While Obama and Duncan are running the “Racing to the Bottom” program because the Federal Department of Education is full of useless policy wonks, privatization company folks and skunks tied to educational companies, it seems we need to offer them some quality pointers or suggestions. These boys and girls have no clue. They need a bit of a hand in sorting things out. I strongly suggest they hire the Finland Education Department.  They are rated to have the best education system in the world.  Why not hire the best instead of watching the no nothing’s at the Department of Education giving our money away on untested and unsound methods.  Silly to watch the arrogance of Duncan defend the unsound methods he bought into when he was CEO in Chicago.  To easy to bash Obama and Duncan on their incompetence in education.

Better to watch a small online movie about folks who really know how to run a department of education that looks nothing like the Obama and Duncan nightmare.

Ingredients of the World’s Best Education System



Obama’s B-boy buddy Duncan, who wouldn’t know what successful school reform was if it hit him on the head, is offering millions of your tax payer money  to charlatans of school reform.  You cannot write this stuff!  Sam Dillon’s article, “Inexperienced Companies Chase U.S. School Funds” , is damning of the Federal Department of Education own lack of knowledge of what successful school reform is to how to systematically implement it.

This is the blind leading the blind. Duncan didn’t know how to implement real school reform when he was our CEO in Chicago. Duncan stacked the Department of Education with folks who also have no clue on what is authentic school reform. When you place hires who only know how to sell products and are “policy” spinners, then you have a dysfunctional department that is doing more harm than good.  The selling of public education has taken a dreadful turn under Obama. Take Bush’s  NCLB and now add the Obama and Duncan RTTT (aka race to the bottom”  shenanigans, and you have a disaster in the making. Time for all teachers to write Obama and tell him to clean his house of “wannabes’  and place real educators into the Department of Education.

Click Here

When I was studying to become a teacher back in the early nineties, one of my philosophy of education professors had us join as many professional development organizations as we could so we could continue to become better teachers as we moved through our career. The idea was that one never knows how one will be supported by a school or school district on becoming a better teacher.  Our professors knew that school districts were dysfunctional in the manner on how they organized schools. In the two school districts that I have worked in the Chicago area, I have to say that they still work out of the antiquated “factory” model. The way school is organized in Chicago, it is as if they want teachers to stay in their own little classroom world.  As a staff, we find pull out professional development offered by the area or board on the assigned professional development days, to be usually a big waste of time. I work in a neighborhood elementary  school. As a staff, we are still waiting for real help and resources to take us to the next level.  In general we would love to an extended instructional day. We hate cheating our ELL students of the extra time they need to practice their English across the curriculum. We would like more time during the day for more collaboration about the planning and evaluation of our practice. Most of us work after school either in organized academic programs or donate time to work with the most challenged students. There is little time to collaborate.  We have targeted areas of improvement as a staff and have worked through a number of cycles of improvement with all teachers on the same page.  Perfect? No, but working together as a professional educational community is invaluable.  We prefer as a staff to not be pulled out our school during the assigned Chicago Public School’s professional development days.  As a staff we need to be working and talking about the practice.  We would like to be able to collaborate more during the day. It seems that daily embedded real collaboration time is just good practice that should be supported by school districts. We need the kinds of support from our school district that will maximize our expertise as a school staff and provide concrete resources that will help us move to the next level.  We need the school district to get the right kind of facilitators, who were successful in the classroom and have the leadership qualities to work with the professionals in the classroom. We don’t need snake oil that passes as “help” from the Chicago Public Schools,  ISBE nor Duncan and Obama’s Department of Education.

Arne Duncan: How low can you go???!!!

Posted: August 6, 2010 by disruptiveednews in Deformer Watch

Arne Duncan was  Mayor Daley’s Boy in charge of the Chicago Public Schools. Arne Duncan was not a successful educator, successful school administrator, nor educational leader of school reform when he took over the Chicago Public Schools. He was a CEO in name only. He had the title.  Duncan could not be a leader since he lacked essential knowledge, experience and character to be a real leader that would inspire the organization to move forward in a rational way. He played the part that he was asked to by Daley and his business cronies. When asked by teachers and parents for help  on the needs of their local school, Duncan always said he was “working on it’. I guess he meant the Ren 2010 school privatization playbook. What were thinking?  Obama helps Duncan move on up to the Department of Education. The Hyde Park gang is in full force and in effect in DC.  Duncan does what he does best, sell snake oil. He did it in Chicago and has taken his medicine show to DC.  Enough.

Fred Klonsky has two posts on Duncan’s even larger fall from grace. When you think a man can’t go any lower, Duncan proves one can. When Representative Obey had the cajones to find dollars to keep teachers in the classroom  by taking 15% percent from the RTTT grant, he was  figuratively given the middle finger by Duncan and the White House.  Obey knew that money is too tough to mention at this time of year to get from other sources. Even if Congress passed the bill, it would be vetoed, Obama thundered. Thank you Obama for sticking your neck out for the teachers you so appreciate when it is time to vote!  I guess there was enough push back from various sectors that money  would be found to keep teachers in jobs. It was Duncan who then proposed cutting food stamps money to pay for the school funding bill. This is par for the course from the education deformers like Duncan. Ruthless.  Fred concludes in today’s post there is a moral bankruptcy in the land when we are silent on the issue of supporting a big bucks  war and taking food from the neediest  to keep classrooms from being overcrowded.

It seems that school district administrators are enabling charter schools to invade public school property without warning to the present school occupants on the East and West coast. Seems the lack of transparency and straight arrogance are the rule of the day by some school districts to bend over backward to support charters over their own public school communities.  This is not benign neglect but a systematic attack on public education. The Catalyst Notebook from Chicago points to a San Francisco Bay Guardian article  aptly titled Schoolyard Bully where  “a charter high school uses legal threats to squeeze into Horace Mann Middle School without notifying parents or teachers” .

Michael Klonsky, the Chicago Education blogger, shares with us the bum rush by a very clouted Charter School that pushes an autism program onto the streets by taking over their space in a public school building in his post titled Arrogance of Power.  It seems NY Chancellor Klein and his boss Mayor Bloomberg have no shame on breaking the law and going around it to give high priced benefactors their way.   Just think what some folks will do for the the charters and totally neglect the most vulnerable children. What example is that for kids!  Sing it Rick “Cold Blooded!”

Karen Lewis on The Real News

Posted: August 6, 2010 by disruptiveednews in Advocacy

Queen’s Teacher posts an embed video of Karen Lewis interview on the The Real News: US Schools Face Perfect Storm episode.  Wow! Karen Lewis takes apart the false claim that teachers are to blame for the present state of education.  Sorry, president Obama, Karen schooled you! Thanks to Queen’s Teacher for the pointer.


Pearson Bought America’s Choice

Posted: August 6, 2010 by disruptiveednews in Educational Vendors

Tom Hoffman points to a comment  left at Core Knowledge. org

Is anyone else concerned that yesterday’s announcement that Pearson is acquiring Americas Choice for $80 million coupled with Americas Choice having received the franchise to develop the high school assessments for Common Core means we have a de facto national curriculum now?



I gather it is not a coincidence that Pearson has purchased the authorized assessment maker for the Common Core High School.  Pearson has pretty much bought its way into most areas of school life and they really want to push it onto the world.  I don’t think Finland will buy it.