When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

I am writing this feeling somewhat like a David facing off against a Goliath. It certainly won’t make me popular. There are many of us who keep weighing the evidence. Is Diane Ravitch incredibly wiley or incredibly obtuse? I’ll leave it to you to decide. It IS clear that there are parts of her narrative … Continue reading “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Education: America’s Next Extractive Industry

The following poem was presented as my 3-minute testimony at the Philadelphia School Reform Commission’s monthly meeting held September 14, 2017. Our children, your profit centers. Their data, digital toil, your oil. Not to sell…outright,   But to collect and package for the gamblers of global finance. Titles and social standing held out. Such a … Continue reading “Education: America’s Next Extractive Industry”

Will “smart” cities lead to surveilled education and social control?

“What is a Smart City?” is the third entry in my slide presentation series “Education in the Cloud.” If you haven’t yet seen them, prior posts include an introductory essay and “Digital Classrooms as Data Factories.” Part 3 of Education in the Cloud: What is a “Smart” City?  A growing number of metropolitan areas are … Continue reading “Will “smart” cities lead to surveilled education and social control?”

Smart Cities & Social Impact Bonds: Public Education’s Hostile Takeover Part II

Ed Reform 2.0 is a different variety of privatization from the one to which we’ve become accustomed. End-of-year high-stakes testing, imposition of value-added measures, alignment to Common Core State Standards, and destabilization of districts through charter school expansion, closures, and turnarounds were actually setting the stage for the final act that is now on our … Continue reading “Smart Cities & Social Impact Bonds: Public Education’s Hostile Takeover Part II”

Scholarchip IDs: Convenience but at what cost?

I’m grateful to the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools for keeping tabs on the Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission’s monthly meeting agendas. They recently alerted me to a resolution about student ID cards, that in turn started me thinking about ubiquitous computing, digital classrooms as nodes within Smart Cities, and the role big data, payment systems, … Continue reading “Scholarchip IDs: Convenience but at what cost?”

Sleight of Hand, Slate?

Over the past few days, my social media feed has been buzzing about Slate’s “The Big Shortcut.” The eight-part series, developed in coordination with Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s The Teacher Project, explores “the exponential rise in online learning for high school students who have failed traditional classes.” Many of us have been working hard … Continue reading “Sleight of Hand, Slate?”

Decaying Buildings and the Rise of Digital Education

“DeVos doesn’t think we should be funding school buildings as much as students.” The line caught my eye as I scrolled through social media this weekend. How could it not? I’ve been working hard over the past year to try and convince other education activists that the true endgame of the reform movement is to … Continue reading “Decaying Buildings and the Rise of Digital Education”

How exactly did the Department of Defense end up in my child’s classroom?

You cannot fully understand what is happening with Future Ready school redesign, 1:1 device programs, embedded assessments, gamification, classroom management apps, and the push for students in neighborhood schools to supplement instruction with online courses until you grasp the role the federal government and the Department of Defense more specifically have played in bringing us … Continue reading “How exactly did the Department of Defense end up in my child’s classroom?”

Stop! Don’t opt out. Read this first.

Schools in every state are buzzing this year with talk of “personalized” learning and 21st century assessments for kids as young as kindergarten. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its innovative pilot programs are already changing the ways schools instruct and assess, in ways that are clearly harmful to our kids. Ed-tech companies, chambers … Continue reading “Stop! Don’t opt out. Read this first.”