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General News    H4'ed 3/12/13

Magic Elixir: No Evidence required!

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"If that were uncommon,  I would have had no reason to write this article or the book from which it is drawn: 'When Can You Trust the Experts? How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education'. "

 By the 1990s top-down management ran NYC public schools and they did not need evidence of success to mandate policy. 

The professional -- the actual practitioner-- no longer had a choice to  inspect or select curricula, or  to plan lessons that met the needs of the students.

Administrators with little no classroom experience, purchased the curricula and materials pitched to them by businesses  who had appointed  and anointed themselves the 'experts!.  

The Kleins and Rhees talk of putting 'students first', and helping the kids, but are simply enriching themselves,  and the sub-story is that we teachers take the blame for their failures, while they move up as 'experts' and 'reformers', even as the deform public education and misinform the public.

The voice of the professional teacher-practitioner had been silenced. Tens of thousands of top practitioners were sent packing, as the union looked the other way, and the media spun the rant about  those 'bad-teachers and dead-wood', and sang a song of standardized tests -- to evaluate not only the performance of the students, but the teacher, too.

 It is the same cast of characters, this week,  in Austin, Texas: former NYC chancellor, Joel Klein on his new  gravy train,  is pushing his company's product, now that he works for a technology company.  Yes,  by dint of his tenure running the biggest school district in the country (into the ground)  Klein becomes the 'voice of  the 'expert';  this con-man  turned pundit--credentialized as an EDUCATOR  -- is selling the next magical elixir -- his company's technology.

 From  Today's NY Times  comes this, which makes all of us  - who know how Joel presided over the destruction of NYC schools shiver.

" Joel I. Klein  helped Rupert Murdoch and  News Corporation  weather  a phone-hacking scandal  at the company's British tabloids with the promise that he would eventually be able to return to the role the company hired him for: to spearhead News Corporation's new venture into the public school market. That day has finally come. On Wednesday at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Tex., Mr. Klein, the former chancellor of New York City schools and the current chief executive of Amplify, News Corporation's fledgling education division, will take the stage for a surprising announcement. Amplify will not sell just its curriculum on existing tablets, but will also offer the Amplify Tablet, its own 10-inch Android tablet for K-12 schoolchildren.    In addition to tablets and curriculum, Amplify will also provide schools with infrastructure to store students' data."

OH MY.... share student data? infrastructure" ?

It  is happening right now across America, and LAUSD is in their sites, so the war on teachers has  decimated the senior staff, the experienced professional who know what learning looks like, and a confused public is deprived of the voice of the experts, and sold the false clans that magic elixirs and expensive technology will reform education.

Reducing the school budget by removing the salary and benefits of senior teachers is the process used across the nation. Thousands of teachers are traumatized and the students, in this mostly black and latino system, are deprived of the expertise that an experienced professional brings to learning. Once the schools fail, the charter schools move in. 

 Go to  the site PerDaily*and read  Follow the money  shows how billionaires like Bloomberg  are pushing charter schools in LAUSD .  They see visions of $$$. If the public schools fail, it is worth over 600 billion to the businesses that will fill the void, and no evidence is required to fill the schools with their 'stuff.'

* There are 700 posts here. You  are invited to see the process in action on this incredible site. GO THERE!

Billionaire businessman Mike Bloomberg wants to hold on to mayoral control of the NYC  schools even after he gives up his mayoralty.  As The Post's Yoav Gonen reported last week,  Bloomberg is developing four charter schools that would open in high-poverty neighborhoods in the city in the fall of 2014, when the next mayor is in office.  More information on the state of education in NY and can be found on

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Susan Lee Schwartz Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

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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