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Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:07 AM

PA. says 600 more schools failed because of less cheating by teachers, not loss of 14,000 teachers

Last edited Mon Oct 1, 2012, 09:39 AM - Edit history (1)

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120929/NEWS90/209290330/-1/NEWS

See the linked AP article.

600 fewer PA. schools met federal standards on their standardized testing results than last year. Several school districts blamed the declines on massive elimination of teaching positions. The Republicans cut almost $1 billion in school funding, which resulted in the elimination of 14,000 teachers and teacher aide positions.

The PA. Ed Secretary then issued press statements and verbal statements that said the failure rates were only caused by the fact that it is harder for teachers to cheat on the tests than it was last year. He then had to apologize for the statement.

In an earlier article, it was noted that 31 percent fewer schools in Pa. hit their federal targets than last year. The Superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District responded to the Ed. Secretary by describing the cutbacks in teachers, teachers aides, family specialists and tutoring funds that resulted from the state funding cuts. "It's a farce. It's a joke." said the Superintendent in response to the Ed. Secretary's remarks. There also were some higher targets than last under the federal standards.

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Reply PA. says 600 more schools failed because of less cheating by teachers, not loss of 14,000 teachers (Original post)
JPZenger Oct 2012 OP
iemitsu Oct 2012 #1
strongermessage Oct 2012 #2
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #3
iemitsu Oct 2012 #4
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #5
JPZenger Oct 2012 #6
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #7
iemitsu Oct 2012 #8
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #9
iemitsu Oct 2012 #10
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #11
iemitsu Oct 2012 #12

Response to JPZenger (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:50 AM

1. we need to put the brakes on school reform

before it destroys the most important leveling institution we have in this country.
it is not just republicans and corporatists who are pushing this destruction but the obama administration too.
the whitehouse needs to stop the process.

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Response to JPZenger (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:12 PM

2. Tom Corebutt is the worst thing to happen to PA and public education...

My husband and I are retired educators...all that Corebutt wants to do is privatize education. They will say and do anything to ruin public education in PA. I know teachers that actually voted for that idiot.

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Response to JPZenger (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:29 PM

3. A couple of schools here "failed", one is my district.

The superintendent said that they have had to increase class size, do away with tutoring programs, and on top of that, each year the number of students who meet standards in the test increase. Our district has lost $4 million in state money over the last two years. Cuts have been extreme.

This year, the proficiency rates were increased to 78% in math and 81% in reading. Next year will be worse, even if they restored all the funding.....rates increase to 89% in math and 91% in reading. By 2014, the rates are supposed to be 100%. Let's see how many more districts fail in the next 2 years.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:42 PM

4. its pathetic.

like we all live in lake wobegon.
for 100% of students (the goal for 1214) to pass the standardized tests is not possible unless those with learning disabilities and low IQs are excluded from the scores.
since they are not being excused all schools will be eventually labeled "failing".
then it will be obvious that we need to give them all to private concerns.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:08 PM

5. Hopefully, by then, those private schools

will be showing just how lousy they are. They can't be doing any better with these tests---unless they are specializing in honors students.

Hmmmm, are they included in these standardized tests? I never hear how they are doing and we all know that they are not all doing well.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:34 PM

6. The cyber charters are already failing

Only one cyber charter is meeting the standards, and it is run by a consortium of public school districts.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:59 PM

7. Do the charters and cybers have to meet requirements

for the PSEA tests? Interesting that the only one not failing already is run be public schools. Telling.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 09:36 PM

8. nationally charters are doing about the same as regular public schools.

some do well and others are not doing well. just like with public schools the biggest indicator of success is household income. so charters in well-to-do areas do well and charters in poverty stricken areas don't.
charters are measured by the tests but they are exempt from many regulations and rules that apply to regular schools.
rather than taking all comers, charters can have interviews to select the students with the right "fit".
charters often have students and parents sign contracts that allow the charter to dump the student for behavioral issues or attendance. in these ways, charters can select the students they want to work with.
charters typically are able to avoid dealing with the teacher's union too. sometimes outright exemptions from union bargained conditions including wages paid and hours worked. so they can demand more time from their teachers to address the needs of the school and the students.
they have some other operating advantages too, yet they still don't out-perform regular public schools staffed with union teachers.
some have bankrupted themselves leaving students without a school in the middle of the year. the CEO principals earning $250,000 and upward per year while feeding the students government subsidized cheese.
one charter in northern florida was giving students credit toward graduation for mowing the school campus lawns and chopping weeds in the gutters.
with all this evidence one would think that we would put a stop to this awful experiment especially since the main "philosophical" argument for the reforms is that they be data driven.
what is the data being used? what are the indicators that the uber-class is looking for? are they seeking a better school system or society or are they looking for profit?
the privatization movement is fueled by greed and the desire to grab the public purse. corporations and other players have already looted the rest of our system. schools and social security are the last big caches of money left to grab.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 10:12 PM

9. Thanks for the very informative post.

It seems too easy to understand that a profit-driven enterprise is only interested in making money---not the welfare of the students. I am baffled why so many people think that this is the direction we should go.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 01:07 AM

10. it seems easy to you and me. i'm old you your name suggests you might not be young.

we were (or i was) brought up in a common sense era. our folks, whether or not formally educated had sense. they could figure out what was in their best interest and in the interest of their communities. people were employed and could take care of themselves and their families. people went to mainstream churches where the whole community could discuss important issues of the day. they cared about their communities and the environment (i remember the first earth day). they didn't agree on everything but they did believe in progress. that tomorrow would be better than today.
since then we have been subjected to years of anti-government, anti-community propaganda starting with reagan and his anti-community campaign.
one result is that we have been taught to hate each other. i suppose because we fight each other for scraps.
reagan was mild compared to the young crop of rabid right wingers who were born into his world. they have never known anything but to glorify greed.
they are cut-throat competitors with no moral compass. fed on reagan and ayn rand they see themselves as special, the idea people, and others beneath contempt. the poor especially.
in this land of "self-evident" grace god rewards the virtuous with money and curses those he condemns with poverty. they are the root of all evil and problems.
i was an adult when reagan took office. i could see that his anti-government, trickle down, champion of capitalism, blame the poor for all problems, approach to government was ruinous, that it would not end well.
yet some of my friends embraced reagan's message. it spoke to some sense in them that they were being ripped off, short changed, and having to work too hard. and rather than see that the tax breaks for the rich were the cause of their woe, they accepted that it was the fault of the poor. reagan's welfare queen was sapping them.
i couldn't really understand the attraction to reagan's message but it turned out to be much worse than i thought at the time.
reagan was just a tool. the uber-rich behind him were and are evil.
i believe he did not know how much of a tool he was but it does not matter. he was a slick, friendly, grandfatherly, confident, and an ex-democrat gone republican, commie fighter. people trusted him. even those who disliked his policies liked his persona (not me but many americans were taken in by his act).
and that was it. america was hooked. the rich were living high off our social security savings and paying politicians to legislate in their favor.
as the rest of us got poorer we got meaner. we just aren't that nice of people anymore. if my kid can go to a charter (read private) school on the public dime who cares where your child goes to school. if you cared you would get him/her into a charter too.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:06 PM

11. You are right. I am not one of the young ones.

I also remember the first Earth Day. My parents survived the Great Depression and lived a frugal life of hard work and saving. They instilled that in us----all of my siblings and I are still living like there are hard times around the corner. Lucky for us we were raised this way, taught morality, and common sense. The only thing we didn't have is the church, but that didn't seem to matter, there was a sense of community anyways.

And I do remember Reagan and his message. I still blame that administration for the downward slide of our society. That may be too great a burden to put on that addle-brained old fart, but I can't help it. I remember "greed is good" and all the people looking up to the high rollers of Wall Street. And now Wall Street owns this country, and we are losing ground. And it will get worse if they are able to take over our schools with privatization. There are already too many special interest schools that allow children to learn only certain things and associate with only certain people.....which means they will not get to know other opinions. How do you think that will work out?

Yes, it does seem that we have been "taught to hate". I resist this, but I am to the point where I will no longer even have a discussion with a Republican....I only hear hate from them and I cannot take it. I have been called ignorant, a moron, pathetic....just because I do not have the same political opinions as they do. What will happen after more years of this festering??? It scares me.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:36 AM

12. its hard to tell where it will end.

i still hold out hope that people will wake up and decide to bag all of the BS that we've been fed over the last few years.
its harder to be optimistic than it used to be but i still try.
i was not really a church guy either but i was taught a clear set of morals which i think most in the community shared.
my parents were kids during the depression too. they led frugal lives and did everything for themselves. i have kind-of inherited those traits. i remember before my maternal grandparents, who were poor dairy farmers, even had a car. they had a tractor and horses but no car. i was enslaved on that farm every summer of my youth. it was hard work for a city kid but some of my fondest memories are from those times.
i fight the hate every day. with my students and within myself. it is poison.
i've enjoyed this exchange. thank you for sharing your ideas and for answering my long winded responses.

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