Why The Test Debate Is About Politics, Not Education – Education Opportunity Network

Here’s how ridiculous the nation’s obsession with standardized testing has gotten: Last week Education Week reporter Catherine Gewertz came across a news item about a school in Florida that “forbid the flushing of toilets during testing … to cut down on the distraction.” (emphasis original)

As she quoted from her news source, the school administrators feared, “The whooshing water sounds from classroom bathrooms … might disturb test-taking classmates and send their focus, and their scores, spiraling down the drain.”

Before you dismiss that as just one “over the top” anecdote, consider that the big new assessment fad sweeping the nation is to demand testing of our youngest students, the earlier the better. In Maryland, for instance, as a different article in Education Week reported, a “kindergarten readiness assessment” to see if little kids are “ready” for kindergarten has teachers worried. The exam on “language, literacy, math, science, social studies, and physical well-being” took the students “at least one hour, and sometimes more than double that.” This is not unusual, as the reporter explained, because “at least 25 states mandate a kindergarten readiness assessment and this is likely to rise.” (Source: Read more)

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NC education department used Koch-funded group for proposed history lessons – News & Observer

State high school social studies teachers would be encouraged to use curriculum materials prepared by an institute funded by the conservative Koch family, under a proposal the Department of Public Instruction presented Wednesday.

The Bill of Rights Institute, based in Virginia, had a $100,000, sole-source contract with the state to help develop materials for teachers to use in a course on founding principles that the state requires students to take. The institute was founded in 1999 and receives grants from David H. Koch, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, according to a website on Koch family philanthropies. (Source: Read more)

Exposing the charter school lie: Michelle Rhee, Louis C.K. and the year phony education reform revealed its true colors – Salon

The Political Agitator response: This is quite interesting.

Since it’s the time of the year when newspapers, websites and television talk shows scan their archives to pick the person, place or thing that sums up the year in entertainment, business, sports or every other venue, why not do that for education too?

In 2014 education news, lots of personalities came and went.

Michelle Rhee gave way to Campbell Brown as a torchbearer for “reform.” The comedian Louis C. K. had a turn at becoming an education wonk with his commentary on the Common Core standards. Numerous “Chiefs for Change” toppled from the ranks of chiefdom. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett went down in defeat due in part to his gutting of public schools, as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker remained resilient while spreading the cancerous voucher program from Milwaukee to the rest of the state. (Source: Read more)

House, Senate take bites from Common Core apple – WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — The House voted Wednesday to repeal and replace the Common Core academic standards in North Carolina schools, and a Senate committee advanced its own legislation advocating repeal.

Common Core standards for math and English were developed by state and nonprofit leaders, and they have been embraced by President Barack Obama’s Education Department and adopted by 44 states. In North Carolina, the standards are backed by the North Carolina Chamber, the state’s largest business group. (Source: Read more)

Education Is What Needs To Be Happening In Our Community

The Political Agitator response: I approve this message.

Ethel D. Arrington Education is what needs to be happening because it is sorely lacking in our community. Instead of debates, discussions and heated conversations, we need a public figure, such as Roland Martin, Don Lemon, Oprah Winfrey to host a panel consisting of all races, genders, and educational and socioeconomic levels to dissect the 15-minute tape of Donald Sterling and his girlfriend, analyze what was precisely said, the hidden meaning behind what wasn’t said, the disturbing hypocrisy and ‘educate’ our youth, who, by now, are thoroughly confused by adults whom they have seen behave and privately speak ill of those who were born ‘different’ from them, while ‘teaching’ that we should all ‘learn’ to "get along with everyone." Yes, it is our youth that we should use this time to focus on with a lesson plan, though painful, but required learning.

 

Shameful: Republicans Block Bill to Expand Healthcare and Education for Veterans

One of the biggest problems I have with Republicans is their blatant hypocrisy. They’ll portray themselves as the party of “small, fiscally conservative government” while advocating for laws which are the complete opposite. Their rallying cry of “we support our troops” is another that’s a clear misnomer of exactly what policies they support. Republicans frequently support sending our troops off to war and often oppose funding for programs which helps our troops when they’re not deployed to war. To say Republicans “support our troops” is a blatant slap to the face of every man and woman who has served our country. Hell, even their push to cut SNAP benefits impacted millions of families of those serving in our military.

See more: Shameful: Republicans Block Bill to Expand Healthcare and Education for Veterans http://www.forwardprogressives.com/republicans-block-bill-expand-healthcare-education-veterans/

Response: This is just absolutely “Ignant!”

One of the biggest problems I have with Republicans is their blatant hypocrisy. They’ll portray themselves as the party of “small, fiscally conservative government” while advocating for laws which are the complete opposite.

Their rallying cry of “we support our troops” is another that’s a clear misnomer of exactly what policies they support. Republicans frequently support sending our troops off to war and often oppose funding for programs which helps our troops when they’re not deployed to war. To say Republicans “support our troops” is a blatant slap to the face of every man and woman who has served our country.

Hell, even their push to cut SNAP benefits impacted millions of families of those serving in our military. (Source: Read more)

Lottery revenues pump more into schools – Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Strong instant ticket and Powerball sales helped the North Carolina Education Lottery’s net profits grow during the second half of 2013.

The lottery said this week it raised $251 million for the state during the six months ending Dec. 31, or $23 million more compared to the same period a year earlier. – See more at: http://www.dailysoutherner.com/local/x1427975703/Lottery-revenues-pump-more-into-schools#sthash.72Qwla7W.dpuf

TARBORO — Strong instant ticket and Powerball sales helped the North Carolina Education Lottery’s net profits grow during the second half of 2013.

The lottery said this week it raised $251 million for the state during the six months ending Dec. 31, or $23 million more compared to the same period a year earlier. (Source: Read more)