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Obama approves of closing R. I. school with 7% math proficiency. Praises school with 4% proficiency.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:47 PM
Original message
Obama approves of closing R. I. school with 7% math proficiency. Praises school with 4% proficiency.
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 01:49 PM by madfloridian
in math. And equally low grades. In fact the Rhode Island school he praises has this warning from the state.

This school is in need of improvement and making insufficient progress. This school has been identified for improvement for the third year.


There are the test scores from this school listed at the link. The math proficiency is at 4%. This is indicating a double standard to me.

The school he approved of closing was the Central Falls, Rhode Island, school. One of the poorest areas in the state.

Ravitch on the Central Falls Massacre

President Obama thought it was wonderful that every educator at Central Falls High School was fired. At an appearance before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on March 1, the President applauded the idea of closing the school and getting rid of everyone in it. At the same meeting, President Obama acknowledged Margaret Spellings, who was President George W. Bush's Education Secretary, because she "helped to lead a lot of the improvement that's been taking place and we're building on."

Well, yes, the President is right; his own education reform plans are built right on top of the shaky foundation of President Bush's No Child Left Behind program. The fundamental principle of school reform, in the Age of Bush and Obama, is measure and punish. If students don't get high enough scores, then someone must be punished! If the graduation rate hovers around 50%, then someone must be punished. This is known as "accountability."

President Obama says that Central Falls must close because only 7% of the students are proficient in math, and the graduation rate is only 48%. Sounds bad, right?

But the President has saluted a high school in Providence, Rhode Island, called "The Met" whose scores are no different from the scores at Central Falls High School. At Central Falls, 55 % of the kids are classified as "proficient readers," just like 55% at The Met. In math, only 7% of students at Central Falls are proficient in math, but at The Met--which the President lauds--only 4% are proficient in math. Ah, but The Met has one big advantage over Central Falls High Schools: Its graduation rate is 75.6%.

But figure this one out: How can a high school where only 4% of the students are proficient in math and only 55% are proficient readers produce a graduation rate of 75.6%? To this distant observer, it appears that the school with lower graduation standards rates higher in President Obama's eyes.


The school he praised publicly is a school that says it is a publicly run school, yet it was formed by a group called Big Picture Learning. It is apparently well-funded by the Gates Foundation and is part of a group called Alternative High School Initiatives.

Big Picture Learning

Read the page. It is not a traditional public school. It has lower scores than Central Valley, and is cited as needing to improve for 3 years.

With these ground-breaking successes came considerable national attention. The director of educational programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that the Met was his favorite high school in America, and that the U.S. needs more schools like it. In 2001, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave Big Picture Learning a large grant to replicate the Met around the country. In 2003, after the continued success of Big Picture schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a second grant to fund the launch of even more schools. Also, in 2003, the Gates Foundation awarded Big Picture monies to make them lead convener of the newly formed Alternative High School Initiative (AHSI).


So it's okay to have low test scores if you are supported by the Gates Foundation?

By 2008, over 60 Big Picture schools are operating in 14 states, supported by yet another investment in Big Picture Learning by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Our international presence continues to grow, with schools in Australia, Israel and the Netherlands utilizing the Big Picture Learning design. All of these schools from Tennessee to Tasmania, from New York City to the Netherlands embody the fundamental philosophy of Big Picture Learning, educating one student at a time in a community. In addition, Big Picture and the National League of Cities were awarded a second grant in 2008 from the Gates Foundation to further the work of AHSI through partnerships with select American cities (Nashville, Indianapolis, Camden) to expand the portfolio of educational options available to students.


And it's not okay if you are a traditional struggling public school like Central Falls school? It's ok to be subjected to public criticism from the president if you are Central Falls with 7% proficiency rate?

But then to praise a school with a rate 3% lower just makes the situation worse.

Someone who understands how learning works, how funding is taken from schools like Central Falls and given to schools run by private companies, someone who knows that learning is a partnership of students, parents, and teachers....

...that someone needs to have a sit down with the president and his education secretary.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. maybe he didn't know about that particular stat?
He's probably just looking at the graduation rate? :shrug:

Listen, this is not about the teachers or egos. This is about the STUDENTS. Whatever helps the students will be great IMO.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. He should not be talking about it if he is not knowledgeable about education.
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
40. Yeah, maybe he should keep his mouth shut instead of kissing the butts
of the Chamber.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
140. He's largely a product of private schooling. nt
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. This is about busting unions. Dont be mistaken
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
83. Exactly! He is AGAIN supporting Privatizing education, breaking up
the unions, and turning education into a for-profit business.

He's showing that he really doesn't care about the actual numbers, and whether or not kids are learning. Apparently, the kids are on their own. :(

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
101.  Exactly and Obama is doing the dirty work for them --- disgusting!!
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
133. DING DING DING Give this person a kupie doll!
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #133
139. The president was largely schooled in private, not public, schools. nt
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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
58. What would help these kids is for THEM to be held accountable!
But more to the point, hold their PARENT(s)/Guardians accountable. What's been so STUPIDLY ASSumed all along, is that these supposedly "eager" and "knowldege-hungry" minds are ALL ALIKE and ALL from the same highly supportive sort of "Father Knows Best" home lives. When the kids come to class with all the latest and greatest electronic gadgets and their homework not done - what sort of grades do you think they deserve? Or should the teachers just give them "a pass" to help them perpare for the realities of the real world?

OF COURSE..... so long as there's more parents to cast votes than faculty members - who are you gonna paint as the "bad guys"???

Shit for educational policy, shit for health care reforms, BULLshit for wind-downs of warring, BULLshit as regards the reinstatement of civil liberties - ENOUGH SHIT!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #58
102. Stop blaming the victims . . . End poverty and then we can begin to talk about
helping these kids and parents pull themselves up by their own bootstraps!!


Otherwise, I agree with you on the crap coming out of the Obama admin . ..

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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #102
155. There are, no doubt, incapable teachers.
Just like there are deficient members of any profession. Yet - and for whatever reason - expecting ALL Students - no matter what sort of life they come from - to perform in unison is as silly as expecting doctors to use unsterilized surgical tools and have a patient recovery score equal to those using clean tools. The doctors might all have the same surgical skills, but what they have to work with is gonna have a big impact on the end results of their efforts.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
59. Right, just as with Healthcare Reform, quality doesn't matter, only graduation.
President Sell-us-out values Style over Substance, and Corporate Profits over Citizen's wellbeing.

Let's run a Democrat for President next time.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #59
142. +1.
We'll run whomever the Corporate PTB allow us to run, period.

President Sell-us-out HOPEfully won't run again.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
74. What's best for those students...
... would be having a well funded educational system, not having to live in abject poverty, knowing they have an actual future worth working hard for, and having parents involved.

But that requires actual effort, and actual money.

If this was about the students, and Mr. Obama cared ever so much about them, he would not be making statements with such little knowledge of the facts surrounding this situation. Don't you think?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #74
105. Agree with you . . . also . . .
I've read a while back that our Federal School Budgets often contained CIA funds

as much as 50% of the budget!!!

Much of this got a kick with GOP/right wing racism -- but I also agree that breaking

up this huge union is another attraction for them --

Obama is doing their dirty work here --

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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
78. The President of the United States...
...has a very big, very loud megaphone. He has to choose, very carefully, what he comments on. Like if you remember what led up the "beer summit" -- basically he should have just kept his mouth shut on that one. Looks like this is another case where our POTUS is showing he may be a little green...
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
147. What standards do each of the schools use to graduate the students?
Unless they all use the same standards which I doubt they do, graduation rates are a useless tool.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Big money spent by schools/education
And all this time things just flew under the radar. It has gotten so bad that the president is now getting smashed for poking his nose under the tent of the corruption and mistakes.

He'll back off now.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. He deserves to be smashed. His policies are University of Chicago-style
neoliberalism, which DON'T work.

He needs to know what in the hell he is talking about before spouting off idiocies.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. well
...if you believe all that you hear, public schools don't work so great.

It was kinda neat to see a president get involved, but he'll probably back off and just let the corruption and waste go on without saying anything.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. That's a rather blanket, damning statement.
Is there some elaboration?
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. What was?
Explain what you mean, please. Be precise, if you can.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Sure.
You wrote:

well
...if you believe all that you hear, public schools don't work so great.


There are over 95,000 public schools in the US. The statement, therefore, is blanket-ly damning of all of them.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. So
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 02:44 PM by BeFree
You don't believe all that you hear? That's wise.

Still, haven't we heard that our schools have big problems?
How would we know? 95,000 reports would be hard to go through.

Obama has heard the schools have problems, and he's stuck his nose into the story. And he gets smashed for it. Not educated, just smashed.

Is our teachers learning? <grin>
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. You have nothing to grin about.
Certainly not at me.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Explain please
The grin was for the bushie statement.

Are you a teacher?
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #27
88. But apparently you do.
"You don't believe all that you hear?"

My guess is that you are another "armchair expert" on education. In case you don't know what that means, it means someone who has never done the job, doesn't know how a school operates on a day to day basis from the inside, and believes everything he reads that fits his agenda. In short, you have no clue what you're talking about. It's obvious to those of us who have this experience. I realize there is no convincing you of this -- you need to have been inside to understand.

BTW, too many people die of cancer. Fire the doctors, dammit! It's their fault the people are dying. The medical delivery system in this country needs fixing -- there's too much waste and corruption. Fire the doctors! That will solve the problem!
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MattBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #19
131. As precise as you are when you
parrot mantras about how bad schools are?
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. I couldn't agree more.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. He is for charter schools. Not public schools. It is very obvious now.
He appears to have no problem with harming public education.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. There has not been big money spent on public schools. Not true.
The money has been taken from public schools for years and given to charter and private schools.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. You want to see big money, check out the cost/pupil of a Big Picture school.
They have a 15:1 ratio. I'd love to have that in all my schools.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
108. Rather . . . as I understand it --
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 11:27 PM by defendandprotect
from what I've read, evidently the Federal education budgets contained secret

funding for the CIA -- like 50% of the budget --

So we don't really know what we've spent on schools or education over the years --

And Bush's LNCB has also drained money from schools --

I remember ond teacher in NJ telling me that her school had failed some tests --0

and they had to pay for a program -- it was called "C.O.W." -- sound like a joke?

It was "Curriculum on Wheels" -- and it was sold by . . . Neil Bush!!

Reality isn't always what we think it is . . . as Dick Cheney has told us often!!

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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. My daughter teaches at a Big Picture school on the west coast
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 02:03 PM by Celebration
First, you have to realize that they really are different. They are NOT for everyone. They are not charter schools. The Gates Foundation used to support Big Picture Schools, but they have cut funding because now they are going more the charter school route. The teachers at Big Picture schools are pretty much paid like other teachers in the district.

Math is one of their weak points, I think. But they give the kids a TON of individualized attention. They have mentors in the community, and their "advisers" stick with them for four years. They are called advisers rather than teachers. The classes are small. Most of the kids just can't hack it in regular public school, either because they have been bullied, because the kids hung out in the wrong crowd and got into drugs, or because they are truly lost. Every one of them is at risk for dropping out. They learn through special projects. They do have to meet certain standards to graduate, but it is NOT based on standardized tests.

It's not really good to lambast standardized tests in some arguments, and use them to not graduate students in others, is it?

Having said all that, math is sometimes left behind in these schools, I feel. But the kids learn, they stay in school, and they are prepared for community colleges. Some, of course, are outstanding.

Most of the kids in Big Picture schools would truly be left behind without this.

Big Picture Schools often have the same problems with the backgrounds of the kids as do some public schools.

Edited to add: Obama was correct to praise these schools, IMHO.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. They get taxpayer money so they should be just as accountable...
So this is really a private school getting public money...am I correct?
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. THEY ARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 02:16 PM by Celebration
The kids have the same test score results as others from their demographic. You can't have it both ways--saying test scores are important, or unimportant, depending on which argument you make.

My daughter's paychecks and her health care insurance come from the district. She is paid the same as other teachers in that district.

The difference is that she constantly talks to parents on the phone, constantly runs around the city talking to mentors, and basically is involved in every aspect of the kids' lives.

These kids are much better off in Big Picture schools than big public high schools. Their lives are really not suited to that environment.

Edited to add: My daughter had one girl transfer into her class from a public school, where she had some label or other attached to her, and the counselors all told the parents that the girl would NEVER score up to grade level in reading. And, guess what? Six months in the school and she scored grade level in reading.

We should NOT be throwing kids away just because they don't meet certain standardized test score results. And this is ONE school that doesn't teach to the tests. It is projects, projects, and more projects. It is mentoring. It is working with families. It is a really good model for a school for certain types of students. It is a public school that also gets a bit of private funding, but not much. The principal of the school has to do fund raising to get extras. The district supports the lower class size (my daughter teaches every subject!) in order to avoid a high dropout rate.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. "Their lives are really not suited to that environment."
Really? And to what are their live suited?

I did all that when I was teaching and more. In a public school not funded by Bill Gates.

If the kids are so much better off, why don't their test scores show it? OR is it only public schools that are held accountable.

BTW, when you use all caps it is considered screaming at someone.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
35. these kids lack close relationships with adults, for the most part
They need extra TLC, so they get mentors, small classes, and the same adviser for four years. So, their test scores are the same as they would be in regular schools. But, they learn, and they graduate. Why do you have a problem with that. Do test scores mean everything to you? I would rather have kids stay in school. I personally think test scores are misused, and given way too much weight. I thought you believed that too, but now you would rather just diss this school because of past funding by the Gates Foundation.

Again, I have to keep reminding you of this, this IS a public school. I don't know how many times I have to say it.

Honestly, you should welcome this type school, if you love public schools over charters, because it is an alternative schools that works within the system.

Again, Bill Gates is now going the charter route, unfortunately.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. There is a double standard in what Obama said.
That is why I am pointing it out.

He should have known better than to call attention to The Met school with the warning from the state right there on their site.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. They keep the kids in school
And that is really important.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. If I had Bill Gates big money, I could do a lot.
He who has the money sets the agenda.

And Obama is going along with Gates and Eli Broad (rhymes with toad). In fact his education department is filled with Gates folk.

In fact they have eased ethics rules for Gates.

AP says "ethic rules have been waived" to allow DOE folks to deal more easily with Gates Foundation
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #43
92. Their scores were lower, & improved less, than the school Obama criticized.
Moreover, link me to graduation rates for your daughter's school, would you?
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. That school was sure quick to use Obama as a sales pitch
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #94
97. lol. They sell teaching materials. They start schools & siphon off public money for their
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 11:04 PM by Hannah Bell
materials. $50 bucks for a wall calendar!

http://www.bigpicture.org.au/resources-sale/materials


i wonder if this "big picture learning" is connected to the new zealand "big picture learning llc" touting neurolinguistic programming?

the founder's faux-hippie style makes me think it might be.

speaking of cultists.

i can almost guarantee that 92% is fraudulent in some respect.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. It screamed Landmark Forum/Erhard to me too
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 11:21 PM by Starry Messenger
I wouldn't be a bit surprised. They've been tunneling into the "movement" market for some time.



edit to add: totally agree about the graduation numbers.



https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/000/411/es...

I just found this and I'm reading about them. Smells fishy.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #99
103. 18 schools in australia & schools in israel. global charter schools run by cultists.
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 11:24 PM by Hannah Bell
using a steady stream of government dollars to channel money to the stockholders.

how delicious!



more money-making sidelines from the "non-profit"! consultancy!!!

Getting started package

It takes time and conversation to negotiate the work. It is likely to include: a series of 1-1 meetings with the Principal, small group meetings with key staff, conversations with other interested people, and planning meetings with the school executive.

A $10,000 (exc GST) package is available for BPE member schools to help you do this work. It includes the travel costs for a BPE team. If the school is not a BPE member then full daily rates for consultants apply and the fee becomes $13,600 (exc GST).

The package includes two school visits by two BPE consultants. Emails and phone advice will be provided along the way. It will take time to draft a plan. This work will itself help the school clarify its approach and getting started.

Daily Rates:
For non-member BP schools: - $ 1600 per day and $1400 per day for long term contracts.

For member BP schools: - $1400 per day and $1200 per day for long term contracts.

For BP and BPI schools: - $1200 per day and $1000 for long term contracts.

http://www.bigpicture.org.au/big-picture-consultancy



the people who complain about teachers' getting $72K should be outraged by this $1000 to $1600/day, right?

right?
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #103
107. I added a link there to a pdf about them expanding their market
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 11:30 PM by Starry Messenger
I'm still on the first few pages. Hair-raising!

Yeah, a lot of cults turned to gov't money when individual potential suckers started to suffer from the economic meltdown.


edit:


Holy shit $1600 a day??

An OP about that would be fascinating... :popcorn:
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #107
117. crickets from the perpetually outraged, i note.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #117
118. I took a screencap of their franchise brochure


This is for Australia, cost to buy in 138,000 for the first year--the fine print says:

"If the school is supported by the system to do this work it may gain access to Commonwealth Funding. The cost to a school (of 60 staff) would be 404,000 per year..." :crazy: Move along. Nothing to see here.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #118
119. "Charter schools are *public* schools!!!! Wah!!!!!"
Edited on Thu Mar-04-10 12:16 AM by Hannah Bell
you're a bad, bad person who hates children.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #119
122. Nonsense, I love children.
They're delicious with a dab of steak sauce. :D

I know right? I don't know how anyone could look at this glossy four-color bullshit that thoughtfully suggests how to fleece the government of tax payer money to pay for being branded by a corporation and think this is a public school.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #122
124. #1 shills #2 saps #3 "i've got mine & that's all i care about"
Edited on Thu Mar-04-10 12:55 AM by Hannah Bell
# 4 "the lower orders are costing us too much & better our kind gets the money than low-class teachers & such"
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #124
137. Don't forget
#5: People that just hate unions.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #118
132. This overlooks the decades of neglect of our public schools
The underperforming schools in my city are also falling apart. Many were built long before I was born and have not been updated. The mayor decides how much funding the district gets and the district has mismanaged funds. There is equipment that can't even be used because there are not enough outlets in the rooms. The grants to get the equipment often had no provision for hiring someone to support it. And they are cutting more. The teachers are employees of the city and thus are expected to live within the city which decreases the pool of talent to hire from. I graduated from a city school and since then the rules have become more draconian, the violence has escalated and there are now metal detectors at the entrance (metal detectors!). The city has to depend quite a bit on the state for funding and our state is having major financial and leadership problems (NY-- you might have heard about it). Only 55% of the city property is taxable. Our schools here are funded by property taxes.

My son attends a suburban high school. It has its problems with drugs etc. but there are no gangs. Our district has a "reform school" that kids who make trouble are transferred to-- as does the city school district. DS has some of the most talented teachers in the state. I met his English teacher yesterday at a special ed meeting and have to say, she comes up with very interesting projects for her students. His Resource teacher has tested him and his ability is far above his age level yet he does not perform. Why? It has escaped me on how to best motivate him. His school psychologist says this is common with kids with PDD. I would like to point this out for people who are critical of teachers. Most if not all of our kids have had exposures to poisons/pollutants in the air and water. Those in inner city neighborhoods have had a greater share. The soil was tested for contaminants in five community gardens in the city and all were found with high levels. Who would like to test these kids for levels of neurotoxins? Lead, mercury, cadmium etc. Many have trouble sitting still, maintaining focus. Many have not had breakfast and sometimes dinner. Much of their food is cheap, high in simple carbs and trans fats-- not very nutritious. The school lunches are not much better. I wonder if there can be other ways of evaluating a student besides one statewide standardized test. Can they evaluate the at risk schools, the ones with the lowest scores instead by individual progress? Can they look at retention as a tool to give a child who was neurologically immature in the beginning a bit more time to catch up? The students who have difficulty writing because of poor fine motor strength and skill-- maybe some Occupational Therapy? Currently a child has to have a diagnosis of CP or some type of congenital problem to get that kind of help.

The teachers -- now not all of them are stellar but it is a small minority who are just burnt out and phoning it in. Most are very hardworking, spend much of their out -of -school time developing lesson plans, evaluating assignments and grading. Many spend time after school with office hours to help students who are struggling. My son's Earth Science teacher in 9th grade held three months of after school study groups to assist students behind in labs, and to study for the Regents exam. Teachers are only one member of the team and their resources are constantly being removed d/t budget cuts. I think their performance can be measured like any other employee--- attendance, freshness of lesson plan, are the assignments handed back graded in a reasonable time, communication with parents (most have websites and give out email)-- some mail updates to the home, identifying those students at risk and referring them to appropriate depts (like counseling, social services). They are highly educated professionals but not given any autonomy in curricula, the way in which they transmit skills and knowledge and are somehow expected to translate some really stupid educational theories to the diverse learning styles in the class of over 25 kids (some who are mainstreamed from special ed classes, others with behavioral disorders, a few who are really interested and the others who view class as part of their social calendar, nevermind the ones asleep in the back of the room because they are busy slaying dragons all night on WOW or got stoned before class). My own son prefers to draw pictures in his notebook rather than take notes. I have had discussion with him on how that behavior is disrespectful of the teacher's time and energy so he is more mindful now but that is not to say that he does not still decide to sketch if inspiration hits. It may shock you to know that many students are not taught to respect adults in their schools.

I met a teacher at Joanns who was buying fabric for her class -- she teaches home arts and she was buying fabric because despite the lists sent home, parents have not bothered to pick up what their kid needs. She was spending her own money. She had talked to the principal but the purchase order system in the school requires her to be able to predict how many students will not be prepared six months ahead of time and then, she needs to find acceptable prints or the students will not participate (they have to like the fabric or they don't complete the project)-- for pajama pants! This is the 4th project in her class, the other three the school provide the supplies.

Everyone is telling teachers how to do their jobs. No one is allowing them to do them without micromanaging every aspect, down to where they eat their lunch.
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #103
146. Zoinks! and Holy Crap!
:wow:








You don't suppose they're hiring


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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. "The difference is. . . "
I do those things too. My PUBLIC school is a Comer School. Same principles.

http://www.funderstanding.com/content/comer-schools

It is incredibly insulting to imply public school teachers don't also go above and beyond.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
37. So you log sixty miles or more a week on your car
To meet with mentors in the community, and parents and families in THEIR homes? If so, you are extraordinary. My daughter can do that because she has about 16 students. Hard to believe that secondary teachers with over 100 students in their classes can do that. But, maybe some traditional secondary school teachers do that. I just have never heard of it.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #37
50. I'm not a secondary teacher with over 100 students
What you are describing is incredibly expensive. I think all schools should have the funding to be Comer Schools, not just a few select ones. And if we funded our schools like we fund our military, we could afford it.

But my point is that not all traditional public schools serving our low income communities are failing our kids. There are actually quite a few success stories. It's just more entertaining to talk about the failures I guess.
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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #37
61. I'm with you on this.
"Constantly on the phone with parents"? Define "Constantly". My wife sees 165 students thru the course of each day.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
70. I demand accountability! FIRE EVERYONE!!!!
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Meet Obama and his evil twin.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. Recommend
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. WTF????? n/t
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DFab420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
18. Do you have the quote?
Of what Obama actually said about the school??
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Here
WASHINGTON, DC (Vocus) March 2, 2010 -- In a speech before the United States Chamber of Commerce unveiling a new nationwide drop out prevention campaign, President Obama recognized and praised the Met Center in Providence, RI and the Big Picture Learning design for effectively reducing the drop out rate and preparing students for 21st century careers through their personalized and authentic learning program.



President Obama singled out the Met Center in Providence, Rhode Island as an institution that offers the kind of individual instruction to students that is necessary in order to effectively target the drop out crisis in the United States. He said: "That's why we'll follow the example of places like the Met Center in Rhode Island that give students that individual attention, while also preparing them through real-world, hands-on training the possibility of succeeding in a career."

http://www.topix.net/content/prweb/2010/03/the-met-and-...
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. I am googling for everyone today. Here is the link.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/bigpicturelearning/presid...

"President Obama singled out the Met Center in Providence, Rhode Island as an institution that offers the kind of individual instruction to students that is necessary in order to effectively target the drop out crisis in the United States. He said: Thats why well follow the example of places like the Met Center in Rhode Island that give students that individual attention, while also preparing them through real-world, hands-on training the possibility of succeeding in a career.

The Met Center in Providence, RI is the flagship school of a quickly growing international network of Big Picture Learning schools. Presently, the Big Picture Learning design is being implemented in over seventy schools across eighteen states and has partnering schools in Australia, The Netherlands, and Israel. Big Picture Learning touts a highly-praised and innovative school design grounded in personalization and real-world learning opportunities that has been successfully implemented in grades K-12 with incredible results. This design is applicable and beneficial for all students, both at-risk, over-age, and/or under-credited as well as gifted and talented youth. Big Picture Learning is also a leading organization in the Association for High School Innovation (AHSI), a national network of youth development organizations."

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DFab420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
71. Thank you both n/t
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
22. He praised the other school because it has a higher graduation rate
Reminded me of the charter school that bragged it had graduated 100% of its seniors. There were three of them.

Obama must have skipped statistics when he was in college.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. AND how do you have a high graduation rate with those test scores?
I believe one site said this school has 41 seniors in a recent year.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #25
42. I just found out something very interesting about high stakes testing in MO
In high school, kids take End Of Course (EOC) exams. But the only kids who have to take them are the ones who are passing the course.

Now who decides who passes? :)

First thing I thought of when I heard this is I wanted to decide which one of my elementary students had to take the state test. (Of course ALL Of them are required to take it)
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
49. Appropriately
They don't use standardized test scores to decide who graduates. Good grief. :eyes: Do you advocate that?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Good grief. You think teachers get to make that decision?
Teachers are not the ones who decided to tie standardized test scores to graduation. You can thank our politicians like Obama for that.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. So you say they can do as they wish? Public schools must account.
I guess you are agreeing with me.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #49
91. no double standards, damn it.
unless you are judging arne duncan. or barack obama.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. Yes, they're clearly just as subject to oppression as the regular working stiff
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
24. Follow the money, every time it leads to the truth. K+R
Thanks so much for this post. I am so tired of the constant lies and deceit.

"Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper shit than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.

The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces.

Hope is political pabulum for an infantilized nation.


Joe Bageant

Gates and his tax dodging "foundation" are dangerous. Power hungry control freaks with way to much money to burn.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
64. I wish I could recommend this post
>When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper shit than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.<

I was told repeatedly here that anyone who didn't support Obama was "not a Democrat", "wanted a pony" and various and sundry other BS. When I looked at his record before the election, realized that Lieberman was his "mentor" in the Senate, on and on and on, I was told that -- again -- those of us who did not vote for Barack Obama were condemning the country to a fate worse than death. After all, he was going to "fix it". He "got it". Things would get better. I am still waiting for the DU'er who bet me a beer that I was "wrong" to pay up, for instance.

The LIST of shit we've had to swallow since this man took office is unbelievably long, and this is the latest. I defended the decision to send Malia and Sasha Obama to private school because of the security nightmare it would be for those attempting to keep them (and their classmates) safe during each school day. At the same time, I now realize there was a hell of a lot more at stake than security. The Obamas do not believe in public education. They will never allow their girls into the public education system, because it's not important for them. If they truly believed that every American child deserves a quality public education, they would ensure that the person overseeing it was much more qualified than a buddy he plays basketball with. As another poster said this morning, it's sure getting crowded under the bus.

Let's face it: We knew what we were getting with the previous administration. In some ways, this is worse. It's a bait and switch, on a scale NONE of us could have foreseen. Those who are most affected by the economic meltdown in this country are going to be the ones that desperately need a taxpayer funded education, and instead, they're going to find themselves "charter schooled" and "Big Pictured" out of a chance.

IMHO. YMMV.
MV
Again, voting for Democrats since 1979
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
112. Agree . . .
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. See the article I posted in Edtiorials
Even Diane Ravitch has rescinded her previous support for charter schools and NCLB.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. And she worked for the Bush administration.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #30
53. My impression is that she is a passionate advocate of the liberal arts and
cultural literacy and was angry at the public schools for giving the students what she thought of as a dumbed-down curriculum.

She naively thought that charter schools and standardized testing were the answers (I wonder how much classroom experience she has with difficult students), and when those proved to make the situation worse, she withdrew her support.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. That's really eye-opening. n/t
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
34. I'm getting to the point where I'm morbidly fascinated
with how they are going to spin this BS.
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Better Today Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
36. As I was reading through this, I began to suspect it was a art focused school,
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 02:55 PM by Better Today
and I actually approve of this type of set up.

YES! The President has screwed up in his talking points. I agree with that.

What I'm putting below is my personal opinion about how to improve "schooling" rather than "schools". My dream educational system, and the experience that put it to fore for me.

I believe students should learn the basics, sure, but beyond that should be valued at their natural talents with enough diversity to allow for curiosity and possibilities of other paths. So after about 6th grade, teachers pretty much know which students are artistic, which are analytical, and which talk too much, oops, I mean are linguistic, and so on. Yes, I know some kids are universally talented and some struggle to find interest in anything, but most are showing definite preferences. So, all types of skills have to be taught in middle school/jr high on, intensely, seriously. Art, real art not crafts, math, language, music, hands on vocational like woodworking or mechanics or cooking or phys ed. The curriculum would require a balance of these courses, not as it is now where a student is taking and being required to take more left brain classes, and the right brain classes are optional. Then weight the scoring according to overall scores. No curves, no where.

People like me wouldn't have looked like straight A students in this perceived system, because I would've sucked at the art, the music, anything creative, creative writing, all of it. I would've sucked, my natural ability is as a technical analyst. On the other hand my once sister in law, who is the most amazing artistic, creative, just wonderful artist, would've appeared to by my equal (which she is but she'll never see it that way) at whatever standing we ended up at (I'm guessing we would each have been considered in the slightly above average range C+ish). Which leads me to my story of how I came to this.

As I said, she is a fabulous creative, artistic woman. She never took it seriously. And no matter how much I encouraged her to find an outlet for her art, whether that be graphics design or whatever, but no she had been conditioned through out her entire education to de-value her natural talents, and furthermore to de-value herself because she simply couldn't care enough about left brain data to learn it, perhaps she really couldn't grasp it, maybe it was the constant and judgmental pushing that exists in the left brained curriculum we have now that right-brainers just don't respond to, or always seeing left-brainers excused and "curved" into passing grades even when their efforts and outcomes were as bad as hers were in left brain courses. Probably a combination of all, huh?

So one day I'm doing my usual pushing, and she says to me, "you know, you just don't get it, how would you have felt it you had been held back a grade because you failed art class? Or you actually got an F in a required music class where you couldn't learn to sing at all?" Wow, that really hit home with me. Finally I got it. So... I was a stay at home Mom at the time, kids in school during the day. I decide what the heck, I go buy books on how to draw, how to paint, perspective, I must've spent $1000s of dollars on books and supplies and stuff. It expanded my mind like no other, but I'm still a really bad artist. I'm such a better person though. The thing that makes me mad, is that I should've been challenged like that starting in middle school, just like she was about math, and history, and english. And likewise, she should've been able to feel the value of her natural skills and interest to balance out her educational experience.

There's my take on it. Yes, Obama sure appears to be a hypocrite, unless and until he comes out and explains that he thinks schools should be set up to value right-brainers.




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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Our public schools did have art and music...
until they started taking funds away.

My last year of teaching we lost the music teacher to be shared with 4 other district schools. We lost the art teacher years ago.

When a child goes to a school like a charter or a private school via vouchers the allocated money goes with them and usually never returns.

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Better Today Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. Even back in the day, though, no one failed art or music,
it has NEVER been given the credibility, it being a huge range of right-brained educations, that "core" classes have. Just even using the word "core" for left brained education disavows the value of the right brain, and hence right-brainers.

I am not discussing charter schools, or public schools, or allocated money. As I said, this is my dream educational system for the masses, it will never be a reality in my lifetime for any but the most elite, where it has been for a long time, I think. Anyway, take it as you will. I already know what the fundamental flaw in our system is that keeps this from occurring, you're discussing the symptoms of that flaw. The flaw has to be addressed and our value system as a population has to change before that flaw will be correctable. Like I said, not in my lifetime, as the push as far as I can recall has been to focus more and more on left brain education at the cost of the little tiny slice of right brain education we used to have.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. more than anything else
Big Picture Schools encourage students to pursue their interests, whether it is art, cooking, the environment, history, etc. That way the kids remain engaged in the process of learning, and don't drop out as much as in regular public schools. Their low math scores are probably indicative of the fact that not many of the students have math high on their list of interests to pursue.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. And they got the big bucks from Gates to do so.
Meanwhile public schools are losing money. My taxpayer money is sending around 40,000 kids to private schools in Florida via vouchers....I don't have the facts on charter amounts here right now.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. they got startup funds from Gates, so what?
Again, this is in no way a charter school. It is an alternative school for kids who are likely to drop out of regular school. It serves a really useful function.
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. I looked for info on the founders online.
Info that wasn't PR and hype. Perhaps a critique, anything that wasn't trying to sell me a product or a book and I found nothing. I found lots of guru type hype, a faddish even cultist following but if this guy thinks he is the lead reformer in education where are the studies from folks who are not financially tied to his outfit.

Who is evaluating him?

I did find a blog about his schools with three responses, 2 from students and one from a parent who say his so called schools left them unprepared academically for college. Of course now he plans on opening his own colleges so maybe that won't be a problem for him?

When someone swoops down claiming they have the answer to our public school woes, pitches his book at every opportunity, makes himself into some kind of "cool" brand and attracts millions in grants from our leading elite social engineer, something stinks.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #48
95. Start-up funds, my ass. & not only that, it's a *global* franchise!
"The director of educational programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that the Met was his favorite high school in America, and that the U.S. needs more schools like it.

In 2001, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave Big Picture Learning a large grant to replicate the Met around the country.

In 2003, after the continued success of Big Picture schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a second grant to fund the launch of even more schools.

Also, in 2003, the Gates Foundation awarded Big Picture monies to make them lead convener of the newly formed Alternative High School Initiative (AHSI).

By 2008, over 60 Big Picture schools are operating in 14 states, supported by yet another investment in Big Picture Learning by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Our international presence continues to grow, with schools in Australia, Israel and the Netherlands utilizing the Big Picture Learning design. All of these schools from Tennessee to Tasmania, from New York City to the Netherlands embody the fundamental philosophy of Big Picture Learning, educating one student at a time in a community.

In addition, Big Picture and the National League of Cities were awarded a second grant in 2008 from the Gates Foundation to further the work of AHSI through partnerships with select American cities (Nashville, Indianapolis, Camden) to expand the portfolio of educational options available to students....

http://www.bigpicture.org/big-picture-history /
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #95
115. Funding from Gates Foundation
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 11:57 PM by Celebration
has now either been stopped or at least way cut back. And it's too bad, because it is a very successful model for a school for certain types of kids.

I have no earthly idea why people would be against Big Picture Schools. Kids stay in school and they learn. They are public schools, and the teachers are public school teachers.

There is just no rationale to oppose them. That is, unless one insists that insanely large public high schools are where every student belongs. If you believe that, you are absolutely wrong. Why do you think kids drop out of school? It is because the school does not meet their needs. This type school (Big Picture) meets the needs of specific types of kids.

I don't care who started the funding for it. It is a good idea, and it is sad that the Gates Foundation is now mostly going in another direction.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #115
121. look, i just linked the owners of big picture enumerating the huge grants they'd gotten from
Edited on Thu Mar-04-10 12:24 AM by Hannah Bell
gates over a period of about 8 years. last big grant in 2008 = less than 2 years ago.

it wasn't just "start up funding".

and contrary to your prognosis, i'd bet there will be more.


"i don't care who's funding it"

say the perpetually clueless or deliberately obtuse.

"he who pays the piper calls the tune"


you might want to check upthread for big picture's various methods of siphoning off public dollars to private pockets. they have a corporate arm. $1600/day for consultancy, & consultancy is required.

besides which, their results are WORSE than Central Falls!

Public money to these shysters & failures.

aren't you outraged?

no?

it's the embryo of a globally franchised education corp.

jesus christ, people are blind.

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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #121
130. absurd
Big Picture Schools work WITHIN the public school system. That's why Gates has moved away from funding them--true. Gates Foundation has only come heavily into the charter school movement in recent history. Big Picture Schools were founded specifically to NOT be charter schools.

You do not know what you are talking about.

Are you against all alternative schools?

Are schools one size fits all?

I think not.

Big Picture Schools use regular teachers, on regular salaries, that are trained to meet the needs of students who are left behind in regular public schools. Schools with this type model are the last hope against a takeover by charter schools. And, it is the one size fits all thinking that has led people to attack public education. If Big Picture schools were more available everywhere, it would be a lot more difficult for the charter schools to take hold.

Again, do you think EVERY child does best in large traditional public schools? If so, you are crazy. If no, exactly what do you suggest for the ones left behind?
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #115
151. "Why do you think kids drop out of school?
It is because the school does not meet their needs."

Although that can be one factor, it is fair from the only one or even the main one, particularly for economically disadvantaged students.

proud2BlibKansan gave a concise and clear explanation in another thread:
http://demopedia.democraticunderground.com/discuss/dubo...

The dropout rate for Central Falls includes students whose parents were deported after an immigration raid in New Bedford, Mass. It also includes students who transferred when the honors program at Central Falls was eliminated.

Time for a mini lesson on how dropout rates are commonly figured: The number of graduating seniors is compared to the number of freshman who started in this class 3 years earlier. So if you have 100 freshman and 80 graduate 3 years later, your dropout rate is 20%. But what happened to those 20 who didn't graduate is not taken into consideration. If they transferred to a different high school and graduated, they are still counted as dropouts at the school where they were 9th graders. And in low income areas where schools have a high transient population rate, there is almost always a high dropout rate. Surprise!


Other factors can include dropping out to take a job to assist the family or working so many part-time jobs that you're so exhausted you skip class. Moving frequently takes another toll. Each time, a student has to adjust not only to different curricula, but also to different social conditions and being the new kid in school. And conditions in poor neighborhoods can be very harsh.

None of these complexities are being taken into account by the new standardized systems.
If anything, it appears that the public schools are being held to stricter accountability than charter or privately funded ones. And that accountability is not taking critical factors into account.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #151
157. I agree that the system now is not logical
I can't stand NCLB. And I hate the way statistics are being misused. The firing of all the teachers of Central Falls was a travesty. Nothing justifies that type of slash and burn.

Nevertheless, there are kids that simply cannot hack large, impersonal public high schools. The public school system had better get on board with programs that do work for that subset of students. Otherwise we'll end up with vouchers. And that would be really horrible.

The charter school movement isn't really one movement. There are those that are trying to game the system to make a buck, and there are other programs that are doing a great job. All I am trying to say is that Big Picture isn't flush with cash, they aren't making big bucks there, they are dedicated to their ideas, and mainly, they keep at risk teenagers engaged in the process of learning. They are not the bad guys, just because Gates Foundation has funded them. The best part? They absolutely refuse to teach to the tests. So, their dropout rates are lower, their test scores are about the same, and their college acceptance rate much higher than regular public high schools. I am not saying every school should be run this way, but they have a place in the education system.
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Quezacoatl Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
38. The President is beginning to sound like
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 02:57 PM by Quezacoatl
a private school elitist who doesn't understand the needs or challenges faced by the public school system.

He needs to explain this.

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #38
141. Very true. He got his education primarily in private schools. Private universities too. nt
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waiting for hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
54. K&R
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
55. Nice Try but the Data on The Met Appears BOGUS
http://www.themetschool.org/Metcenter/Facts_and_Data.ht...

The school has a 63.7 Math Proficiency and 80% English/Language Arts.

They also have a 94.9% graduation rate.

I think the author of that article needs to do a little more research.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #55
60. You are quoting the school. I am quoting a state link.
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 04:17 PM by madfloridian
Different years as well.

I will try to find the state info from now.

Here's where to begin.

http://www.ride.ri.gov/Assessment/Results.aspx
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #60
63. Sorry, that link doesn't show any results for The Met. Do you really think the school would LIE
about its testing results?
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #63
69. Never mind, I found it. The Met is under it's own district and I was looking at Providence
And yes, the data backs up the story. However, the reading and writing results tell a different story. The above proficiency in these areas is more distinct and the below proficiency vs. partial are also quite different.

However, I stand corrected, the data from the school website is a different number and is from 2006. Can't argue that there is some truth here.
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #69
72. Can you share the link where you found it?
I've been looking also.

thanks.
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #72
81. here
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #55
62. different measurements or tests, maybe?
The link you provided was from the Metcenter and it did not provide a link to where they got their data.

In another thread Xipe Totec provided this link that corresponded with the stats the metcenter had on their website.

http://www.psk12.com/rating/USthreeRsphp/STATE_RI_level...

Metcenter: 80% ELA and 63% math

However, Central Falls had 70% ELA and 57% math.

really not much of a difference in math.

So we can't compare the supposed 7% at Central Falls to 63% at Metcenter, can we?

Personally, I'd like a link to the 4% and the 7% stats.


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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. The data you linked is 2006.
And the rankings overall are different.
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. Look again at the link you provided
The Metcenter data is also from 2006.

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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Fair enough, but the rankings of the two schools are still different.
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soleiri Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. okay
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 05:06 PM by soleiri
The Met is ranked 38 and Central Falls is ranked 45.
Not a huge difference.

Edit to say: BTW, these are rankings, not the percentage of students who achieved proficient on a state assessment.
Completely different than the 7% and 4% statistics.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #68
84. NBC 10 is now reporting numbers that accord with the OP

Obama cited the Met Center in Providence an example of success, but critics wrote to NBC 10 questioning the education standards at the school.

School officials said reform was needed in Central Falls because of the abysmal math scores. But NBC 10 found that 11th-graders at the Met Center scored only 4 percent proficient on the same standardized tests.

And comparing the two schools in reading with distinction, which is one step above proficient, Central Falls 11th-graders scored better than the Met Center again5 percent to 4 percent. When it comes to writing with distinction, both scored 1 percent.


Verrrry interesting...

http://www2.turnto10.com/jar/news/local/education/artic...
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #84
98. Thanks for the link. People are calling the station to correct the facts. Good for them.
"Obama cited the Met Center in Providence an example of success, but critics wrote to NBC 10 questioning the education standards at the school.

School officials said reform was needed in Central Falls because of the abysmal math scores. But NBC 10 found that 11th-graders at the Met Center scored only 4 percent proficient on the same standardized tests.

And comparing the two schools in reading with distinction, which is one step above proficient, Central Falls 11th-graders scored better than the Met Center again5 percent to 4 percent. When it comes to writing with distinction, both scored 1 percent.


Union officials sought to drive home the point Tuesday.

The president of the United States made a faux pas in commenting on something that he honestly knew nothing about. Hence, putting down or applauding the acts at Central Falls while condoning the Met School, whos doing worse, Kelly Erinakes, of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals."

http://www2.turnto10.com/jar/news/local/education/artic...
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #98
135. Berni owes you an apology for this. Don't hold your breath waiting for it, though.
Edited on Thu Mar-04-10 09:27 AM by QC
He also owes you an apology for the callout thread against you that he started in the private forum. Don't wait around too long for that one, either.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #135
145. They are still hive-fiving and back-slapping
over this, not admitting their error. LOL.

That is a hateful little place.
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backtomn Donating Member (424 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
57. Which school would you support?????.......
7% or 4%???

How do we explain that low a rate??? Sorry.....but I don't care if it is a government school or private school. Are we willing to sacrifice these kids on the alter of low expectations???? I'm sorry, but I don't give a **** about the Bill Gates foundation, if people aren't learning. This is not a new problem....or an Obama problem, but do we actually care about it??? None of these schools are performing well.....do we care??? What is Obama doing about it......other than postering???
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #57
75. Take a deep breath and come back and flesh out your argument.
I think you want to have a conversation but are all over the place.

If you want to see what Obama has been doing, MadFloridian is one of the BEST education bloggers out there and I recommend reading her posts regularly.

Who isn't interested in the big picture? The devil is in the details, right.

Do you know what the best predictors of student success are?

Anyway, I understand venting, I do it often enough. Flesh out your ideas.
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cjbgreen Donating Member (175 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
73. Obama and big business
Madfloridian hits the mark again. Big business is attempting to create a privatized, free market system of education which distracts citizens from recognizing the impact of poverty on the lives of children. Firedoglake has a great blog comparing Obama"s response to bankers to his response to teachers. http://workinprogress.firedoglake.com/2010/03/03/obama-... /
Also take a look at this blog http://gothamschools.org/2010/03/02/ravitch-reveals-all /
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
76. The problem with that school district and their teachers...
Edited on Wed Mar-03-10 06:16 PM by liberation
... is that they did not run risky multi-trillion dollar bets on casino-like financial schemes. See that was their first mistake, right there.

If they had done that, Mr. Obama's special brand of accountability would have given them boatloads of free cash and some nice bonuses for Christmas. And who knows, maybe a promotion or two.


It certainly takes a very special level of gall to be a president which just left off the hook the perpetrators of some of the worst transgressions against human rights, our constitution, and our financial future. While showing all sorts of "concern" towards underpaid and overworked teachers, in one of the poorest and most troubled school districts in one of the smallest states in the Union.

LOL
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #76
113. +1000% . . . and let's remember that schools are buildings...this involves kids and parents ...
communities and societies -- and we are going to pay a steep price for this

in the near future!!

It is LNCB which should be "fired" ---

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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
77. That is amazing...
...and quite troubling. Thanks for posting.

Didn't President Obama attend a private school? I wonder if that affects how he sees this issue.
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
79. K&R
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
80. Solidarity.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
82. So now corporate America will be in charge of our schools. How precious.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #82
116. Well, they always were in many ways . . .
rarely was anyone educated for their own self-enrichment ....

There's a rather frightening article on that -- I'll see if I can find it --

but, corporatism is certainly closing in on us all more and more, faster and faster.

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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
85. K&R
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
86. Obama is advocating busting unions and corporate takeover of public education
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ncteechur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
87. Maybe the staff at that school agreed to do a bit more to help their kids. The fired teachers didn'
Let's be clear. President Obama didn't fire anyone. The BOE fired the teachers after they REFUSED to do a bit more to do the job they should have done in the first place. If they would have done the job or agreed to do more tutoring for $30 per hour instead of insisting on $90 per hour, they wouldn't have been fired.

My guess is that the teachers figured "They can't fire all of us."

They were wrong.

Don't compare the two situations unless you know they are comparable.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. Wrong, teechur. Read the assessment that school got from the state
so you can get clear. This report is 8pp, you can get the low down on the last two:

http://www.aft.org/pdfs/press/CFHScommissreport2009.pdf
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
90. This post has had 13 unrecs. Interesting.
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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. I see what the difference between the schools is...
someone told Obama that Met had NO vending machines. That makes Met the winner.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #90
104. Now up to 16 unrecs. Not a popular topic.
:eyes:
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. how can you tell?
I only can see the number of plus rec's
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #106
111. If a post is on the greatest page under "just recs" you can tell.
"General Discussion
Obama approves of closing R. I. school with 7% math proficiency. Praises school with 4% proficiency.
80 recs : By madfloridian"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

80 minus 64 is 16.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #106
143. Now up to 18
Definitely a lot of unrecs.
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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #104
150. Shill Forecast for DU Today : partly freepy with a chance of unrecs
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
100. Just awful -- don't know who's more dangerous here Obama or Gates .. or Education Secy -- !!
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
109. WTF? Does He WANT To Lose The Teachers' Vote???
I am starting to wonder.

P.S. Touch again madfloridian!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
110. Don't know anything about RI, but presume "poorest" might mean minority students?
Whatever, IMO, it is yet more right wing policy attacking public education and

teacher's unions --

I remember a teacher friend of mine here in NJ telling me that her school -- poor

students -- had failed in some way and that they were then FORCED to buy a program

to straighten things out --

It was called "COW" . . . sounded like a joke, right --

"Curriculum on Wheels" -- and guess who was selling it -- Neil Bush!!

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #110
114. OMG that is hilarious. Being forced to buy Neil's COW to improve a school. Video
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

This is a video of a sample of his software. Pathetic.


:rofl: :rofl:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #114
123. Ridiculous . . . the teacher researched it and could see how
insane this way -- but they were forced to do it.

This is a school in Rahway, NJ -- around the time we attacked Iraq --

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #123
125. Momma Babs was pushing that program in FL as well...
about that time. Maybe still is. Seminole County schools, I think.

It is just so obvious that they resent schools being public, and they want to make their money off them.

:hi:
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #114
126. don't laugh. this company still exists & with the bush connections, no doubt neil will
get his share of the increasingly privatized pie.

moo.


In July, 2008 Ignite! released ION, a network-based system. At this time the company claimed to provide middle school curriculum to more than 250 school districts, 10,000 classrooms, and 300,000 students. <12>

Effectiveness of learning programs
In 2009, Ignite! Math was a finalist for an Association of Educational Publishers Curriculum Award.

The Winter 2008-2009 issue of The Journal of Research on Technology and Education, a peer-reviewed juried academic journal, included a study on the effectiveness of Ignite!'s Early American History course and found a statistically significant improvement in achievement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignite !

god how the vultures are circling
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #126
127. Unbelievable! Such a ridiculous program. Thanks for that link.
Surprises me.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #126
129. I've seen several Ignite! publications.
Edited on Thu Mar-04-10 02:56 AM by girl gone mad
The books have that really cheap printed in India quality and they are not very well written. The interactive material leaves much to be desired, as well. Yet this junk can cost 5 times as much as traditional course materials do.

Follow the money. Taxpayers are being bilked by these privatization schemes, all in the name of "fixing education".
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
120. We've been neo-conned, let's face facts.
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MissDeeds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #120
152. Yep
Obama's educational policy seems to be taken straight from the Republican playbook. I can't wait until we can get a real Democrat in the White House. This guy is one disappointment after another and I am freaking fed up with his neo-con agenda.
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SlingBlade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
128. K & R We Progressives Didnt leave the Party
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
134. One more glaring neon billboard
pointing out that the current agenda for education has nothing to do with improving performance, and everything to do with union-busting and privatizing.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
136. Obama's education policies suck. (nt)
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
138. And how many public schools did President Obama attend? nt
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
144. This shit seems to be happening all over
Perfectly effective schools here in NY, that are not doing poorly enough to be closed, are threatened with closure while schools that are performing MUCH worse languish indefinitely.

In other words, let's beat the crap out of teachers' unions and install charter schools everywhere!
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
148. Well That Says it all Right There
I fail to see much difference between so-called moderate Republicans and Democratic Administration.
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
149. dude hates unions
every decision he has made that has any bearing on any union reeks of hatred of unions.


he's a free-trading capitalist who loves him some banks and other corporations, just not the ones that are unionized.
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obxhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
153. Over 30% of HS graduates could not pass the GED.
at least that's what I was told when I took the test.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
154. This is beyond disgusting. There is NO defense for this none.
And where is the Defense team? Out picketing teachers at the Admin request?
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
156. Why don't we just admit that corporate serfs don't need to read much.
As long as they can understand the boss' orders, there is no need for education in this country.

:grr: :sarcasm: :banghead: :mad: :puke:
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
158. I just have to LOL at this whole thread
First, let me say I am completely against the wholesale firing of teachers that took place at Central Falls. I find it completely shortsighted and ridiculous for most of the same reasons that people here say.

BUT this is NOT an issue of Big Picture Schools vs. public high schools. There is some serious misinformation in this thread about Big Picture Schools. For one thing, most of the people involved are a bunch of lefties. They DO NOT teach to the tests (anathema to them), and they accept students BY LOTTERY ONLY. They are a legitimate non-profit, and seek to meet the needs of certain types of students that would otherwise drop out.

Has anyone who criticizes Big Picture Schools here actually BEEN to one? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Big Picture Schools serve a niche market and are far from wanting to take over the public school system. They are about providing an alternative for kids who just cannot take a large impersonalized system that has developed over the decades.

As for the consultation fees, that REALLY is funny, because the consultation fees are paid to teachers within the system, who take maybe one weekend a year, and get paid for it, to help new schools adapt to the system. So, maybe they get another three grand added on to their teacher's salaries. Big whoop. This is not 24/7 at this rate, it is a complete weekend where they have to travel, change planes, etc., and get paid an albeit great amount, but amounting to just once. As for the administrative expenses, how does that compare to bloated school administrations? It is an unusual model, and the schools need support.

Again, this system is definitely NOT run by a bunch of right wingers. They are not into test scores, but they do have to cover expenses in their administration.

Not every child responds to the same type of education. This merely provides an alternative.

Yes, my daughter (HUGE LEFTY--more than me) teaches at one of these schools. Yes she has been a consultant for a weekend or two a year. So what? She was able to pay back her dad a little quicker. See, she had this 1980s Honda and it was falling apart, and she replaced it with a five year old VW. She is hardly getting rich from consultation fees.

The attack on the Central Falls firings is right. The attack on Big Picture Schools is ENTIRELY off base.

And, if you disagree, just when was it when you visited one???????????? They are saving kids, kids that would otherwise drop out, kids that have been bullied, kids that have had to undergo drug programs, etc. Let's not throw these kids away. They drop out, or they go to Big Picture, and find their way.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #158
160. No attack. Just keeping things honest.
Obama praised a school with lower scores than the one where all the teachers were fired.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #160
161. Obama was correct to praise these schools
Just keeping it "honest".

There is some *serious* spinning in this thread, against Big Picture Schools, by people who have NO idea what they are talking about.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #161
162. So scores only count when you are a public school?
They are okay if the school is Gates connected and kids and parents like it?

I really find it insulting to be told I have NO idea of what I am saying.

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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #162
165. Isn't it possible
That Obama could be correct to voice support for Big Picture Schools, but wrong to laud the wholesale firing of teachers in Central Falls?

Isn't it possible that the Gates Foundation support for Big Picture Schools was a good idea, but that there overemphasis on test scores in other cases was incorrect?

Things are not as one dimensional as they may seem to you.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #165
166. The president made a mistake and praised a school with lower scores
than the one he said it was good to close.

It's okay if you are Gates connected or Broad or Walton connected.

It's not okay if you are a public school.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #166
167. I don't know much about Central Falls
Again, that situation sounds ridiculous, but I have no personal familiarity with the situation. I do with Big Picture Schools, and the bashing in this thread of Big Picture Schools is completely and totally unwarranted.

It is not an excuse to bash Big Picture Schools, just because people don't like what happened at Central Falls.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #167
168. Then talk to others. I did not "bash" them.
But they should be responsible for getting good test scores just like public schools. There may be too much reliance on test scores, but it should be equally important if the president is going to praise them.

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haikugal Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
159. Does anyone have
a link to a transcript or video of Obama's remarks concerning the RI school closing? I need to locate one and haven't been able to only references to what he said. Somewhere on DU I saw someone post a link and I need to find it. I don't have enough posts to send a private message so I'm asking here.

Thanks for any help..
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #159
163. I posted it in this thread.
A whole page with his words. I think someone else posted another link.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #159
164. Here is a thorough link someone posted.
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haikugal Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-05-10 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #164
169. My Gratitude
Edited on Fri Mar-05-10 04:29 PM by haikugal
Thanks for the link. Your information is being shared...well done!

on edit:

That link and information you did share early in this thread. It is informative and I've already shared that.

What I need is a transcript of what Obama said so I can read his words rather that a summation by someone else. Thanks.
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