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Diane Ravitch's "Slaying Goliath" Documents Decades of Disruption - part 2 by John Thompson:

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“ Decades of Disruption-driven reform began with the false claim “that American education was failing and the only way to fix it was with standards, tests, competition, and accountability.” No Child Left Behind & The Race to the Top set impossible test score targets, based on the idea that“no-excuses” pedagogies could be quickly “scaled up,” providing poor children of color a ladder to economic equality by reformer rigid conditioning via punishments & rewards. The fatal flaw, Ravitch says: “Behaviorists, & the Disrupters lack appreciation for the value of divergent thinking, and the creative potential of variety. Perhaps their worst debacle was using value-added teacher evaluations to hold each individual educator accountable for test score growth. It combined inappropriate test outputs with an unreliable and invalid algorithm, the VAM, as a club to enforce compliance.”

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)

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1 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments  Post Comment

Susan Lee Schwartz

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(Member since Oct 25, 2009), 22 fans, 20 articles, 4263 quicklinks, 7888 comments, 2 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
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"Regardless of whether we're discussing high-stakes testing, charter expansion, or the other pet theories, we should all heed Ravitch's most important lesson of the past few decades is that "Reform doesn't mean reform. It means mass demoralization, chaos, and turmoil. Disruption does not produce better education."

"Slaying Goliath" celebrates a great victory for public education and democracy. However, Ravitch reminds us that the Disrupters are still threatening. She compares today's danger to that which faced a man who decapitated a rattlesnake but who nearly died after being bitten by the detached head."

Submitted on Friday, Feb 14, 2020 at 8:13:15 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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In this post truth society, isn't it time that you knew why the schools failed, and what can be done!

I love the way Diane shows us the fallacy in the spin -- the endless rhetoric -- from the charlatans about "tests, competition, and accountability." Dr. Ravitch, took askance with Arne Duncan's public relations officer (Walton-funded reformer Peter Cunningham) when he uttered as if it were true: "We measure what we treasure."

Ravitch's response was, "I was taken aback because I could not imagine how to measure what I treasure: my family, my friends, my pets, my colleagues, my work, the art and books I have collected."

And that foreshadows the victory of the Resistance over Goliath.

You see, authentic educators, patrons, and students agree that children are more than a test score.

I faced thousands of young children for a lifetime as a career practitioner of pedagogy aka 'teaching kids.' I knew who sat in front of me, long before a test measured some skill. Their 'performance' as speakers, as thinkers, and readers and a writers told me more than any test of spelling or grammar.

Critical thinking skills can only be assessed through performance; as Harvard proved in their standards research The Principles of Learning. I know, because 'they' sent Pew into my professional practice to observe how I motivated my kids to think, to learn the process, to do hard work, and finally to write well.

Of course, Gates had to replace teachers like me, who were autonomous in their own practice, and would never use the Core Curricula crap that became a mandate thanks to Duncan.

My story is THE story, for another time, but I can assure you that former ass't Asst' Secretary of Education, and historian Diane Ravitch knows it well; we met decades ago, as the assault on public education began. My series here at OPED news is often taken from Diane's astonishing blog.

Go read about the15,880 school SYSTEMS that Goliath -- which I knew as the EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX-- made War on teachers and the profession! I read about a national scandal in LAUSD, thanks to the blog of an LAUSD teacher who was eradicated, and watched the assault there, as tens of thousands of genuine educators were sent packing.

I have posted for years about the destruction of our INSTITUTION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION where the national media is silent. See my series where state legislatures are taking over the local schools, with nary an educator on board, and giving them to charters, with not a shred of oversight! Here is a link to my series on charter school corruption.

But, if you want the BIG picture, put together as only this superb story-teller and historian can tell it, then get "Slaying Goliath."In this post truth society, isn't it time that you knew why the schools failed, and what can be done!

Submitted on Friday, Feb 14, 2020 at 11:51:43 PM

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