Sharing information and reporting on all that reeks in American education, especially corporate reform in K12 education, the agenda to privatize the right to a free public education for every child, and general corruption in K12-higher education. Calling out and exposing rather than cowering.

AND eager for your help. Have a story of power, manipulation, self-interest or injustice which needs attention? Let me know and we'll let the world discover "what's that smell."

"If you're a profession of sheep, then you'll be run by wolves." -- David C. Berliner

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: Everything else is public relations." -- George Orwell

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." -- Paulo Freire

*A slideshow of Ed Reform-Critical Boxer's "Greatest Hits" memes runs at the bottom of this page.*



Saturday, October 25, 2014

View Short Film "Refuse the Tests"

I keep a running list of great education-related film *here,* but please follow *  this link * to a new short film from Michael Elliot. The film, entitled Refuse the Tests, run just over 3 minutes and supports notions associated with United Opt Out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Teachers as Conscientious Objectors to Ed Reform, Over-Testing?

Please read *this article* from Valerie Strauss on the notion of teachers as conscientious objectors. 

Strauss points to Diane Ravitch's profile of NY teacher Rick Bobrick:

"Bobrick, a veteran teacher in New York who is tired of being forced to administer to students high-stakes tests that he thinks are punitive and antithetical to real learning. He wants teachers to have the right to opt out of administering standardized tests they think are harmful to students. As it is now, teachers can be fired for refusing to administer a mandated test."

I'm hip to Bobrick's efforts and desires and will raise ya one: What if there was an effort from citizens to conscientiously object to paying taxes to national and local governments supporting abusive educational policies?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sarah Blaine Offers MUST-HAVE List of Questions Parents Should Ask Ab Standardized Testing, Technology, Data Mining

A few weeks ago, coinciding with the start of the new academic year, I posted a series of questions teacher education majors could ask their professors -- especially their teacher education profs -- to help them determine how their courses might be influenced by the current education reform movement. See the questions  *here.*

I intended to follow up that post with one featuring a list of questions for parents. That post was to offer questions parents might ask teachers and administrators about Common Core, standardized testing, opting out, and other ed reformy-wormy sorts. I didn't get around to it, but, recently Peter Greene, one of Edustank's favorite education activist bloggers, did:

"Sarah Blaine blogs over at *parentingthecore,* and while she is not a very prolific, her posts are often thoughtful and thought-provoking," says Greene, of *Curmudgucation.* Blaine has posted a series of "skeptical but respectful" questions parents and guardians might want to ask teachers, administrators, board members, etc. regarding time spent on testing and other concerns. 

The list is MUST-READ material for any parent with a child in public schools. See the list *here. *

Seriously. Must-read. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Building the Machine Documentary Releases New Footage: Parents Weigh In; It Ain't Pretty.

A must-view documentary on the creation and critique of the Common Core State Standards has updated its footage with testimonials from worried parents. A few weeks ago, I posted a link to the original film, Building the Machine, along with links to a TED talk from Joshua Katz and to the documentary The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting For Superman. (View that post *here*). But, the parent conversations are new and troubling.

A note: Some will worry about the funders for "Building the Machine," which is apparently a shill group for private education/home schooling. While I'm a strong advocate of public schools, I have no qualms with private education or home schooling strong enough to keep me from sharing the film and its updates.

Click *here* to see the newly-released footage and access the original film as well. The original film is especially helpful because it features two prominent professors who were part of the CCSS committees on English Language Arts and Math standards, respectively, but who would not approve the final versions once they saw how ceremonial their roles were and how little the CCSS leaders respected their recommendations. Neither Sandra Stotsky (ELA) nor James Milgram (Math) were listened to when they stated their concerns with the standards. That fact needs constant attention, and Building the Machine features both professors prominently.

While some may feel the new parents-centered footage is melodramatic and might even seem under-informed, when paired with commentary from Stotsky and Milgram, the overall product is one of import to many stakeholders in American education and to all who stand to oppose current economics-based and corporately-tied education reform.

This American Life Covers Controversial Story on Public School Board Dominated by Those With Private Interests

Sound familiar? There are any number of ways well-organized and well-funded private interests are influencing and diminishing public education. In this story "A Not-So-Simple Majority," a diverse and working class New York community finds its school board overtaken by Hasidic Jews who seem more interested in supporting their own exclusive communities than the general public of East Ramapo.

Click *here* for the story, which is one of the most compelling stories I've heard. Click the white-on-orange "Luanch Player" to start audio. Parallels with the  current broader corporate ed reform movement are uncanny, though no one should read into me saying so that I am in any way blaming the Jewish community for current American education exigencies. If that argument can be made, it will not be made by me.