Arne Duncan And The Governors, More Parent Trigger, Plus Trivia and Reds!

They love each other! This AP story about overlap between Secretary Duncan and the Republican Governors is a solid check-in on the state of play and a good look at what’s happening behind the scenes and underneath the pundit chatter. But isn’t there an understory here that AP didn’t include?  Duncan does have good relations with Republican governors but at the same time pretty lousy ones with Capitol Hill.

Per yesterday’s TIME column on parent trigger, Parent Revolution leader Ben Austin tells me that on the supermajority issue, “I don’t agree…because in order to get over the 50% threshold in the face of union opposition they need a super majority anyway.”  That’s true enough but I don’t think it addresses the potential problems of ongoing instability.  Perhaps one way to think about the parent trigger is in the context of Soviet – U.S. relations during the Cold War.  Because there was a nuclear option it forced people to the table to head off using it.  Parent trigger does change the power dynamic and get parents into a game they were not in before.   But, it’s not just a strategic tool, it does seem likely to become operational – hence the question of what then…

Speaking of the Russians, Neerav Kingsland takes a look at lessons from the fall of the Soviet Union for public education.

DC Public Education Fund’s Young Professionals Committee held a trivia night yesterday evening at DC’s Madhatter and I played host.  Among the prizes – for really obscure knowledge and 1st and 3rd prize – some guestblogging time right here in addition to some other goodies so look for some of that in the next few weeks. Strong showing from teacher teams.

And this NYT op-ed is well worth reading.

2 Responses to “Arne Duncan And The Governors, More Parent Trigger, Plus Trivia and Reds!”

  1. jeffreymiller Says:

    Re: the AP story. Amusing to see how even bad ideas can be bipartisan.

    Re: USSR story. Tells me nothing. The Soviet system was somehow like our public (government) schools? Huh? The only thing I learned from that link is how far the privateers of NO schools are willing to go to justify their takeover of the public school system.

  2. Bill Jones Says:

    DC Public Education Fund’s Young Professionals Committee”

    Some more real talk for parents.

    1. Do you think that these young professionals were teachers? Hardly. They are the army of edu-crats reshaping YOUR child’s education to comply with the NATIONAL push to reshape our future.

    2. Do you think they ONCE said that they were ,”here for your child.” Hardly.

    Let’s have some facts:

    1. Right now California, where I live and teach at university, there is a LAW, that all student test data SHALL made available to ALL THINK TANKS. Yes, YOUR CHILD”S test data is now the grist for the edu-industry. They fought for it, they got it. Have they said, “I am here for your child”, lately.

    2, Parents, what matters right now is how your child is doing RIGHT NOW in their math, science, and english classes. Do not wait if they are in trouble. Get a tutor NOW, or ask your neighbor if they know calculus and physics. (Mine did).

    3. Right now under the FOIFA your child’s test data is released to whomever files the paperwork. Of course there are no names attached. Nevertheless, it grades your child’s school and determines your home price.

    4. Right now in CA the DOE has released a statement citing improper uses of test data. ETS has said that longitudinal use of this data is INAPPROPRIATE. Never mind that, Hanushek at Stanford continues on his merry way to use it any way he sees fit. (Only an economist would do that.)

    5. Your child’s name is attached to that test data and may have been for years. It is stored on DOE computers. Faceless, nameless govt. bureaucrats have their hands on that data and can see as much of it as they like. This is VERY VALUABLE information to businesses. They want it. They will pay for it. Why wouldn’t a business want a LONG RUN SNAP SHOT of your child’s school performance. Heck, they may even ask for it as a condition of employment. They are doing it now with Facebook and other private accounts.

    6. My point is precise: Your child is now a widget (an economic term from the overpaid men and women of the furrowed brow economics profession) in a national education policy whose primary tenet is that ONLY a PERFECTLY EDUCATED workforce can pull this nation out of its decline.

    7. What should responsible parents do? OPT OUT OF STATE TESTING. You have that right. Be responsible and do it NOW. It is simple. It is easy. OPT OUT. You do not need to sign any papers. You will NOT be arrested or harassed.

    OPT OUT now. It is quick. It is easy. It is effective. Your child is NOT a cog. Your child is not a WIDGET. Your child is not some anonymous piece of labor for some business somewhere. OPT OUT now.

    As an alarming fact, in ALL states teachers BREAK THE LAW when they encourage parents to opt out. They can be ARRESTED, FINED, and FIRED. You will not hear it from them.

    Parents, do the right thing. OPT OUT NOW.

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