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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:45 PM

TN legislature kills bill to close failed online charter that told teachers to delete bad grades.

They refused to allow discussion at all.

Since charter school expansion is apparently going to continue during these next 3 years, I wonder if some accountability could be in order. I doubt it.

Tennessee legislative committee kills bill to close Tennessee Virtual Academy

A state legislative committee blocked discussion Tuesday of leaked internal e-mail from the only taxpayer-funded, for-profit online school operating in Tennessee that told its teachers to delete students' bad grades.

The committee then killed a bill that would have closed the two-year-old Tennessee Virtual Academy, operated by Virginia-based K-12 Inc., at the end of the school year.
Moments earlier, the panel approved a Haslam administration bill that is the state's first attempt to reign in the virtual school — but only after stripping out of the bill a proposed enrollment cap in the school.

....On Tuesday, Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, released internal TnVA e-mails leaked to her that in December instructed its teachers to quickly delete students' progress reports for September and October, delete the grades of students on an assignment that a majority had failed, and to "please consider" counting only the final grade of a student whose earlier unit average was an F.

But when Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, tried to present the e-mails to the House Education Subcommittee, the panel's top two officers — Reps. Mark White, R-Memphis, and Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville — immediately cut off the discussion and called the vote that killed the bill.


Here is more about the emails. They really did tell the teachers to delete the bad grades from two years and keep the good ones. The head of that school actually blamed it on the difficulty of handling student differences.

Tennessee Virtual Academy emails teachers to delete bad grades. For-profit online school.

...The email -- labeled "important -- was written in December by the Tennessee Virtual Academy's vice principal to middle school teachers.

"After ... looking at so many failing grades, we need to make some changes before the holidays," the email begins.

Among the changes: Each teacher "needs to take out the October and September progress reports; delete it so that all that is showing is November progress."

...Josh Williams, head of schools for the Tennessee Virtual Academy, pointed to the challenge of teaching all types of children when repeatedly pressed on the school’s poor math scores: “Each one of our students comes in with a different, unique need,” he said, adding that the school is seeking to “work as a team” and to make better use of data to address the needs.



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Reply TN legislature kills bill to close failed online charter that told teachers to delete bad grades. (Original post)
madfloridian Feb 2013 OP
patrice Feb 2013 #1
madfloridian Feb 2013 #8
patrice Feb 2013 #12
madfloridian Feb 2013 #14
patrice Feb 2013 #16
City Lights Feb 2013 #2
madfloridian Feb 2013 #3
City Lights Feb 2013 #5
madfloridian Feb 2013 #6
City Lights Feb 2013 #15
patrice Feb 2013 #17
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #4
madfloridian Feb 2013 #7
Uncle Joe Feb 2013 #9
MyOwnPeace Feb 2013 #10
RebelOne Feb 2013 #11
madfloridian Feb 2013 #13

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:54 PM

1. KICK for the frontlines in the war on public education. Watch for more of this sort of thing. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:53 PM

8. The war is becoming more public now, more obvious.

There is no one in power on the side of public education. As Arne said when it was announced he was continuing this term....he was going to continue with what he had been doing last term.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:35 PM

12. Good! I'm hoping to see it connect to the TRUTH about our NEED for LIFELONG educational

opportunities that can be associated with employment but are not necessarily dependent upon that, i.e. directed toward some of the more valid stuff that emo-progs are talking about.

That's the JohnDeweyian-PauloFreirian in me speaking there.

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Response to patrice (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:47 PM

14. I've been called an emo-prog many times.

So I am not sure how to respond to that.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:20 PM

16. As I understand it, it's a recognition that emotions, in and of themselves, are valid. True.

One's feelings about whatever (for example, learning or education) have their own validity.

Personally, I don't see that as also negating the validity of rationalism/reason. Most of the time, false dichotomies, false either this or that and never the twain shall meet, reduce the validity of a position. We ARE emotional reasoning creatures and/or reasoning emotional creatures. To me the key is honest active awareness.

Emo progs do have a good point, though, in that emotions have been at least de-valued and mis-managed in our culture for an extremely long time, probably hallmarked by the advent of the Industrial Revolution. They ARE very valid in that point.

It's my personal opinion, that freedom will be best served by not fracturing the relationship between reason and emotion (e.g. what some people could associate with "faith" or "belief") than it already is fractured, because that kind of blindness will likely result in much more oppression.

I can think of specific experiences of persons I have known who are examples of valuing emotional identity tooooo highly and how much they suffered, not only due to their own behaviors, but ALSO AT THE HANDS OF OTHERS who took advantage of them because the person allowed them to do so since what was going on reinforced some emotional identity.

I can also think of the exact opposite of that; some of the advance placement kids I have had in my classrooms scared the crap out of me. NO HEARTS. All cold machine-like reason.

I haven't seen anything official about "emo progs" though I have met some around our Occupy and I kind of think that something "official" might be rather the opposite of what I am guessing all of that is about. I am guessing the impulse emo progs might be referring to is more anarchic than anything that would be "official" or from authority. That's why I associate it most particularly with Freire and to a somewhat lesser extent with John Dewey, both of whose epistemologies, if it could be said that Freire even had one, would be founded on what is referred to as "discovery learning".

That said, I bet one could find some pointers in any good pscych research database, related to search terms such as: intuitive knowledge; development; cognition; emotions, of course; and personality theoreticians, the classic ones of which, relative to this question, would be Carl Gustav Jung, Martin Buber, Carl Rogers. Technically, the question emotion:reason is also even inherent in theories such as Freud's and even Skinner/Watson . . . I'm sure there's more recent stuff out there, it's just a question that has been around for a LONG TIME, but it's been a while since I have really worked a good psych database over.

There's lots of learning theory in the big research databases supervised by the American Psychological Association. Two of them: PsychLit and PsychInfo even sell day-passes in their online access.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:56 PM

2. "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?"

Nothing like cooking the grade books.

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Response to City Lights (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:06 PM

3. The head of the school actually said other schools do it also.

That's pretty awful. They have their own reality.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:39 PM

5. It really sickens me.

“Each one of our students comes in with a different, unique need."

No shit, Sherlock! Welcome to the world of educating children! One size fits all education doesn't work. The public schools know this. Too bad they are the only ones held accountable! Charter schools can take public money and "teach" the children as they see fit. And the public will keep funding their experiment!

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Response to City Lights (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:55 PM

6. We have told them that all along as they shoved this testing down throats of kids.

We told them kids were different.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:06 PM

15. But they wouldn't listen.

They knew better!

It really infuriates me!

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:38 PM

17. There are problems relating quantitative descriptions of student work to qualitative descriptions

of student work. Hence, schools are just kind of waving a magic wand over all of it and pretending that is valid, when, in fact, qualitative aspects (these would be the more emotional, non-rational, subjective, personal, creative . . . ) are practically not valued at all - or - as might be what we see going on in the charter schools - they are waaaaaaaay over valued relative to more rational descriptions which are under-valued.

Quantitative in this context refers to that which can be described by numbers, counting, and quantities of things.

Qualitative in this context refers to things that are more the result of synthesis, rather than analysis, more about emotional tone, and context, inductively identified rather than deductively identified.

The difference between these two aspects of any person is why I like what is referred to as "authentic assessment" which is both qualitative and quantitative, personal and objective.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:13 PM

4. Our education system has been bought and paid for.

The money is lining the pockets of the corporations and the politicians they are buying. We are left to foot the bill and deal with the generation of kids that will be lost because of it.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:59 PM

7. Yes, left footing the bill for private companies like K12 with failed schools.

They are getting taxpayer money.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:01 PM

9. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, madfloridian.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:01 PM

10. And you know..........

had that happened in a "public school" these same people would have had a press conference and tables set up for parents to register their children in another charter/voucher/"screw-the-public-system" school.

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Response to MyOwnPeace (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:06 PM

11. We have already had a scandal in our Atlanta public schools

with teachers changing student test results to ensure the kids would pass. It doesn't just happen in charter schools. My daughter is an educator in a charter school and her school has high ratings.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:37 PM

13. It all has to do with the high-stakes testing. Even charters do it now.

I take any ratings with a grain of salt now. Charter schools don't have to keep kids who don't produce. They say they do, but major charters admit to counseling them out. They are sent back to public schools.

It all has nothing to do with learning, and everything to do with profit. It's all a big game to the corporations and billionaire boys club who control testing, test scoring, textbooks and curriculum now.

I am tired of the boasting by charter schools that they do better. OF COURSE they do better. They get to send kids back to public schools. Call it cherry-picking, call it creaming, whatever....they have high attrition rates and no one wants to talk about it.

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