Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Education Beat: Commodities Exchange? Fight Fiercely; Color Lines; ALEC strikes again and again

Education Isn't A Commodity: The money changers, banksters, cut-purses, and loan-sharks are lining up to feed on the US School System, and Prez LowsBarry is in full sympathy:
Events this week revealed how market-driven education policies, deceivingly labeled as “reform,” are revealing their truly destructive effects on the streets and in the corridors of government.
From the streets, we heard from civil rights and social justice activists from urban communities that school turnaround policies mandated by the Obama administration’s education agenda are having disastrous results in the communities they were originally intended to serve.
From the corridors of government, we were presented with irrefutable evidence that leaders driving the reform agenda are influencing public officials to write education laws in a way that benefits corporate interests rather than the interests of students, parents, and schools.
These events, in tandem, reveal an inconvenient truth of education reform that should make anyone who promotes these policies question, “Whose interests are being served here?”

 A Black Eye For Hahvuhd:  Harvard has an honor code, which apparently they ENFORCE. Who gnu"?
This may be the only time when the scions of the Coordinator Class actually have to be accountable to their 'superiors' for their actions. And don't feel badly for 'em: they can always finish at Brown or BC, or some other, second tier school, and they'll STILL get into Wharton:
Students Disciplined in Harvard Scandal
Harvard has forced dozens of students to leave in its largest cheating scandal in memory, the university made clear in summing up the affair on Friday, but it would not address assertions that the blame rested partly with a professor and his teaching assistants.
Harvard would not say how many students had been disciplined for cheating on a take-home final exam given last May in a government class, but the university’s statements indicated that the number forced out was around 70.
The class had 279 students, and Harvard administrators said last summer that “nearly half” were suspected of cheating and would have their cases reviewed by the Administrative Board.
On Friday, a Harvard dean, Michael D. Smith, wrote in a letter to faculty members and students that, of those cases, “somewhat more than half” had resulted in a student’s being required to withdraw.

Color lines: Melissa Harris-Perry Buries The Lead Story on National Wave of Public School Closings


An ALEC "Two-fer": ALEC never sleeps. And don't you believe reports of their demise. NOT TRUE, as the following stories demonstrate:
Three States Pushing ALEC Bill to Require Teaching Climate Change Denial in Schools
By Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog
31 January 13 
he American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - known by its critics as a "corporate bill mill" - has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing "models bills" mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems.
January hasn't even ended, yet ALEC has already planted its "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act" - which mandates a "balanced" teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms - in the state legislatures of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona so far this year.


Obama's Race To The Top Drives Nationwide Wave of School Closings, Teacher Firings
A nationwide epidemic of school closings and teacher firings has been underway for some time. It's concentrated chiefly in poor and minority communities, and the teachers let go are often experienced and committed classroom instructors, and likely to live in and near the communities they serve, and disproportionately black.

 Wanna Feel Good? Here's a good piece from the heart of the benighted, god-blighted bible-babbling Belt:

How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists

"For Zack Kopplin, it all started back in 2008 with the passing of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The bill made it considerably easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into the classroom. Outraged, he wrote a research paper about it for a high school English class. Nearly five years later, the 19-year-old Kopplin has become one of the fiercest — and most feared — advocates for education reform in Louisiana. We recently spoke to him to learn more about how he's making a difference..

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