Friday, June 20, 2008

Education Advisers to the Pres. Candidates

Here is the ASCD link to
Education advisers for Obama and McCain


Anonymous said...

Waldorf invades Chengdu province. There goes the neighborhood.

anthroposophy - Luke, fulfill your destiny. Star wars is full of classic steinerisms. There are Disney-like qualities in everything that give life whole new meaning...

NY Times
Experimental School Is in Jeopardy
Published: March 20, 1999
The West Side Community School, a tiny experimental program on the fifth floor of an old school building on West 93d Street, is like no other public school in New York City.

The Steiner method -- more often called Waldorf, after the German cigarette company that financed the first Steiner school in 1919 --

is distinctly out of sync with the nationwide movement for high and measurable academic performance. But the method is used in 140 private schools in North America, 70 of them founded within the last 10 years, according to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.

West Side Community, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in the Joan of Arc Junior High School building, has existed since 1993; it began incorporating Waldorf techniques in 1995, when James Mazza was the district's Superintendent.

At the time, the change seemed a lucky coincidence; the district wanted alternative programs that would keep children in the public school system, and a handful of local teachers were espousing Waldorf methods through a group called Waldorf in the Mainstream. Edna Johnson, the program director, hired Ms. Kotansky as the school's first Waldorf-trained teacher, and the program opened in September 1995 with 25 kindergartners.

Anonymous said...

This is a great letter - how does a Stanford researcher explain to a parent that Waldorf is not racist only that according to Waldorf, children because of their skin color or religious beliefs will learn less than other children. These are theosophical ideas partly lifted from Plato. They believed in channeling - an excuse for plagiarizing - that's how Steiner was able to write 400 volumes of mostly ridiculous incomprehensible writing.

Which begs the question - why were such schools promoted in racially diverse cities by school officials?

I wonder if the Chinese are aware of this?

Anonymous said...

Reading more about the New Way Learning Academy (Scottsdale, AZ) -I understand precisely what was happenning and there's an excellent note from a teacher that left which explains why the Principal was fired - teachers had expired credentials and it was exposed during an audit. That's pretty simple.

This looks like a charter started in a district to serve special needs kids, the school was receiving $300,000 per year in state funds. Holy cow! Enrollment at the school is 130 students. If you add Title I, no wonder the student:teacher ratio was 7:1.

This does not excuse Keegan who was serving as a Director of the school, while probably also doing consulting work for the charter. I've already seen this happen in more than one school district.

Beneath this teacher's commentary is some commenting which only serves to strengthen her story.

So this is pretty interesting, since most of the story is coming from informed sources.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to Schools Matter

In a NOW segment aired March 26, 2004 that introduced the Bush cronies who had just been handed $77,000,000 in ED funds to seed school privatization ventures, Lisa Graham Keegan, head of the Education Leaders Council, gushed to reporter, Michelle Mitchell:

You don't think anybody's making money off of education? Big secret, it's happening. People make millions.

This admission came even as Mitchell was reporting that an audit had showed that the $16,000,000 that ELC had squeezed from ED (with the help of former ELC chief, Gene Hickok) was going to pay big salaries that Lisa and her friends were doling out to one another.

It wasn't long after that, however, until Keegan took her cut and split, leaving a big mystery as to what happened to the other millions that ELC had received for the impressive-sounding programs pumped on ELC's spiffy website, before it went black last year.

Now it seems Keegan is back, this time looking for more federal infusion for her version of virtual education. On the website for her company, e2020, Inc., it appears that e2020 is a form of on-demand teacher in a box, marketed heavily to urban areas where high schoolers find it too dangerous to go to school. One might think of e2020 as the Iraqi model for education: keep the students and the teacher in their virtual green zones, where they are free to learn all they desire to know.

(In Mariposa County, Keegan was getting paid $175k as a consultant, she currently gets paid by the hour.)

Who says education doesn't pay?

Anonymous said...

Who is Gene Hickok?
Acting Deputy Secretary of Education. He works for Spelling.

Education chief gets federal response over 'objective origins'
By MICHAEL MOORE of the Missoulian

The acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education has told Montana's top education official that the federal No Child Left Behind Act does not require the teaching of so-called "Intelligent Design" theory in high schools.

On the other hand, nor does the act prohibit such teaching, Gene Hickok wrote in a March 8 letter to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch.

McCulloch had written to U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige in early February, asking for Paige's opinion about an aspect of the ongoing debate over a science policy first proposed for Darby schools by minister Curtis Brickley. Brickley proposed the "objective origins" policy that eventually was passed by the school board, and he also made a presentation about intelligent design during the discussion of "objective origins."

Intelligent design, which is primarily a product of the conservative Seattle think tank the Discover Institute, posits that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection," the institute states on its Web site.

"We had been getting questions from people who said that Rev. Brickley was claiming that No Child Left Behind required schools to teach intelligent design," McCulloch said Wednesday. "So I wanted to make clear with the secretary that that wasn't true."

McCulloch didn't get an answer and which thinktank is making national policy right now - the Discovery Institute, right here in Seattle.

(When one looks at the McCain staff, you're only one step away from the White House.)

Anonymous said...

I recommend Bergeson rename OSPI to OSTI

Office of the Superintendent of Theosophical Instruction.

Discovery Institute is pro-charter and Jim Spady is a board member and in with Dave Quall on charter legislation. He's also co-director of Washington State's Educational Excellence Coalition (EEC).

This was one of the best roadmaps to charter reform I have seen on the web and it takes a fair bit of reading to comprehend all the faces involved in reform, but one should remember this facet of education is worth billions and so it can support a rather long list of people, who are mostly involved in a confidence game based on claims that have no merit.

Anonymous said...

I'll not defend the keystone cop thumb twiddling bureaucrats who've fiddled for 30+ years while the education rome has burned.

IF you've been employed in education for over 5 years, NOT with direct student contact, and you don't have a costed out plan to implement in 3 months, you should be fired.

(side note to all you private sector mouth breathing worshippers - the private sector is NOT consistently better, only randomly and accidently better)

HOWEVER - Raygun, Bush, their cronies - ALL of those senior people are out to destroy publicly funded education because, like all good aristocrats since before the pharoahs, the bush senior thug clique don't want competition for thier jobs at the top, and they don't want people educated cuz educated people might try to hold them accountable.

Will barack appoint a bunch of over credentialed imcompetents ?


However, they probably won't be people who really really really want to destroy public education.

Hell will freeze over before I'd vote for ANY republican at state rep or above.