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I read a diary about Eli Broad and his influence,  and I begin writing.  I start with what I think will be a brief comment.  It quickly becomes clear that I have too many words.

What follows is something of a screed.  I acknowledge it.  I am making it diary in the hopes that it reaches a somewhat larger audience, although to what end I truly do not know, beyond the fact that I am about to burst.

I am not a fan of the Eli Broads of the world.  It has nothing to do with how he made his money (which includes AIG), but how he is bullying this nation on matters educational because he has so much.  IF we have not learned from the economic crisis the folly of allowing big money actors to dictate terms to the rest of us, then surely we are lost.

I invite you to keep reading.

his core of superintendents.  I know what that produces, as our immediate past head of school system, John Deasy, was a product, as apparently was the man he brought into the system who appears set to replace him, Bill Hite.

Deasy left to go to the Gates Foundation.  And Gates and Broad are co-funders of a lot of endeavors.  At the school building level, there is the New Leaders for New Schools program of developing principals in one year.  Like the superintendent's academy, everything is supposedly data driven.   Which if the data were (a) complete; (b) an accurate representation of what is really happening in the schools;   would not be totally destructive.  Neither statement is quite true, which means decisions get made on inaccurate and incomplete information, which IS destructive, most especially of the long-term learning of the schools.

Broad presents himself as committed to public education.  The press ought to realize that he is committed to HIS VIEW on what public education ought to be, a view which lacks any resource basis, and the model for which has so far been shown not to work as he claims it will.  In short, because he is rich he thinks his should be if not the only voice, the loudest voice on matters educational.  And because of the money he has been willing to spend, he has been driving the debate, when others who lack those resources are excluded from the discussion - not only are they not at the table when decisions are being made, they are not even in the building.

Gates at least acknowledged that his major individual effort, the small schools initiative, failed to produce the results he had predicted,and his foundation is somewhat retooling what they are doing.

Money matters.  For all the Erik Hanusheks who try to argue that the money spent on schools does not matter, consider this -  Broad and Gates and the Waltons and others, knowing that it does, use money as a carrot and a bludgeon to get schools to jump as high as they want in a direction that often has little to do with real educational value.

I have to get dressed, go to school and teach.  I am in my 14th year on the ground, in the classroom.  I read about people dabbling in educational policy, and have to shake my head at how unrealistic some of what they propose actually is.  I have been writing about these issues hear for the past 5 years.   I have run panels at conventions.  I write op eds, letters to editors.  I lobby on Capitol Hill.  

But I do not have a billion dollar foundation.  When Gates and Broad put up 60 million, hire Roy Romer, and attempt to drive the discussions on education during the election, they will draw more attention than anything I can hope to accomplish.

And when Obama is giving a speech on education and Duncan's department does not notify the educational press and reporters so that the coverage is mainly political reporters lacking even the minimal understanding of some of the education reporters (a few are very good, but many do not stay on the beat long enough to develop expertise and understanding), the entire discussion is shaped purely in political terms, in the same repetitive talking points that we see on editorial pages such as that of the Washington Post, where the writers do not truly understand education.

I have been thinking about a panel on the Obama education efforts.  I wonder if the damage that will have been done by August will be so great that I should simply forget it.  I wonder if it will even be worthwhile returning to my classroom for another year.

I am frustrated.   This began as a comment on another diary.  I am throwing it up as an independent diary.  Consider it a cri de coeur.  I know mine is not the only such voice, but no one seems to be listening.

And if teachers like me decide it is no longer worth it to butt our heads against a system being pushed in the wrong direction especially by people like Broad, then God help our schools, our students, and our country.

Originally posted to teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:49 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you can rightly accuse me of many things (29+ / 0-)

    arrogance, passion, anger, and in this diary probably incoherence. I will not argue.

    But please remember this -  I am in the classroom, at ground zero for where educational "reform" is supposed to be imposed.  I can tell you the folly of much of what people like Gates and Broad are pushing.  Our school system got, courtesy of a Broad protege, a commitment to a new attendance and grading program that still does not work properly, for which staff was not properly trained (and then the central office blames school-based staff for its failures), and which - perhaps worst of all - resulted in inaccurate transcripts being sent out for college applications for our seniors.  

    I am angry and frustrated.   This "diary" is a screed.  I acknowledge that.  Slam me all you want.  But at least if you read through it to get to this comment, you may have some understanding of how critical things currently are, and how the actions of the Duncan-led (and remember, that is under the vision of Obama) Department of Education could quickly make things disastrously worse.

    Yesterday I heard that Duncan now has a suggestion box at DOE, and is spending some time actually listening to what department employees have to say.  Unfortunately, DOE is perhaps the most politicized of any cabinet department. It is small, it does not take too many people burrowing in from the tenures of Paige and Spellings to create real problems of changing direction.

    I am close to despair.  So what will I do?

    I am getting dressed, going to school, and trying to make a difference for my 180+ students despite the obstacles that are increasingly placed in the way of attempting to make a positive difference.


    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 03:55:29 AM PDT

    •  about to go in transit to school (6+ / 0-)

      at least 30 minutes later than I had expected.  Will catch up with this when I can.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:14:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i feel the same (5+ / 0-)

      villon said it best:

      His counsellors are rogues, pardieu!
      While men of honest mind are banned
      to creak upon the Gallows Tree
      and squeal in prisons overmanned.

    •  Do our allies listen to us at Daily Kos? (4+ / 0-)

      I know I rant when I say this, but public education has no friends on the right.  The protectors, drivers and reformers of public education come from the left and must speak to the left.  Those of us who are participants (honest to goodness participants) in public education must go hat in hand to the left.

      But I think we now have a third rail that we cannot touch, and that third rail is the Obama administration and certainly the President, himself.  There is so much that I like about how Obama is handling things but I know, and I'm not happy about it, that he is not our true friend.

      It was one of my colleagues (she teaches about half of my students) who stood up in Costa Mesa and told the President about how she had received her pink slip.  It is another of my colleagues (he teachers about three-fourths of my students) who is the district Teacher of the Year, yet he received his pink slip.

      How can pubic education work, how can anything in education advance, if we cannot even feed and house ourselves?

      The math every eighth-grader is supposed to know while registering for high school- this coming Wednesday's Tutoring Room.

      by algebrateacher on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:07:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and by all means, please feel free (9+ / 0-)

    to offer in the comemnts whatever this evokes in you, I will not take offense.  After all, if I can post a screed in response to thinking/reading about Broad, you can certainly post a screed after having to read my possibly purplish prose.

    I had planned to do a very different educational diary, of a positive experience with a guest speaker yesterday.  That will now have to wait for the weekend.  I hope that is more enjoyable to read.


    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:08:30 AM PDT

  •  what happened to the great classrooms of the 60s? (11+ / 0-)

    we got educated then at a level most people now learn in college  why? It would seem with technology advances the youth would be learning more younger  not less   maybe I  spent to much time overseas in the Army and never paid attention to civilian schools after I went overseas for most of my they seem to be teaching to the tests for my grandchildren

    •  not all were great (7+ / 0-)

      but it was still possible to teach without being micromanaged in ways contrary to the educational health of school children.  Such is decreasingly the case today.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:14:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not entirely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen

        Although NCLB has too many faults and too few virtues, NCLB did not create the reform-du-jour culture that big money men like Eli Broad take advantage of to polish their stature in the community and enhance their political clout.

        "You can't get something for nothing...It's time to stop being stupid." Bob Herbert

        by Orinoco on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 07:14:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, we didn't. (4+ / 0-)

      First of all, there's a lot MORE to learn today than there was in the 60's. It was okay to just spend time on reading and writing and basic mathematics and home ec because those were all there were-

      The last 100 years of history have more than doubled the size of our history books as our involvement in national and international affairs expands equally-

      The last 50 years of history have seen literature redefined and traditional reading lists expanded to include women writers and minority writers to reflect the fact that we have more diverse classrooms and populations-

      My god, advances in the last ten years of science alone would take years to teach-

      And god help the man who forgets that in the 60's nobody had to learn to use a frigging computer!

      We live in a far more complex world than we ever used to. How is it fair to compare my classroom - which spends its 45 minutes discussing a range of topics from obama to race to education to animal rights in the course of discussing a single book - to a classroom in the 60's when education was barely integrated?

    •  classrooms of the 60s (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ms Citizen

      didn't try to teach a lot of the students that we have to now.

      A lot of school districts were segregated (yes, even after Brown v. Board of Ed.) so that they could ship the impoverished kids, largely minorities, into deplorable classrooms where they didn't learn much, weren't expected to learn much, and nobody cared about keeping those statistics.

      A lot of students had learning disabilities as they do now.  But back then, there was no concern about spending a ton of money to get those children the educational tools they needed to learn.  

      Indeed, the magic of "charter schools" (i.e., teach more to the kids for less money) is simply making sure the mentally disabled stay out of those charter schools, and leave them to the regular classrooms.  That model has worked great for parochial schools for decades, although the Catholic Church wasn't trying to get tax money to pay for it.

    •  Which 'we'? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ms Citizen

      In the 1960s .... I wouldn't have been educated at ALL, except my parents had a lot of money and my mother had a lot of drive.  LD kids like me didn't get educated then.  Neither did kids with all sorts of other disabilities.

      NYC meetup! 3/25, 6:30 until ...with Frankenoid. Fred's, 83rd and Amst. Please contact me or frankenoid to RSVP (please)

      by plf515 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:16:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Get the Corporations and the CEO out of the (15+ / 0-)

    damn schools. Some want to help, some are doing harm, many just want to turn our schools into an assembly line to create workers for them not citizens who can think for themselves.

    "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

    by thethinveil on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:12:44 AM PDT

  •  the fight is on here in south carolina for (8+ / 0-)

    charter schools  and it would be to the detriment of public schools and we already have the corridor of shame where they are still using schools built in the late 1800s   there are some places here I am just flat shamed by  and the state legislature will not do a damn thing to fix it

  •  Duncan is smooth.... (9+ / 0-)

    I don't know the players as well as you do do.  I saw Duncan's testimony  (this week?) and found it easy to understand how people could jump on his bandwagon.  The guy could sell ice to Eskimos!

    I had hoped that a president with young children and a vice president whose wife has been an educator for years would at least listen to people who actually work in classrooms.  Of course, I'm the one who thought having a First Lady who had been a classroom teacher and school librarian would care, too.  Perhaps this is a "shame on me" moment.

    Politicians used to trot out education issues at every election cycle and then promptly ignore them once elected.  I thought that was hypocritical.  Now they have managed to continue to use education and kids to get elected, and then work actively to ruin education once they are in office.  They manage to do it all in the name of helping our kids.  That's not only hypocritical but despicable, extremely short-sighted, and head-snappingly evil.

    There is nothing now that escapes corporate greed and political manipulation.  I am so sad, not for me, but for the kids who I know are being cheated every single day.  Keep writing, tk, and for heaven's sake, keep teaching.  Those of us whose experience tells us how wrong this is have to help as many kids as we can.  Perhaps those children will be able to salvage something from this terrible injustice.

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 04:37:11 AM PDT

    •  indeed, keep teaching! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I learn so much from the education diaries here, and that can only be a fraction of what you can teach when you are face-to-face with your students each day.

      I know how hard it can be to face an unending uphill climb. I know that none of us can fix the problems with these systems alone. But let's keep fighting the good fight!

  •  Broad is dangerous (10+ / 0-)

    He's created a feeder system of new superintendents who are trained to use a "shock doctrine" method of "leadership" on school systems, which usually requires totally tearing them down in order to build them back up. The end result is usually demoralized teachers and staff, lots of new private contracts brought in, outraged communities, and worst of all, no improvement in students' education.

  •  Does anyone listen to 'Ground Zero?' (7+ / 0-)

    Reform works when it comes from the bottom up, not the other way around.

    •  We are implementing "Results Now" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ms Citizen, miss SPED

      as a top down mandated program. The irony is the author of Results Now wrote in an article published in the Delta Kappan that top down programs are ineffective.

      "You can't get something for nothing...It's time to stop being stupid." Bob Herbert

      by Orinoco on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 08:15:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They won't if we don't publish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ms Citizen

      It takes a lot of time and energy to share our successes with our peers.  We need to be active with our professional associations and journals.  Nobody will hear us if we don't speak up, and that has to be more than whining about NCLB or charter schools.  We have to be vocal about what works.

      Always grateful to wake up alive.

      by Subo03 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the core problems as I see them are (9+ / 0-)

    [1] The utter failure to recognize that a teacher is a professional, every bit as much as a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, an engineer, etc.  Bozos like Broad believe that you can just take any ol' college graduate who has some basic smarts, throw them in a classroom, and you have a teacher.  And they believe that any ol' rich, smart person (e.g., Broad), who has zero experience teaching, can run a school system.

    [2] Misaddressing rants like this, given how pervasive [1] exists throughout the political system in this nation.  For our ire ought not to be directed primarily at people like Broad, but at the very top of our political system, starting with President Obama, who has ignorantly bought into [1].  This fish is definitely rotting from the head, and we have to recognize that.

  •  I've always had a problem with (7+ / 0-)

    business leaders attempting setting educational requirements.   They like to tell us how we're not educating skills to their needs, but even if the system tried, it wouldn't help - the skills needed change constantly.  

    At the same time, there's been a lot of educational theorists who manage to foist off their pet theories on the educational system, whether their theory works in the real world or not.  

    Looking back over my own life, what I've found were necessary skills were:  The ability to read; the ability to write; math; and the ability to reason.  If you have those skills, everything else follows.  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:28:56 AM PDT

  •  I heard last week at TC that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex, Ms Citizen

    L D-H was offered Sec. Ed. first, and turned it down because of personal conflicts/needs concerning her husband's career. I asked Professor Sobol about this, and he confirmed it, saying it was the same reason that she turned down Harvard's GSE leadership position.

    I was disappointed to hear this, as you might imagine, and somewhat confused how her husband's career could prevent her from "serving at the pleasure." It didn't feel appropriate to pump Professor Sobol for that level of detail at the time.

    Other thoughts on your content in another comment.

    The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments. - Friedrich Nietzsche

    by elropsych on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:29:17 AM PDT

    •  While I do not personally know Linda D-H (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TexMex, Ms Citizen

      I am part of a group which includes a number of people who know her well.  She has communicated that there were real issues from her personal perspective about relocating to Washington, as well as things to which she feels committed in her ongoing professional work.   I had not heard that she had been formally offered the job, and if she were and declined, that makes me somewhat sorrowful, because she understands as well as anyone in the country how to balance issues of accountability and meaningful learning, and has been a real advocate during her career for teachers.  

      Thanks for sharing the info -  I hope Dr. Sobel is okay with having this info out there.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:58:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to my sources, Sobel is wrong (0+ / 0-)

      from two different sources who know her well, she was never offered SecEd.   Whether or not she was offered something in the WH I cannot confirm or deny at this time.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 08:01:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gates and Broad seen motivated to act, (6+ / 0-)

    or should I say, intervene out of a combination of noblesse oblige and personal profit/what's-good-for-the-company-is-good-for-the-school thinking.

    Schools are not businesses. They don't even prepare everyone for jobs in businesses.

    They ought to prepare everyone for being consumers of businesses, but they don't do that very well. Not a focus of business-supported education.

    Whereas Carnegie left us the library system out of his oblige/profit thinking, these guys are just leaving us messier and more confused/confusing schools.

    None of this is reason for you to be discouraged. 180 faces are encouraging. They will be there whether or not Broad writes your curriculum word-for-word.

    If you do what you do because of Broad, well, that would be one thing. If you do what yo do because of young people who are better off because you do it, that's another thing entirely. And for that reason, don't be discouraged.

    The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments. - Friedrich Nietzsche

    by elropsych on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:35:53 AM PDT

  •  Hey TeacherKen (4+ / 0-)

    I copied links to your and Somerbys' posts on Obamas'  speech and sent them to the DC Council Chairman and my ward Councilman. I got back an email from my councilman saying that was quite an email and he would check the sites I referred to. I saw him last night at a community meet and greet. He mentioned the email again and I urged him to share it with this fellow council members and the Chancellor. My question is what has Eli broad done currently to trigger your reaction or is it just an accumulation of things.

    •  there is another diary today (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan, danmac, Ms Citizen, thethinveil

      which triggered the immediate reaction, because I started to write a comment in response. Yoy commented on the diary thread. this is that diary, and the words that caused me to start writing were these:

      Has Eli Broad Bought Arne Duncan?

      Here is an unsettling link to a report of a recent interview in which Broad brags about his infiltration of the Obama Department of Education, and his control of the command structure of public schools through the placement of administrators:


      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:18:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken, thethinveil

        No I hadn't commented or read the diary . I think you confused me with danmitch. Now I've read the diary and as a DC resident I'm as pissed as you.

      •  The Other Diary (0+ / 0-)

        Thank you, teacherken, for responding to my first post on Daily Koz.  It's funny how I can recognize all your reactions to that Gotham story about Broad: it pushed me over the "wait and see" threshold, also.   I am going to have to oppose Obama's secretary of education already, or else break him away from Broad. That's a tough decision, and a big objective. I felt very much alone last night, calling Arne Duncan out.

        And then I also went to my school today and spent seven hours surrounded by my students, like you did.  I hope they refreshed your resolve and lifted your hopes again, as they did mine.  And then I came home and found responses from many colleagues who are paying attention, and even a whole other diary had sprung up. Thank you.  We can turn this around.  Yes we can.

        I think it might help get my discussion of profiteering "reformers" out there if you could also take the link you created in this comment and edit it into the body of your introduction. Again, thanks and it is good to meet you.

  •  What result would you expect? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex, Heiuan, Ms Citizen

    When it was deemed that the Federal government needed to get more hands on in funding [read managing] local education, a counterforce was inevitable, as many distrust Federal competence in something affecting them so directly.

    The Broads of the world are saying, in effect, only those with my resources can provide an alternative to Federal government-run schools. Some teachers and their unions complete the circle by pleading to the Federal government to counter the influence of these actors, who evolved to counter the Federal government in the first place.

    I agree, the resulting clash of the Titans leaves little room for lower level input. Such input might have greater resonance were decision-making more local than Federal, but that would require slaying some sacred cows re Federal control, and seems unlikely at present.

  •  The corporate model (5+ / 0-)

    Nothing that Obama has done has disappointed me more than his education policy. The wholesale endorsement of charter schools, testing, and merit pay reflect a lack of  understanding of the reality of public education. Each of those topics - charters, testing, merit pay - deserve more treatment than I can make in a single comment, but suffice it to say that I think they will increase the distance between the richer and poorer schools, and serve to entrench rather than shake up the calcified administration of many urban school districts.

    It's not just that I wish we had in Obama a President who was a product of public education in the U.S. (though I do). I, too, am angry, and deeply pessimistic that our expectation of change is going to be a push to the right.

    Oh well, I have to go attend to my teaching, also.

  •  Done (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CentralMass, Ms Citizen

    Folks, I got into teaching 11 years ago, do it well in a working-class, screwed up school.  Public education as we knew it is done, over, finished.  I don't think it's going to be replaced, either.  Obama has no personal experience with public school--neither did I until I started teaching in one--and a lot of what he said seems like what a decent prep school grad would say.  I said things like it myself for ages.  But the truth of it is that the last 30 years of assault on public education came to a head in the last 8, and this country is not going to recover from it.  You guys know it who are actually trying to teach in this system.

    Could it be reformed?  Sure.  But it would need to be a radical restructuring, and that's not going to happen until after a real collapse.  Even then, maybe not.

    And yes--I got my pink slip, too.  Yes, I do a damn good job under the circumstances.  But I don't kid myself that things are going to be OK.

    •  what would a radical restructuring look like? (0+ / 0-)

      I think it's defeatist to argue that we should just wait for the system to collapse, and then begin the rebuilding process. Why not, instead, envision success -- a restructuring that is meaningful and desirable -- and then begin working toward that vision, step by step?

      •  Not in this system. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not waiting for a collapse.  I'm in it, and so are my students.  The thing is, what's needed is a combination of greatly increased funding and greatly increased local autonomy.  In our current system, the funding mechanism that could do this is the federal government, which by federalizing a problem decreases local autonomy.  The two imperatives are at odds.

        •  is every educational foundation (0+ / 0-)

          that could fund reform efforts corrupt? It seems to me that the challenge is to build new models within the current system, gather the data that shows that they work, and THEN get legislators to understand how they work and how to scale them up.

          •  Foundations (0+ / 0-)

            Every foundation begins with a set of assumptions about what is needed.  Those assumptions are based on all kinds of things, but never, given how foundations (or bureaucracies) operate, on specific conditions at specific places.

            I don't know if you're in teaching, but there's all kinds of rhetoric about what are and what are not best teaching practices.  Discussion usually centers around two things: what are students doing and/or what is the teacher doing.  I have not come across a discussion of best practices using that language that takes as the starting point a student at the age of 40, projected in the future, and then works back.  In particular, I have a general concern that what we call best practices are not practices that will produce many first-generation college students.

            Research-based models of educational reform sound really good, but then we have to ask what data are, how data are gathered, and what the relationship between the two is.  The problem with the discussion of data in ed reform is that people tend to approach it in ways that would never pass muster in experimental science but with the type of social authority that science confers.  It's not recipe for success.  Students are complex systems, and schools are not closed systems.  Look at what the various foundations offer--usually it can be boiled down to a few bullet points: "this is what needs to happen in education."

            The coalition--Republican and Democrat--who put the testing regime we now have into effect was sure that if only we had data to drive data-based policy formulation, we could fix the schools.  But what is the test?  What does it measure?  What doesn't it?  What has happened is that for working-class schools and students, the things the tests don't measure have ceased to exist, as far as policy is concerned.

            •  actually I'm a social scientist (0+ / 0-)

              and I agree that doing research in complex systems is challenging. Many times true experimental studies are out of the question (though not always).

              I'm also completely uneducated regarding educational foundations, which is why I asked the question. Foundations seem like a less restrictive source of funding than government. Particularly if you can choose to submit a funding proposal to a foundation that is philosophically aligned with the approach you want to study.

              •  That's how it would work (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ms Citizen

                Yes--that's the only flexibility in the system that I can see.  If there's a foundation that aligns with what a site needs, there's a match.  Government can be flexible though, but only in times of plenty in my memory.  California had a grant program called "Digital High School" where x money was made available to a site but not distributed until the site drafted a proposal.  Of course, it pushed some schools towards a greater use of technology--which may or may not be a good thing.  (I use it a lot but I really am concerned with the ways in which technology disconnects rather than connects people from each other.)

                The problem--and I'm not trying to be a nattering nabob of negativism--is that we're dealing with systemic issues which are not simply a matter of funding at this point but which have their roots in persistent per child budget cuts in real dollars.  This is especially true in California.  The way I see it, reduced funding over time has an effect sort of like global warming, though by decrease rather than increase.  We know it produces detrimental effects, but aren't sure exactly at what point the effects will become catastrophic.  More to the point, the effects of reduced funding create specific problems at specific places that are not predictable and which are in hindsight only comprehensible by those who know local conditions.

                •  the ever-shrinking education budget (0+ / 0-)

                  I understand your point about how the relentless pursuit of cost-effective education will eventually produce catastrophic results. (I think in some locales that has already happened, given dropout rates.)

  •  are you thinking about Netroots Nation? (0+ / 0-)

    "I have been thinking about a panel on the Obama education efforts."

    Why don't we put together a proactive panel, about reform that would work, instead of a reactionary panel about going down the path where Duncan seems to be leading Obama?

    Perhaps we could get Linda Darling-Hammond to speak?

    Who else would make meaningful contributions to the dialogue that should be going on?

    And lets get the reporters who do know education well in the room also.

  •  I won't post a screed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I will ask that you, at some later date, write a diary about this that is more typical of teacherken diaries.

    It is clear that you are angry, and that at least part of this anger is because people who are not teachers are driving the education debate.

    But I am not so sure what about Broad's proposals invokes your ire - other than that he is loud, rich, and not a teacher.  There is a mention of 'data driven' and it is clear that you  disapprove. But, unless I know more, I can't even tell if I agree .... The data are incomplete and messy and biased.  Well, in the social sciences and education and all fields like that, the data are always incomplete messy and biased.  That does not make them useless.  What else is there?

    Indeed, any proposal you make is also likely to be data driven .... it will just use different data, data that is also incomplete and messy and biased.

    The only people who oppose basing things on data are ideologues and fools, and you are neither.

    (sorry to be so hostile sounding, but you did invite us to be so! ... on the vast majority of things, I'm in agreement with you.  )

    NYC meetup! 3/25, 6:30 until ...with Frankenoid. Fred's, 83rd and Amst. Please contact me or frankenoid to RSVP (please)

    by plf515 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:14:12 PM PDT

    •  data driven is a misnomer (0+ / 0-)

      since most of the data on which they rely is flawed and misrepresents the reality of what really occurs.

      We have had this discussion before.  At least with respect to various aspects of educational measurement.

      You are a psychometrician by training.  You find more value in standardized tests, even when used in the proper fashion as you advocate, than I do.  

      I am appalled by our tendency to want to reduce things to one or a few numbers, and in the process lose sight of the individual students before us.

      And I see what is happening as an everincreasing depredation.  So I oppose it in all it various incarnation.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 10:25:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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