Give Arne a #whatif on Twitter Right Now

Please let Arne know what you think right away!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan invited readers on Twitter to think about “what if” and he is getting a whole lot of “what ifs” from teachers and parents.

Go to hashtag #whatif and see what others are saying, then post your own “what if.”

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Every Teacher in the U.S. Should Post This Statement in His or Her Classroom

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is the executive summary of the statement of the American Statistical Association on the use of value-added assessment to evaluate teachers. Please share it with other teachers, with principals, and school board members. Please share it with your legislators and other elected officials. Send it to your local news outlets. The words are clear: Teachers account for between 1 and 14% of the variation in test scores. And this is very important to remember: “Ranking teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality.”

ASA Statement onUsing Value-Added Models for Educational Assessment

April 8, 2014

Executive Summary

Many states and school districts have adopted Value-Added Models (VAMs) as part of educational accountability systems. The goal of these models, which are also referred to as Value-Added Assessment (VAA) Models, is to estimate effects of individual teachers or schools on student achievement while accounting for differences…

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Chicago Principal’s Principled Courage

In an interview with EduShyster, Troy LaRaviere, a Chicago Public School’s principal at Blaine Elementary School and a leader of the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education, AAPPLE, discussed his aversion to the current climate of education reform in Chicago and in the United States. He indicated that most school administrators choose not to publicly share their truths about the impact of mandated education reform because of fear of consequences. Principal LaRaviere who needs to be commended for his courageous stance said the following to EduShyster:

I was at an event recently and someone asked *why are principals afraid to speak out?* One of my colleagues responded that *It’s not that we’re afraid; we’re just being strategic about how we move forward.* I’d never really thought about it this way before, and it hit me that the difference between being fearful and being *strategic* is meaningless because, if you’re scared, you avoid telling the truth because you’re afraid of the consequences. But if you’re being strategic, you fail to tell the truth because you’re trying to avoid the consequences. However you define it, fear or strategy, you’re not speaking your truth because you know there will be consequences from the governmental bureaucracy in charge of the public schools. There is no place for such a fear of government in a constitutional democracy.  That is part of why I tell my truth; the primary reason is to stand up for students, but a secondary reason is to test our democracy—to be an example of an ordinary citizen that believes that the First Amendment is both powerful and real.  It is a meaningful expression of my own patriotism.”

In order to encourage other school administrators to use their voices, Principal LaRaviere told EduShyster:

“Tell your truth. If you don’t want to say what you know is right for fear that you’ll be fired by your government, which is who we work for, then go to your eighth grade social studies classrooms where they’re studying the Constitution and tell them that it’s all a lie. Tell your students that the First Amendment is an ideal, but we don’t have it. If you’re not willing to say that to your eighth grade students, than tell your truth. It’s as simple as that. Just tell your truth.”

 

 

 

 

Franchesca Warren: Time for Teachers and Administrators to Speak Out!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Franchesca Warren is outraged by “the deadening silence of teachers.” Teachers are afraid to say what they know and believe for fear of being fired.

She writes:

“As a pretty opinionated teacher, I am always full of ideas and speak out regularly against practices that are unjust or not beneficial to students. However, time and time again I have been “scolded” by more veteran teachers who warn me that being vocal would quickly get me “blackballed” in the district. This fact was even more evident when I was invited to a private screening of a new documentary entitled “Scapegoats.” The film uses teacher interviews to examine how teachers have historically been made to be the scapegoats with anything bad that occurs in education. While I was in total agreement with what was being said in the document, I was dismayed that more than half of the teachers interviewed opted…

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