Arthur Costa: the value of high stakes testing?

“What was educationally significant and hard to measure has been replaced by what is educationally insignificant and easy to measure.
So now we measure how well we taught what isn’t worth learning.”

- Arthur Costa, Emeritus Professor at California State University

ArthurCosta

For more, see HERE for videos.

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Posted in charters - vouchers, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Election of the Pope and Mike Madigan

Pope Francis was elected by a majority of the Cardinals of the Catholic Church.

Mike Madigan, IL Speaker of the House for 30+ years, was re-elected Speaker by 100% of the Democratic representatives. 100%. In a state that declares itself broke. Even Madigan himself repeats the Illinois-Is-Broke claim.

Madigan and Pope Francis

Pope Francis was declared the living representative of Jesus Christ on earth by the vote of the College of Cardinals of the Holy, Apostolic, Universal, Catholic Church. He serves to help the poor, educate the children, cure the sick in mind and body, feed and cloth the hungry and those in need, aid the elderly, and more – much more.

Madigan and the Pope

Mike Madigan has gotten the State of Illinois into the position it is in today after 30+ years as Speaker of the House of Representatives. He cuts legally earned teacher benefits such as pensions, destroys schools by underfunding them, hurts children by mandating expensive and meaningless high stakes tests while reducing funds for school nurses and other necessary staff, fires excellent teachers by utilizing methods that have no bearing on their actual abilities and contributions, closes mental health clinics, reduces food and health services for needy children, ignores the special needs of children whose needs are most, and more – much more.

To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that life in often unfair, Madigan received 100% of the vote by Democratic representatives to be re-elected as Speaker of the House.

Anyone who feels he is doing this unjustly may pursue it through the IL Attorney General’s office. She is his daughter. Lots of luck. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is demanding “police powers” to violate the state constitution’s pension protection clause: the bill being brought to the IL Supreme Court concerning this horror was endorsed by Mike “Daddy” Madigan. The state is so broke according to Lisa, her office has the right to violate its own constitution out of economic necessity. What about the hundreds of millions of dollars per corporation per year that Mike Madigan approves as special gifting and incentives to his buddies and these same corporations that fund Mike? Ask Lisa.

Is there a humorous side to this? No. Unless the the Pope also had a daughter.

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(Warning: Sarcasm Ahead)

But, if we pretend that there IS a humorous side to this…

Madigan Pope surprise

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Peggy Robertson stranded by Spirit Airlines in Florida after the UOO Conference

Ken Previti:

Correction from Kati Gilsen about article about Sam Anderson: Sam Anderson was at this years conference and I haven’t posted the article on him yet. The link to the substance news article is the article I wrote about Sam Anderson’s presentation at last years UOO conference in Denver, CO 2014.

Originally posted on Reclaim Reform:

IMG_20150117_142547998a

Spirit Airlines stranded Peggy Robertson, founder and leader of United Opt Out National, in Florida by claiming that they had no record of her flight information – in spite the fact that she produced the paperwork with the information.

Peggy is attempting to return home to Colorado mere hours after the UOO National Conference in Fort Lauderdale ended this evening.

By the way, here is the presentation of just one of the speakers from today, Sam Anderson – legendary civil rights activist. Reported by Kati Gilson in Substance News.
Excerpt regarding one of Anderson’s plans: ” A suggestion was made to put together an international conference. Anderson worked with the civil rights group through out the conference to create their piece of a plan for Colorado.”

This is either one hell of a coincidence, or…

CORRECTION from Kati Gilson of Substance News:
“Sam Anderson was at this year’s…

View original 37 more words

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Robert E. Lee/Martin Luther King Day? The State of Alabama says so!

The Civil War ended in in 1865 with the surrender of the South by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Someone needs to tell the State of Alabama about this.

Martin Luther King Day was officially declared a national holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Someone needs to tell the State of Alabama about this.

Incredibly, all 50 states did not observe this until 2000. Someone needs to tell the State of Alabama about this.

alabama-state-flag

The legislators in Alabama created the (Notice who gets top billing.) Robert E. Lee/Martin Luther King Day which exists to this day. 365 days in a year, and Alabama insists on this divisive and dishonorable behavior. Nothing can be honestly stated in defense of this divisive political posturing based in racism. Public education regarding this is a necessity, public education minus political spin and racial divisiveness. Someone needs to tell the State of Alabama about this.

Leada Gore tells the State of Alabama about this in her excellent article HERE.

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Needless to say, I respect Robert E. Lee, his ability and his beliefs. As a matter of fact, I respect those who lost their lives on both sides of America’s Civil War. I also deeply sympathize with all of the families, those who survived the Civil War and its aftermath; they suffered true hardships.

Honoring those from our past is part of our heritage. Racism, especially divisive politicized racism, gives neither Lee nor King the respect due them. Someone needs to tell the State of Alabama about this.

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Posted in civic duty, fairness, government, ignorance, propaganda, public education | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Peggy Robertson stranded by Spirit Airlines in Florida after the UOO Conference

IMG_20150117_142547998a

Spirit Airlines stranded Peggy Robertson, founder and leader of United Opt Out National, in Florida by claiming that they had no record of her flight information – in spite the fact that she produced the paperwork with the information.

Peggy is attempting to return home to Colorado mere hours after the UOO National Conference in Fort Lauderdale ended this evening.

By the way, here is the presentation of just one of the speakers from today, Sam Anderson – legendary civil rights activist. Reported by Kati Gilson in Substance News.
Excerpt regarding one of Anderson’s plans: ” A suggestion was made to put together an international conference. Anderson worked with the civil rights group through out the conference to create their piece of a plan for Colorado.”

This is either one hell of a coincidence, or…

CORRECTION from Kati Gilson of Substance News:
“Sam Anderson was at this year’s conference, and I haven’t posted the article on him yet. The link to the substance news article is the article I wrote about Sam Anderson’s presentation at last year’s UOO conference in Denver, CO 2014.”

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Teacher Crisis? Pension Crisis? Political thieves like terms that mask their theft.

Bruce Rauner (R) was elected governor of Illinois to sweep away the corruption and deal with the pension crisis (according to his own campaign rhetoric) in a way that will assure pension security.

Ex-Gov. Pat Quinn (D) was/is being investigated for lots of things, and his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich (D) is rightfully in jail, and his predecessor, George Ryan (R), was jailed until he was old and sick.

However, we must keep in mind that Rauner was/is under investigation for the profits he has made from those same pension funds. “Rauner is a longtime private equity executive whose firm, GTCR, manages public pension money. Financial disclosure documents show he still retains ownership stakes in 15 GTCR entities. Though Rauner said he retired from the firm in 2012, SEC documents show he retains a partnership stake in at least one GTCR subsidiary. The two state pension systems he will now oversee as governor list GTCR as managing state money.”

Read the full article by David Sirota in the International Business Times.

Rauner Quinn

Of course, Quinn boosted Rauner’s power and position over teacher pensions as he left office. How? Quinn handed in TRS board appointees later than the law allows, therefore he left four board positions open for Rauner to fill. How? Read present TRS board member Bob Lyons’ email explanation for details.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) doesn’t bother with niceties like these. He and Rauner go way back in their hedge fund and equity fund businesses that helped each other make millions. Rahm and Bruce have even supported each other financially in spite of political party platforms that oppose (on paper) each other.They like to hang out together and drink $140,000 wine club exclusive wine for exclusive people.

Rauner Emanuel wine buddies

What can Bully-Boy Rahm do that is even bloodier than the Quinn/Rauner attack on teachers and other public employee pension funds?

Rahm just stabbed 24,000 public employees in the back with a note attached in their paychecks stating that employee costs for pensions will increase and, in spite of the state constitution’s stated pension fund protections, benefits will be cut. Read the note HERE.

Of course Rauner plans to not only make more corporate buddies’ companies tax free, he plans to also give them more tax money as incentives. Rahm famously closed over fifty public schools while giving $100 million in education fund money to a private, Catholic university (DePaul) for a second basketball stadium.

“… and Justice for all.”

Justice for these two would be good enough if their jail terms start immediately.

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Teachers Beware: The lesser-of-two-evils empowers the greater-of-two-evils

If it were actually possible to imagine a thank-you note from an ex-governor to teachers, here is an all too possible example from Illinois’ ex-Governor Pat Quinn

Quinn thanks 6

Dear teachers,

Thanks for the millions of dollars you and the other public employees gave me as the lesser-of-two-evils to block the election of Bruce “Satan” Rauner. You ate stale, cold pizza in the houses of strangers to be part of phone banks telling prospective voters to elect me as a pro-teacher, pro-public education sweetheart.

You even ignored the facts that I signed bills destroying teachers’ rights and bills making unfair distinctions as to which teachers paid how much into schemes that took money from your checks for unrealistic pension saving benefits and bills that made rigged tests part of the way to have you fired and one big bill that ignores the constitutional guaranteed right to a fair pension thereby letting me engage in wage theft from active teachers and income theft from retirees.

You were so good to me that I simply must show you what “teacher appreciation” means to me.

I missed the legal deadline to appoint board members to the Teachers Retirement System board, but I went through the motions so you can see how good those appointees would have been for you. (See below for details.) This assures that the greater-of-two-evils, Gov. Bruce “Satan” Rauner, will appoint FOUR members to the board. It also assures that my political allies (D) can blame all the bad stuff that happens on the other guys (R). So, next election, make sure you work those phone banks again for my buddies. Nifty, huh?

Don’t blame me; I was put on God’s earth to do this to you. I am at peace with this.
Ask God.

Your BFF,

Ex-Gov. Pat “Lesser-of-Two-Evils” Quinn

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Dear Active and Retired Teachers in Illinois,

Don’t blame me; blame Quinn’s ego and the voices in his head.

Sincerely,

God

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Reality Check:

The following email is from Bob Lyons who is elected by current retirees as their representative on the TRS Board.

Monday we had two open seats on our board and the outgoing governor appointed one of his people to the TRS Board that morning, though he should have known that the appointment was made too late.  Today that person and also two Quinn appointees, Marcia Campbell and Mark Harris, that were appointed, but never confirmed by the senate were told that they are no longer TRS trustees.  Campbell of course is a state officer of the IFT and has served with distinction for some years.  That means that now we have four openings for gubernatorial appointees that Rauner can make. Two Quinn appointees still have two years on their term.  Recall that there are a total of thirteen seats on the board with the State Superintendent of Education as our president.  Chris Koch was appointed superintendent under a Democratic administration and Rauner will have new appointments to state school board as well.  Six seats on the TRS are held by active and retired teachers.”

Bob Lyons

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Posted in betrayal, civic duty, corruption, government, legislative pillage, lies, pensions, propaganda, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What does this have to do with public education, high stakes testing, CCSS, charters, vouchers, career teachers, VAM, etc.? Everything.

Liars and thieves have no political party affiliation except in exterior brand labels.

After a $100 million acrid battle for the governorship in Illinois involving an incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and billionaire Tea Party Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, most people are stunned by what looks to many like collusion.

Quinn Rauner

What did ex-Gov. Quinn give to the man who defeated him in the last election, Gov. Rauner, as his first gift upon entering office?

FOUR positions to fill on the board of the Teacher Retire System, TRS, that controls billion dollar pension funds which Rauner personally had earlier made millions from.

The following email is from Bob Lyons who is elected by current retirees as their representative on the TRS Board.

“Monday we had two open seats on our board and the outgoing governor appointed one of his people to the TRS Board that morning, though he should have known that the appointment was made too late.  Today that person and also two Quinn appointees, Marcia Campbell and Mark Harris, that were appointed, but never confirmed by the senate were told that they are no longer TRS trustees.  Campbell of course is a state officer of the IFT and has served with distinction for some years.  That means that now we have four openings for gubernatorial appointees that Rauner can make. Two Quinn appointees still have two years on their term.  Recall that there are a total of thirteen seats on the board with the State Superintendent of Education as our president.  Chris Koch was appointed superintendent under a Democratic administration and Rauner will have new appointments to state school board as well.  Six seats on the TRS are held by active and retired teachers.”

Bob Lyons

What does this have to do with public education, high stakes testing, CCSS, charters, vouchers, career teachers, VAM, etc.?

Everything.

Thieves who pillage teacher pension funds steal wages from active teachers by mandating retirement savings that profit the thieves’ accomplices. These thieves also steal the income from retirees who already paid into state mandated retirement systems from every single paycheck of their careers.

These thieves are chilling every potential career teacher. Even teachers have been advising their own children to choose anything except teaching as a career path.

No quality career teachers… (You connect the dots from here.)

Friend and fellow blogger Glen Brown comes to this conclusion, while I and many others agree.

“Don’t wait until it is too late to act. I have said before we must openly resist the way in which the state’s politicians (without moral conscience) continue to regulate public welfare. We must protest against the liars and thieves who have manufactured a financial crisis. We must protest against the liars and thieves who have perpetuated a financial crisis through irresponsibility, mismanagement and corruption; we must protest against the liars and thieves who have ignored moral responsibility and refused lawful remedy for the financial problems they have created. They are stealing part of the pension you have earned. They will continue to steal more of your pension in the future.”

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Posted in betrayal, charters - vouchers, civic duty, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, corruption, government, greed, legislative pillage, pensions, propaganda, public education, testing, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just because the other kids are doing it…

Question: What is wrong with this picture?

IMG_7838

Answer: Nothing.

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Moms and Dads,

None of our children are standardized.

CCSS is standardized.

What else needs to be discussed?

Ken Previti, Retired Teacher

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As a child when I was scolded for doing something harmful or potentially harmful, I told my mother and father that all the other kids were doing it.

Their response was always the same. “Just because the other kids are doing it doesn’t mean that you should do it. If they all jumped off the…”

Your own parents wisely said the same thing.

In 2015 America, parents themselves need to follow their own advice.

Common Core compliant tests, whether they are labeled CCSS or rebranded via another corporation with a juicy state contract, must be stopped. High stakes tests are harmful or potentially harmful for all children.

No adults with school-age children have ever been subjected to high stakes mandated tests in the history of the United States.

In addition, families, teachers, schools and school districts are held hostage to these expensive tests that greatly profit the multinational investors who pressure and finance legislators to pass mandated high stakes tests. Children are not monetized guinea pigs.

How can you refuse the testing for the good of your children and all children?

Go the United Opt Out National site for instructions and help.

Better yet, attend or send a representative to attend and support the United Opt Out National Conference held in Fort Lauderdale, FL on January 16-18, 2015.

Whatever you do, stop your child from doing something harmful or potentially harmful.

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Posted in betrayal, Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, government, greed, ignorance, legislative pillage, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pensions. This is not about “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

Ken Previti:

I agree with both Mike and Fred Klonsky. “What still amazes me is how little weight supposedly pro-teacher progressives place on the pension-theft issue.”

Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:

shadow governor

Anne and I went to the Chicago Theater Monday night to hear Louis C.K..

One of his recurring themes is the self-absorption he finds among many folks. As if everything that might be going wrong in our world is just personal.

“I can’t believe this is happening to me!”

Trust me. I don’t take the attack on public employee benefits personally.

It’s not just happening to me.

Although I seem to have a hard time convincing my friends.

Today brother Mike writes in his blog about something I talk about all the time.

What still amazes me is how little weight supposedly pro-teacher progressives place on the pension-theft issue. It remains virtually ignored at most progressive-ed conferences, including a couple coming up here in the next few months. Plus many progressives turned the Quinn campaign into a (losing) religious crusade which sucked up union money like a massive vacuum cleaner, leaving little…

View original 374 more words

Posted in betrayal, fairness, government, greed, legislative pillage, Network for Public Education - NPE, pensions, wage theft | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment