 
A Department of Education was created in 1867 but was soon demoted to an Office in 1868. As an agency not represented in the president's cabinet, it quickly became a minor bureau in the Department of the Interior. In 1939, the bureau was transferred to the Federal Security Agency, where it was renamed the Office of Education. In 1953, the Federal Security Agency was upgraded and split into the Cabinet level areas of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty" and has been the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by Congress. The act is an extensive statute that funds primary and secondary education, while explicitly forbidding the establishment of a national curriculum. 
So, with no National curriculum, States were empowered to do their own thing, without the worry about what other states were doing. This thinking drifted down into the districts. Minor kingdoms of belief and theory rose up across the nation. Most of them, I would guess 98% honestly guided by men and women who in their heart of hearts wanted the best for the kids. That was April 11, 1965. Our country was punch-drunk and terrified of Nazism, Communism, and Marxism. We were just finished tearing at our own throats with the Communist trials. The vision of a Federal curriculum was overshadowed with the swastikas of Hitler Youth.
At that time, there was no real reason that anyone should share anything, and the guard against indoctrination of our youth curled the fears of every patriot'. Things change though. The world changed. We are connected in ways impossible to imagine then. Fifty years has altered our landscape and created extraordinary variation to the definitions of what classrooms are, what are books, what are lessons.
Imagine that today you are the teacher of a 9th grade class. Ebola is sending panics on waves of Fox News broadcasting across the nation. Everyone has an opinion as to what should be done, and these opinions are given with the implication that they are sessile, and undeniable, like the man who yells across the parking lot, "They have to close the borders! What? Are they stupid?" 
You get to your class early and you know that your kids are going to need some answers. With the adults showing such high levels of fear, the kids are definitely going to be affected. So you need a lesson. A lesson about some of the topics that are coming up. The man in the parking lot was belligerent but ... why weren't we closing the boarders?  A lesson on epidemics then. Something that gives some answers, teaches them skills and calms them down. 
Not five years ago, you would not have had enough time to put together a serious lesson on epidemics before your classes began. But today, you open your laptop, and bring up the National Geographic Teacher's Work Room. You search for epidemics and find a lesson already prepared.  for 5-8 graders. Complete with activites, study guides and Common Core lesson plans.Mapping a London Epidemic. 
National Geographic, PBS Learning, OER (Open Education Resources) The National Archives, are all but a small lsit of departments, agencies, companies and corporations who are adding into the growing resources Common Core has allowed. It is the OpenSource movement of education. The lesson is absolutely free for you to use. No strings. 
Well, then, how good or reliable could it be? Understanding that National Geographic is a fairly solid company when it comes to information, we look at the credits
Researchers were Audrey Mohan, Ph.D. and Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D. 
Educator Reviewer: Lydia Lewis, M.Ed., Grade 5 U.S. History/Geography
Educator; National Cathedral School, Washington, D.C.
Then a mess of writers, editors and historians. 
That's how good and reliable it could be. 
The OpenSource culture loves to share knowledge and schools have always been a place they wanted to help and donate time to. But .. everyone was doing their own thing. Districts in the same State weren't even the same. There was no cross-boarder guide for development and even if you decided that one district was still worth your time and effort, next year a whole know set of standards and teaching requirements could make your project useless. 
With Common Core, we have a stable, and nation wide set of standards. Not a curriculum, just standards for education, and teaching. But that's all the OpenSource people needed. Just something stable to build on. And as a country we have already been through the upstart and blossoming of the OpenSource culture with Linux. So businesses like National Geographic aren't balking like they might have back in 2002 -- scared about all the new logics and how could it make profit if it was free and  the cost.. Who is paying for this?  No. They are all over it this time.
Not just companies, but the teachers themselves. With Common Core, you are all on a familiar ground with each other. Most of the site collections have ratings and comments right there with the lesson. NG doesn't fro some reason, but you are running out of time. Kids are going to be here soon. So -- Tweeter
 -       found this lesson on NG Mapping A London Epidemic? Anyone use this? Rating? Hints? Tips?
Instant connection to thousands of other teachers across the nation. By calling out, you are letting them know that you have found something. In answer they are giving you  experience, and insights you couldn't pay enough to receive. 
Next time I'll talk about what is between our kids, and this amazing resource that makes teachers more effective and brings into the classroom what millions of dollars could not accomplish. 
Looking for more Cool Stuff until then? Check out OER OpenSource Education Resources.

Can ESEA Stop? Will It Stop?

Since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) in 1965, few Americans likely paid more than scant attention to the federal government's increasing role in education decision making. K–12 education was a longstanding state and local responsibility, with more than 90 percent of the cost of public school funding being provided by the states and districts. The federal government reserved most of its authority to ensuring that its resources helped disadvantaged children and those with special needs. 

Over the years, federal policymakers and presidents increasingly discussed education as a national priority, yet their conversations did not necessarily translate into policies because of the limited federal government funding and role in education decision making.

In 2002, President George W. Bush reauthorized ESEA and renamed it the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Suddenly everyone had an interest in the government's expansive new role in education. NCLB required states to conduct annual testing in reading and math for students in grades 3–8 with the tests requiring alignment with state academic standards. Adequate yearly progress (AYP), the yardstick by which the law requires states to measure how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically according to results of the state's mandated tests, became a household word, and sanctions are imposed each year for those schools unable to demonstrate year-over-year gains in student proficiency. States are now required to furnish annual report cards showing a range of information, including student-achievement data broken down by subgroup and information on the performance of school districts. Districts publish similar information on their schools. In addition, all teachers in core academic subjects working in a public school must be highly qualified in the subject matter they teach.

NCLB was originally touted as a bipartisan success and lauded for highlighting the achievement gap between white and minority and disadvantaged students and the need for high standards and accountability measures. But as increasing numbers of schools were labeled as "failing" despite making gains in achievement, many educators and policymakers, even those who originally supported the law, questioned the feasibility and fairness of its goals and time frames.

"NCLB turned teachers and administrators against the law," said Jack Jennings, president and CEO of the Center on Education Policy, a national, independent advocate for public education and more effective public schools. "So many schools are designated as not meeting AYP and there are not adequate resources. States are cutting back on education funding. Teachers are being laid off. Class sizes are increasing; extra aides are being let go. It's harder to educate kids with less money, larger classes, fewer teachers; yet the demands of NCLB go up every year."

Bill Gates Proves his Monetary Goals for Common Core?



The comments on this video that I've seen on YouTube as well as personal - even company blogs, boarder on a level of  ignorance not often encountered in modern times. I'm most disappointed in the statements I've read which are reportedly from Teachers. 

The Rants, on the whole, explode out from this paragraph:

When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better. [Emphasis added.]


So, let's start with Perspective since no one seems to have any and their paranoia appears to love its absence.

1. Bill Gates current monetary worth is estimated at $50 BILLION (caps used to draw attention to this amazingly large number). Actually if rises and falls between 50-100 billion

2. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, in 2006 turned away from Corporate life and invested all of their time and money into their Foundation which hemorrhages money every year so that people around the globe can have things like water, food, shelter, and education.

3. Bill Gates plunged over $200 Million into the NYC school system -- with the idea that smaller schools would work better than the goliaths they had at the time. Afterwards and for some years he felt that this was a mistake -- that there was very little change or benefit derived from the smaller schools. Between 2002 and 2008, the number of high schools in
NYC increased from just over 250 to nearly 450. Many saw this as a huge disruption for the kids of that time, with no positive outcome. A great deal of both professional and general publications criticizing Gates for "messing with things he doesn't understand" came out on the Internet and media venues like Fox News.
     a) Gates never lashed back
     b) Gate continued to seek out professional educators and educational scientists and move forward
*Note: it has now been ascertained that not only have the smaller schools helped the students, that graduation is markedly up and dropout rates notably down.

4. Bill Gates has --as many Billionaires before and since -- signed a commitment on the Giving Pledge to donate half of his monetary worth to charities and projects which improve lives and promote education.
*Note: that is, roughly $25 BILLION he plans on putting into educational efforts across the nation.

Clarity: I've made a passion out of hating Gates during my life.. I was a programmer and system administrator for more than 20years, and deeply into the OpenSource movement-- which was at direct and vicious odds with Micro$oft. If my cat had diarrhea, it was Gate's fault.  -- Since that time, paying attention to what and how he has done things, I've forgiven him for Windows ME, ... but not for Win 2k.

Vocabulary:

Common Standards -- mean to Bill Gates the same thing they would mean to anyone who creates systems or programs computers. A Common platform in which a community of programmers and developers can created widely different modules and libraries from, which will all work together, and indeed be able to enhance one another because they are all developed using this Common Stadard. Equal terms would equal API, Protocal etc.

Market: the Population of available, and interested users. Does not need to equate to money, only investment (such as time and effort investment into learning how to use a new thing).

Buy: As with Market, this does not necessarily refer to money, but can and does refer to time, money and space expenditures. Buy can also have a intelligence or mental meaning as in "Sure, I buy that" to express understanding or belief.

Now.. curriculum lining up to tests...  may or may not be accurate in the way that both Bill and myself understand it, but from observation over the last 12 years with NCLB it certainly appears to be the natural tendency demonstrated by thousands of teachers across the nation. This tendency has been criticized at many levels and from various degrees of experts, however Bill Gates and people like him, do not base development on "what should be" but rather "what is" and "what is" equals "Teachers teach to the tests.

Hopefully that will change in the coming years if Obama can ever get Congress to do their damn job and alter the ESEA as he has requested them to do over 50 times since 2008. Obama's requested alterations are :

Obama's Plan -- A fair accountability system that shares responsibility for improvement and rewards excellence, and that is based on high standards and is informed by sophisticated assessments that measure individual student growth;  A flexible system that empowers principals and teachers, and supports reform and innovation at the state and local level; And a system focused on the schools and the students most at risk -- that targets resources to persistently low-performing schools and ensures the most effective teachers serve students most in need.

NCLB Status Quo: Rely on unsophisticated bubble tests to grade students and schools.

The Obama Plan: Support better tests. The Obama Administration has invested $350 million to support states in their efforts to create more sophisticated assessment systems that measure problem solving and other 21st century skills and that will provide teachers will timely information to help them improve instruction.

Now, this next part you are probably unfamilier with, but Bill Gates is also very aware of, and influenced by the culture of OpenSource. He has invested a serious amount of money into attracting the OpenSource community to the Educational world.

However, this effort to attract the OSs has been extremely difficult because in the Educational community there have been no standards, no sameness -- everyone does their own thing across state lines and sometimes across district lines. 

Because of this there is very little intrinsic reward (being that good feeling you get when you have developed something that thousands of people enjoyed and used to improve their lives.. you know that feeling? Probably not.. but it is an amazing high... just take my word for it).  

So the talent and the willingness was there, but it has always been stunted by knowing that no matter how good your program or project was, the market base for it was atrophied by lack of population -- and next year, all of the standards you based your project on might be removed and replaced by something completely different -- so project lifetime was volatile as well.

Now.. looking at his "malicious and suspect" statement pulled out from Bill's speech..  Turn your attention to the wonder his foresight has created..

OER (Open Educational Resources)
https://www.oercommons.org/realizing-the-promise-of-the-common-core-together

Gates gave it a push, but then let it go. The community was hesitate for a long time, but it is growing by leaps and bounds now. There are 1000s of OER CCSS compatible lessons, books, modules, resources and even full curriculum available for teachers and schools across the nation -- 90% of them absolutely free. 

These projects are developed by PhDs, Educators, Scientists -- but also by hobbyist and novelist and artists. They are all peer reviewed, and critiqued for conformity to the Standards and effectiveness. Teachers who use them can post their own critiques, offer suggestions, make requests for changes, or additions. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

That is just one site.

https://www.graphite.org/

There are at least twelve other huge hubs with 1000s of resources listed: Photos, recorded speeches, video, graphics, full software programs -- the list is growing even while I'm typing this.

This is the vision that Bill Gates had when David Coleman sat in his living room in 2007 and told Bill and Melinda about CCSS. This is what he is talking about, and if you watch him, in that video, he can barely contain his excitement,.. but at that time, the OSs haven't really invested into the idea yet so he is refraining from getting into this.

Bill Gates is a man, who if he finds $100 on the ground, loses money by stopping to pick it up, and people -- who seem oddly intelligent in other matters, are accusing him of Taking Over the Public School System for Profit. 

The  Money Market value of CCSS will have little meaning in five years -- how exactly did you believe Gates might make a profit off his $800 million current investment into the schools of the US? This premise is seriously flawed. For one thing, he has several other venues which deluge him daily with capital he can't spend fast enough now... he doesn't need to go after children's lunch money. Alright? 

If you (reader) are a teacher,  you might want to compose a thank you letter to Bill Gates, and Obama -- because Congress was just fine with letting you all go down in flames.  

If CCSS wasn't in place right now, last Tuesday (the 12th year mark of  ESEA) all of you teachers would have been fired, and the schools closed.. in every state. .. All of them. CCSS isn't a new way of teaching.. it is a reform for NCLB that qualifies and meets the requirements of the ESEA law, allowing Obama to keep the schools to continue for a few more years.

Think about that the next time you want to STOP CCSS from corrupting the schools...

.. just saying.





End of Days Bats. Bill Wants his Money Back -- RANT

Hess is a mouth with a Koch in it
Obama has had it with your whining too. So, after you are fired, and unable to qualify for unemployment, think about that, alright? Come back when you can read.

COMMON CORE meets EDUCATION REFORM. I love this title.. Sounds fierce doesn't it? Sounds like it is Full of Facts; Hard and Authoritative. However,  it completely ignores the fact that Common Core IS the reform for the law known as ESEA or No Child Left Behnd, imposed by Executive Branch of Federal and State -- which does not, by the way, require your vote or acceptance. CCSS is therefore .. law, for all intents and purpose. (Well done Obama. The hell with those Congress assholes).

That's right. If Obama, Bill Gates, the NGA, CCSSO, David and his crew of Rhode scholars didn't act, starting back in 2009, then last Tuesday, when the ESEA/NCLB came due on it's 12 year mark -- since no school in the whole country passed their AYP -- the action of the law would have fired every teacher in every state, and closed the schools. No school passed. Every school -- Epic Fail 

Schools then go under private license. Either sold or contracted. If Koch moves as fast as they are able, they'll be sold. Within six months, every teachers union is shattered. Teachers with plastic smiles and empty heads come to babysit children and tell parents what they want to hear. Salaries plumate -- Teachers become nothing more than glorified babysitters. Since the schools are now private corporations, there is no State oversight and Federal can't move in. Federal Government does not act directly with the schools, so even though the Department of Education is in the Executive Branch, Obama can't help you -- It is against federal law for federal involvement in the local schools. 

Oh? You didn't know that? Yes, all of your paranoia about Obama's federal take over of Education, was for nothing, based on nothing, and impossible for it to occur.

The funny thing is, you think I'm joking. This is all well documented, and that narration above is in the No Child Left Behind law.--


GTP and ME and Chess

You: Give me an annotation of the following game, noting and highlighting tactics, positioning, shifts in momentum and their causes, as we...