For full effect, this article really needs to be read out loud.
Eduschuyster exposes some ugly truths about corporate edu-opportunism.
Full Text Here: http://edushyster.com/?p=1653#more-1653
Minneapolis: Land of 10,000 Rephorm Miracles
The Twin Cities’ Venture Academy is already raising expectations—not to mention a boatload of cash—despite the fact that the school hasn’t opened yet.
‘Tis the season for miracles and today I give you a miraculous one indeed. Imagine a school so excellent, so innovative that it has succeeded in raising expectations and boosting achievement before its doors have even opened. Where is this miracle occurring? Reader: it’s time to squeeze into your ski pants and slip the insulator over your wine box. We’re headed to Minneapolis, or as I like to call it, the Land of 10,000 Rephorm Miracles.
2 Cool 4 School
Today the Rephorm Express is making but a single stop: the Twin Cities’ Venture Academy. Alas we can’t go inside to see the excellence as the school won’t officially open its doors until August 2013, but breathe in the frosty air, reader, and the scent is unmistakable: audaciousness. Now hater, I know what you’re thinking: how can a school be handed a gold star before it admits a single student? Meet my edu-visionary friend Bill Gates, who just named named Venture one of 20 winners of the Next Generation Learning Challenges award, which identifies breakthrough school models, because next generation learning knows no boundaries.™
Also, we know that Venture is different because of its totally cool job titles. Whereas old school union-stifled public schools are filled with space occupiers with titles like “LIFO lifer” and “clock watcher,” Venture Academy has a Chief Learning Officer AND a Chief Entrepreneurship Officer. And the stuff they do at the school is way cooler and more innovative than the achievement gap widening that happens at a failing public school—or at least it will be when Venture actually opens. They don’t “teach,” reader, they “transfer” and “coach.” And forget about old school educating—Venture is about Growing Good People™ and Try-Measure-Learn-Iterate-ing™. And how cool is this? During all-school assemblies, students will be encouraged to celebrate “marvelous mistakes” by sharing weekly failures and what they’ve learned.
Did I mention that Venture Academy is hiring? Old, union-stifled teachers need not apply though. Venture is only interested in what Chief Learning Officer Kerry Muse describes on his blog, Blend My Learning, as the “MacGyvers” of education: mission-driven, able to think on his feet and solve complex problems in resourceful and creative ways, and as a scientist he also has in-depth content knowledge. If you’re baffled by this particular pop culture reference allow me to translate: using his Swiss Army Knife and knowledge of a few common scientific principles, the innovative educator at Venture Academy “MacGyvered” a solution to what had long seemed like an intractable problem: poverty, which, by the way, is not an excuse.
The Next Big Thing
But will tricked out job titles and a mad entrepreneurial ethic really be enough to ensure that Venture Academy is able to prepare poor minority students for college? Absolutely, reader. You see Venture embodies the Next Big Thing: blended learning, which will FINALLY reverse our schools’ long slide into suckage by filling them with cool new hand-held devices. And we already know that this approach is guaranteed to succeed because the people peddling the hand-held devices keep telling us this. The only thing holding Operation Big Blender back is that it costs so much to employ living, breathing, teachers that there isn’t enough dough left over to purchase the miracle blenders. Note to LIFO lifers: this is a different kind of blender then the one you fire up at 3:07 PM and, on very special occasions, in the teachers’ lounge.
That’s why Venture Academy is guaranteed to be a success—it’s the model of the very School of the Future™, one where edu-stuff, helpfully provided by an endless and evolving parade of edu-vendors, is the real star of the show. Best of all, before it even opens its doors, Venture Academy has already joined the ranks of Minneapolis’ growing roster of miracle schools: institutions that teach the EXACT SAME STUDENTS as the city’s union-stifled public schools but with EXTRAORDINARY, OUTSTANDING and AUDACIOUS results. Venture Academy will soon be working miracles with these exact same students—as long as they meet a few simple requirements.
Are you a MacGyver of education? Send comments to email@example.com.
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Thank you, Eduschuyster, for keeping us informed about educorporate goings-on in Minnesota.
An Opinion Editorial in an Indiana newspaper, the Journal Gazette, written by a candidate for school board, points out a dangerously little-known fact: while Obama’s touting his ”Education reform in 46 states” as one of his accomplishments, people haven’t yet realized Obama is referring to the Common Core…”
Thank you, Journal Gazette and Glenna Jehl.
I would add that another thing almost nobody’s put together yet is that any time that Obama –or any of the elite educrats, including local Utahns– use the term “college- and career-readiness” they are using a code phrase that means COMMON CORE. It’s defined on the U.S. government’s own online definitions page. They are deliberately confusing people. They don’t want you to know what they have done.
Obama takes credit for this supposedly grass-roots, state-led program of Common Core.
But it’s anything but grass-roots and state-led. It was promoted with Bill Gates’ money. It was further incentivized by Obama’s Dept. of Education money. It was marketed by nongovernmental groups that we didn’t elect and can’t fire– CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) and NGA (National Governors’ Association) which are just clubs, not governmental agencies or parentally influenced organizations.
CCSSO/NGA then copyrighted the standards.
And then the Obama Administration put a 15% cap on ever changing any of it. Just read your state’s waiver from No Child Left Behind. Or read your state’s application for Race to the Top.
Fifteen Percent more. That’s it. (No learning too much, now. Slow down, Sonny. No learning too fast, now. We can’t have innovation or self-determination or actual excellence or people exceeding the nationalized speed limit on education. That would not be in the spirit of the new Obama communism at all.)
Where is the liberty in Common Core?!
–Why are good people so opposed to the nationalized takeover of medical care, but so few are shouting about the nationalized takeover of education? We are talking about our children. It matters more than anything what our children’s futures will be. Will their futures offer them lives of liberty or lives of governmental control via the new SLDS and P-20 tracking and control systems built “for education reform”? Will they be lives of indoctrination, now that the Common Core mandates informational text replace classic literature increasingly by age and grade?
Common Core is absolutely socialism. It is absolutely communism. It lacks any vestige of local control– we can’t amend the standards. We had no voice in writing them. There is no process for states changing them. Only the elites may do so. NGA, CCSSO.
It drives me nuts when I go to my local “meet the candidates” night and nobody on the panel has done any homework at all. They say ignorant things like “Common Core is just minimum standards.” Oh really? Ever heard of the 15% cap? Ever heard of moving Algebra I backwards, from 8th grade to 9th, so that kids are learning it at least a whole year later than they used to learn it?
Why do people keep using that passed-down, now-cliched word “rigorous standards” in the face of reality? Rigorous ain’t common core.
Anyone who’s actually studied the standards realizes that although in a few small areas, Common Core is more challenging, that is a drop in the bucket– Common Core is dumbing our students down via fuzzy math, less literature, no cursive, and who knows what kind of science and history they are cooking up? So far we’ve only seen the math and English. I can only imagine– I can only imagine how anti-God, anti-American, pro-Green, pro-Sustainable Education this science and math will be.
So, here’s the article that got me on my soapbox again today. From Indiana; read on:
(Published yesterday, October 18, 2012)
State must reject federal takeover of schools
Glenna L. Jehl
…When President Obama touts “education reform in 46 states” as one of his accomplishments, most people haven’t yet realized that Obama is referring to the new Common Core State Standards being implemented nationwide, including in Indiana.
Surprisingly, Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett helped wheel this Trojan horse into our midst.
Originally, Common Core was supposed to raise academic standards and make what is taught in each grade level more uniform. Unfortunately, the special interests in Washington, D.C., could not resist a huge power grab. Funding incentives like the Race to the Top grants, which requires the adoption of the Common Core Standards in order to receive the funds, lead to school corporations like FWCS and states scrambling for the additional money and willingly embracing the new requirements.
Unfortunately, they never took time to consider what sort of standards they agreed to adopt; no longer in a Race to the Top and higher standards, we are in a race to mediocrity. We are voluntarily relinquishing Indiana’s superior, acclaimed standards for those that are inferior to our current standards in math and language arts.
Under Common Core, by the end of eighth grade students will be two years behind their international counterparts in math. High school graduates will achieve only a seventh-grade reading level. These are hardly rigorous standards, leaving our students less prepared to compete in the 21st century.
When states are done implementing this new, unproven, copyrighted program which includes curriculum, tests, and teacher training from which they may not deviate, they will have lost every last vestige of local control. Common Core districts must use their curriculum, their assessments and their state tests. Even the SAT may become aligned with Common Core… homeschoolers and private schools will be affected, especially if they want accreditation or to accept vouchers.
Imagine the power the federal government will wield when it controls the content and perspective that will be taught to every student nationwide K-12. With virtually no public debate, Obama has quietly engineered the federal takeover of the education system nationwide.
Recognizing the dangers of this overhaul of education, Mitt Romney states his opposition to Common Core as follows: “To financially reward states based on accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum is a mistake. … There may be a time when the federal government has an agenda it wants to promote.”
Are we going to place our children’s futures in the hands of Washington bureaucrats?
…we must join the four states that have already rejected it. Our next governor and state legislature must understand that Indiana needs to opt out of Common Core. That is the only way states, local school boards, and parents will retain the ability to choose the curriculum and the standards for the education of the students in their community.
Hoosiers must take a stand now for academic excellence and educational freedom for the sake of our children, before Common Core is fully implemented.
Glenna Jehl is a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Fort Wayne Community Schools board. She wrote this for The Journal Gazette.
Keeping Kids Safe is Bill Wardell’s radio show. He invited Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy and I on his show today to discuss data privacy issues, Common Core national education, and what most parents do not know about Common Core.