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Human Dignity vs. David Duke

David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard from Louisiana who tried to transform the ugly bigotry of white superiority into political fashion, has found his way once again into national news for his racist involvement in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017– and for his gushing gratitude for Donald Trump’s August 15, 2017, impromptu press conference full of language that unarguably supports Duke’s white supremacist platform.

david duke  Klansman David Duke

Contrary to Trump’s “both sides” defense and Duke’s attempts to rebirth White supremacy as merely a political stance, White supremacy is repulsive, and it should have no place in America.

The terrible situation in Charlottesville this weekend has been on my mind, especially as I consider my students. In my school district, students began the 2017-18 school year on August 10. And as I think of David Duke, and Trump’s soft-shell defense of the likes of Duke, I see the faces of my new students parade across my mind, and how many of them are devalued and their worth as human beings discarded by the awfulness of white-worshiping bigotry.

And I think of the refuse that is both Klan history and fascism, and I want to protect my students from it.

Fortunately, I have the power to show them in the moment on a daily basis that I value their humanity by treating them with respect and dignity.

This is what we do at my Louisiana high school.

In 1991, I was also teaching high school in Louisiana. It was my first year of teaching, and also my first time to vote in a Louisiana governor’s race.

David Duke was running against the well-known, fiscally-compromised Edwin Edwards, who went to prison in 2002 on a ten-year sentence for extortion.

Duke was known as the former KKK grand wizard, and his running for governor frightened many Louisianans.

Some Duke supporters aligned three yard signs to emphasize the three K’s in Dukes name: KKK.

A much more popular Edwards bumper sticker read, “Vote for the crook. It’s important.”

And so, the crook won by a landslide, as the November 17, 1991 Los Angeles Times reports:

NEW ORLEANS — Democrat Edwin W. Edwards crushed former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on Saturday to win a Louisiana governor’s election keenly watched around the nation as a referendum on race relations and voter discontent.

With 99% of the precincts reporting, Edwards, a three-time former governor, defeated Duke, a Republican state representative, by 61% to 39%. The vote totals were Edwards 1,061,233, Duke 681,278.

More than 78% of Louisiana’s 2.2 million voters cast ballots in the race, easily surpassing the previous turnout record of 69.56% set in the 1979 gubernatorial election.

Edwards’ decisive triumph capped an often bizarre contest. It pitted Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Nazi sympathizer, against Edwards, whose last term as governor in the mid-1980s was marred by federal racketeering charges against him.

Duke is in the public eye again, and he is just as ugly, despite his attempts to, as Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune observes on August 15, 2017, capitalize on “long ago trad[ing] his white KKK robe for a stylish dark suit [and pioneering] the modern art of whitewashing white nationalism.”

david duke 2  David Duke, in a dark suit

Louisiana needs to landslide Duke out of his recent, twisted, 15 minutes of fame by publicly and repeatedly registering its disgust.

Vote for human dignity. It’s important.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Relocates to Texas to Make Ends Meet

On July 02, 2017, NPR reported that Shawn Sheehan, Oklahoma’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, has taken a job in Texas for the 2017-18 school year, where he and his wife– also a teacher– will make about $40,000 more per year.

shawn sheehan  Shawn Sheehan

Sheehan tried to remain in Oklahoma, where he ran in 2016 as an independent for a state senate seat. He garnered 37 percent of the vote, but it wasn’t enough to oust Republican incumbent, Rob Standridge.

Sheehan had hoped to work to confront Oklahoma’s steep funding cuts to education. In 2014, Oklahoma led the nation in cuts to educational funding, where in 2013, it ranked second to last in per-pupil funding. In FY2014, Oklahoma ranked fourth from the bottom in per-pupil spending.

And as Sheehan told NPR in July 2017, in Oklahoma, he and his wife earned a combined income of approximately $3,600 a month:

Sheehan and his wife are both public school teachers. Supporting just two people, he says they could make the money work. Together they brought in about $3,600 a month. “So, after all bills are paid, we’re sitting on about $400-450 per month.”

But in late 2016, they had a daughter.

“Sure, life can be done on $400, $450 a month, but I would challenge others out there to buy diapers, groceries and all the things that you need for a family of three on $400.”

Indeed, teachers nationwide often must earn additional money in order to be able to afford unexpected expenses or even to just make it from month to month. (Also see here and here.)

Too, teachers employed in schools in upper-end neighborhoods often cannot reside where they teach. This issue came up when I interviewed Ann Marie Corgill, Alabama’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, who taught for several years in Manhattan:

Schneider: [At lunch today] you told me that you came home– part of it was that you missed home, but part of it was a cost-of-living issue because you wanted to live where you were teaching.

Corgill:  Right. I did. I made the commitment to myself when I said, “[If] I’m moving to New York City, I want to be in the middle of it. I want to live in Manhattan.” I’m small-town, Clarke County, Alabama, Thomasville, Alabama girl gone to New York City. I want to live it up. I want to be the single girl in the city and do everything I’d imagined that I could do in that place: Learn, grow, be exposed to cultures I had never been exposed to.

I all of a sudden had a whole lot of friends who wanted to come and visit New York. So, I had a lot of guests in my little, tiny [flat]. …My friend Heather used to say, she called it my 500-square-foot studio [apartment] “the room.” I said, “It’s not ‘the room,’ and we’re not living in a hotel. This is my home. We’re not going back to ‘the room.’ We’re going home.” She used to make fun of [how small my apartment was]. 

The first apartment building I lived in did look like a hotel. I mean, it’s thirty stories high, and [to a person] from Birmingham, it did look like a hotel. 

Schneider: But the cost of living was a problem.

Corgill: Yes. I think my cheapest apartment rent was $1900 a month. And I lived in four different apartments in six years just because of cost, or buildings would go co-op, and then they’d give you the option to buy. What teacher has $2 million to buy a one-bedroom?

Like Corgill, Sheehan has had to face the practical issues of insufficient finances when it comes to a teaching situation he’d rather keep if it were fiscally possible:

Jon Hazell, this year’s teacher of the year, says he would ask Sheehan: If more teachers leave, who is going to teach Oklahoma’s children? …

Hazell believes you can’t put a dollar amount on teaching children. …

And Sheehan respects that idea, but disagrees. He says he feels called to teach, but he also wants to be paid like a professional.

Being able to afford to raise his child is certainly not much for Sheehan to ask.

shawn sheehan 2  Shawn Sheehan

__________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

If State Takeover of New Orleans Schools Worked, ACT Scores Below 16 Wouldn’t be Embarrassing.

In 2003, the Louisiana legislature created a state-run Recovery School District (RSD) that allowed the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to assume control over schools with a school performance score (SPS) of 60 or below.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, and in November 2005, the Louisiana legislature used such destruction to assume control of even more schools by raising the failing school score to an SPS below the then-current average of 87.4. (For more on the RSD history, see this post.)

Note that a key component in SPS calculation is the standardized test score. On the high school level, one such test score is the ACT, which has been administered to all juniors beginning with the 2012-13 school year. Moreover, 100 percent of Louisiana’s Class of 2013 took the ACT.

An overarching goal of state takeover of Louisiana schools was for the state to assume control of most New Orleans public schools– which it did in 2005– and to convert all of those formerly local-board-run schools into charter schools– which it did by May 2014.

Louisiana’s RSD New Orleans (RSD-NO) was an experiment, one that was supposed to “turn around” those failing schools and make the RSD charter conversion a modern-day miracle.

By 2017– twelve years post-Katrina– it is clear that the experiment has failed. There is no incredible test-score-based miracle, and in no place is such failure more obvious than in the average ACT composite scores for RSD-NO in general and its high schools individually.

The remainder of this post offers a close examination of the average ACT composite scores for RSD-NO, where the miracle-producing engine has stalled.

no miracles

On August 09, 2017, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) released the Class of 2017 average ACT composite scores by school and school district.

What is not included among the released school and district scores is a Class of 2017 average ACT composite score for the New Orleans high schools that were taken over by the state post-Katrina and which comprised the Recovery School District, New Orleans (RSD-NO).

In fact, the LDOE Class of 2016 average ACT composite score file also fails to include a separate score for RSD-NO high schools.

In May 2016, the Louisiana legislature voted to begin returning RSD-NO schools to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), a decision that provided a convenient reason for Louisiana state superintendent John White to stop reporting the annual average ACT composite scores for RSD-NO as a separate score.

Beginning with the Class of 2012, the state-reported average ACT composite score for RSD-NO high schools has been an embarrassment, making state takeover arguably a difficult sell for the likes of a corporate reformer like White.

White was never able to tout RSD-NO high schools as having an average ACT composite that even reached as low as 17.0.

In fact, the best RSD-NO average ACT composite score happened several years ago, in 2012, when RSD-NO reached 16.8.

In order to offer some context regarding the meaning of ACT composite values, note that in order for a high school graduate to gain unconditional admission to Louisiana State University (LSU), she/he must have an ACT composite score of 22.

Then, by LDOE’s own reporting, it dropped to 16.3 in 2013. (See Louisiana reform voice Leslie Jacobs downplay the 2013 ACT drop to 16.3 in this New Orleans Miracle sales pitch.)

And up it came modestly in 2014, to 16.4. That year, White did not release Louisiana’s composite ACT scores at all. I released them in January 2015, with the assistance of someone in higher ed who became tired of waiting on White. Within days of my release– which had RSD-NO high schools at 15.7 for an average Class of 2014 composite– White released his 16.4.

Comparison of his numbers to the ones I obtained begs for an audit. But for now, let’s go with White’s 16.4, which is nothing to showboat– and which sure does appear to be a key reason that White did not release the scores in a timely manner in the first place.

In 2015, LDOE reported that RSD-NO’s average ACT composite was 16.6. And before the time came for a Class of 2016 ACT score release, the Louisiana legislature decided to begin sending RSD-NO schools back to OPSB. Of course, since those RSD-NO schools are now charter schools, their “return” to OPSB isn’t the same as if the schools were traditional public schools, as Danielle Dreilinger reported in May 2016 in nola.com:

The Louisiana Legislature is ready to close a chapter in New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina history. Both the Senate and House have voted to reverse the 2005 state takeover of most of the city’s public schools. …

But the re-unified school system won’t be the same as the old days. In the past decade, the Recovery system has become a realm of independent charter schools, mini-kingdoms run by non-profit, non-elected boards. Those boards will continue to reign after the transition, making their own decisions but to meet the Orleans Parish School Board’s benchmarks. Currently they report to the Recovery district, which is a unit of the state Education Department, and to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Even though OPSB will be overseeing the now-returning RSD-NO schools in market-driven-reform, “portfolio” style, which adds a layer of bureaucracy that complicates oversight, such a return is a real gift to John White.

White will be able to better conceal the RSD-NO ACT-score embarrassment by averaging RSD-NO high schools with those of OPSB and never, ever have to report a separate average ACT composite score on those RSD-NO high schools ever again.

From 2012 to 2015, LDOE reported OPSB and RSD-NO average ACT scores separately, but it also reported them combined, which helped to draw attention away from just how low the RSD-NO high school ACT composite scores were.

And the RSD-NO average composites, which were themselves low (ranging from 16.3 to 16.8 over the four-year span of 2012 to 2015) actually helped conceal the fact that a number of RSD-NO high schools continued to have ACT composite scores below 16, and that many RSD-NO school ACT composites from year to year continue to be erratic:

RSD-NO High School

 

ACT 2017 ACT 2016 ACT 2015 ACT 2014 ACT 2013 ACT 2012
Lake Area 16.4 17.1 16.8 16.2 16.2 17.2
The NET 14.3 14.6 14 13 12.5 N/A
Crescent 14.2 14.1 14.3 14.4 ~ N/A
ReNEW WB 14 14.5 13.9 ~ 12.7 ~
Sci Acad 18.4 17.8 19.7 18.2 18.8 20
G.W. Carvr 16.7 17.9 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cohen CPrp 18 17.8 17.8 18.7 N/A N/A
Landr Walk 16.3 16 15.7 17.8 17.7 20.1
Algiers Tech 15.6 15.9 16.6 14.9 15.5 17.1
SophieWright 18.1 17.9 18.8 17.1 18.5 17.8
KIPP Renais 18.3 19.4 18.5 17.9 N/A N/A
JosephClark 15.9 15.9 15.4 14.2 14.9 15.4
Dr. MLK 16.8 17.5 17.7 15.3 15.5 15.9

If indeed state takeover of RSD-NO high schools made a substantial difference to testing outcomes (the preferred measure of success promoted by corporate reform), then that difference would arguably manifest itself in some sort of consistent, upward trend in RSD-NO ACT scores across years for most RSD-NO high schools.

Such evidence simply does not exist. If it did, you best believe John White would be broadcasting it.

Instead, he is left to combine RSD-NO and OPSB high schools in order to produce a more publicly-palatable average ACT composite. However, even this will get old because the RSD-NO high schools’ low ACT composites are now producing what appears to be a stagnant RSD-NO-OPSB combined composite that cannot break a modest 19.0 average composite:

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Orleans All (OPSB & RSD NO) 18.9 18.9 18.8 18.4 18.2 18.8

Below are the ACT composite scores for OPSB without RSD-NO, from 2012 to 2015 (LDOE did not report OPSB separately from RSD-NO in 2016 and 2017):

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
OPSB w/o RSD-NO 21.0 20.5 19.7 19.5

In contrast to erratic- and low-scoring RSD-NO, non-state-run OPSB high schools did show a steady, upward trend in average ACT composite scores.

One could argue that many OPSB schools are selective admission schools that did not fit the state’s definition of “failing” in the first place and therefore should not be compared to the state-run RSD-NO schools.

However, state turnover does not get off so easily.

The point of state takeover is to “turn around” failing schools, and after over a decade, such turn-around should be clearly evident in state-run RSD-NO ACT scores. But it isn’t, not by a long, long shot.

State takeover of RSD-NO high schools did not successfully “turn around” those schools. Indeed, such failure is profoundly underscored by the fact that RSD-NO “success” cannot be marketed without concealing RSD-NO ACT scores behind that combined, OPSB-RSD-NO ACT score averaging.

And even combined, RSD-NO-OPSB continues to unsuccessfully reach for an average ACT composite of 19.0.

Not exactly the substance of miracles.

missed target

____________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

Louisiana’s Class of 2017 ACT Scores Released

See this Google Doc for Louisiana’s Class of 2017 ACT scores by school and by district (tabs at top left corner).

I also created a back-up using Excel: LA ACT Scores 2012-2017

As of this writing, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has not yet posted the file with the Class of 2017 ACT composite scores. (UPDATE 08-10-17: The file is there, but forget consistency of file order or file names. It’s under “2012-2017 State-LEA-School ACT Summary” near the bottom of a list of files, left column. UPDATE 08-11-17: Now the file is posted second from the top of the column but remains under its mismatched file name.)

The Google Doc above was as part of the August 09, 2017, Advocate article entitled, “Louisiana’s ACT Scores Show Tiny Rise; St. Tammany Leads State for Third Year.”

One noteworthy convenience/benefit for Louisiana state superintendent John White is that the schools of the state-run Recovery School District in New Orleans (RSD-NO) are in transition to return to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB)– which means the embarrassingly low ACT composite scores for many of those state-run schools can more easily be concealed as they are combined with higher-scoring OPSB high schools.

RSD-NO schools returning to OPSB are bolded. Notice that all are below (with many, well below) the now-combined OPSB-RSD-NO 2017 average ACT composite of 18.9.

OPSB and RSD-NO HIGH SCHOOLS

Warren Easton Senior High School

2017 ACT Composite

18.4

Benjamin Franklin High School 28.8
Edna Karr High School 18.3
Lusher Charter School 26.9
McDonogh #35 College Preparatory School 16.5
Eleanor McMain Secondary School 18.2
New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics HS 20
Lake Area New Tech Early College High School 16.4
The NET Charter High School 14.3
Crescent Leadership Academy 14.2
ReNEW Accelerated High School West Bank Campus 14
Sci Academy 18.4
G. W. Carver Collegiate Academy 16.7
Cohen College Prep 18
Lord Beaconsfield Landry-Oliver Perry Walker High 16.3
Algiers Technology Academy 15.6
Sophie B. Wright Institute of Academic Excellence 18.1
KIPP Renaissance High School 18.3
Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School 15.9
Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School for Sci/Tech 16.8

And here are the Louisiana 2017 ACT average composite scores by school district:

 

DISTRICT

Acadia Parish

2017 ACT COMPOSITE

18.5

Allen Parish 19.6
Ascension Parish 20.3
Assumption Parish 18.8
Avoyelles Parish 18
Beauregard Parish 19.5
Bienville Parish 18.6
Bossier Parish 20.7
Caddo Parish 19.7
Calcasieu Parish 20
Caldwell Parish 19.3
Cameron Parish 19.2
Catahoula Parish 18.6
Claiborne Parish 17.3
Concordia Parish 18.1
DeSoto Parish 19.2
East Baton Rouge Parish 18.8
East Carroll Parish 15.2
East Feliciana Parish 19.2
Evangeline Parish 19.3
Franklin Parish 16.9
Grant Parish 19
Iberia Parish 19
Iberville Parish 18.2
Jackson Parish 18.6
Jefferson Parish 19.1
Jefferson Davis Parish 19.4
Lafayette Parish 20.1
Lafourche Parish 19.5
LaSalle Parish 20.4
Lincoln Parish 20.9
Livingston Parish 20.3
Madison Parish 16.8
Morehouse Parish 17.7
Natchitoches Parish 17.9
Orleans All (Orleans Parish & RSD NO schools) 18.9
Ouachita Parish 19.8
Plaquemines Parish 20.5
Pointe Coupee Parish 17.9
Rapides Parish 19.9
Red River Parish 17.8
Richland Parish 17.6
Sabine Parish 18.8
St. Bernard Parish 18.8
St. Charles Parish 20.2
St. Helena Parish 17.1
St. James Parish 19.7
St. John the Baptist Parish 18.2
St. Landry Parish 18.7
St. Martin Parish 17.9
St. Mary Parish 18.7
St. Tammany Parish 22
Tangipahoa Parish 18.6
Tensas Parish 16.8
Terrebonne Parish 19.6
Union Parish 17.1
Vermilion Parish 20.1
Vernon Parish 20.2
Washington Parish 18.6
Webster Parish 18.1
West Baton Rouge Parish 19.5
West Carroll Parish 20.1
West Feliciana Parish 21
Winn Parish 19.6
City of Monroe School District 18.7
City of Bogalusa School District 16.9
Zachary Community School District 21.4
City of Baker School District 17.3
Central Community School District 21.1
East Baton Rouge All (EBR & RSDBR schools) 18.7
Recovery School District – Baton Rouge 15

Note that state-run Recovery School District, Baton Rouge (RSD-BR) and East Baton Rouge are still reported both separately and in combination even though RSD-BR is a single high school, Capitol Prep.

Note also that formerly separate scores for RSD-NO and OPSB are omitted; 2015 was the last year that OPSB and RSD-NO were reported separately (ACT composites of 21 and 16.6, respectively).

To view 2011 to 2017 ACT composite high school scores within districts across Louisiana, click on the Google Doc or corresponding Excel file near the opening of this post.

ACT

______________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

PARCC’s New Manager: Brand-Spanking New *New Meridian*

Ever since late 2016, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has been trying to decide its direction, first by announcing in November 2016 that it would be willing to serve as an item vendor (as well as continuing to offer complete PARCC tests), quickly followed with the beginnings of a Request for Information (RFI) process regarding PARCC’s direction and ultimately resulting in a Request for Proposal (RFP) for new PARCC management (see related press releases here).

PARCC issued its RFP in April 2016; the big question concerned whether the nonprofit, PARCC, Inc., (led by Common Core development insider, Laura Slover) would continue to serve as PARCC’s management org beyond June 2017, the time that its contract would expire. (Read the PARCC, Inc.-Slover-Common Core history here.)

As it turns out, only two entities submitted RFPs to manage PARCC: PARCC, Inc.– already the PARCC manager, even as PARCC continued to embarrassingly shed its state members– or the never-before-heard-of New Meridian Corporation– which has only been in existence since September 2016 and which appears to have been created solely to be the new PARCC manager.

On April 28, 2017, EdWeek reported on New Meridian as the new PARCC manager– and on New Meridian’s being “new,” period:

The PARCC consortium has chosen a new nonprofit to manage the business of maintaining and administering its test: New Meridian Corp., a brand-new organization led by people from various strands of the assessment world. …

[The PARCC governing board] issued a request for proposals last December, but received only two responses: from Parcc Inc., the nonprofit that’s been managing the consortium since December 2013, and from New Meridian. New Meridian will begin its work in July.

As far as information on New Meridian, there isn’t much. Its website mentions a six-member “executive team” that “has more than 15 years hands-on experience in assessment and education management,” which isn’t impressive if one calculates the average (15 years / 6 people = 2.5 years average “hands-on assessment/ed mgmt. experience”). It if were much more than 15 years, the promoters surely could have used a larger number.

Indeed, most of New Meridian’s hands-on assessment experience appears to belong to a single board member, Irene Hunting, who had twelve years with the Arizona Department of Education.

New Meridian founder/CEO, Arthur Vanderveen, holds both a bachelors and a doctorate in English and a masters in divinity (educational psychology; theology). Despite holding no degrees focused upon research and assessment, Vanderveen worked as an executive director for the College Board for four and a half years (2003-2007) and as executive director of assessment for the New York Department of Education (NYSED) for just over a year and a half (2008-2009), followed by another two and a half years as NYSED chief of innovation (2009-2011).

Since 2011, Vanderveen has been VP of business strategy and development of Compass Learning. From Vanderveen’s Linkedin bio:

Vice President, Business Strategy & Development

Compass Learning
October 2011 – September 2016 (5 years)
Austin, Texas Area

Member of Executive Team reporting to CEO responsible for setting company direction, overall business strategy, and investment priorities, and building a high-performance culture with motivated and engaged employees.

Led the company’s business development and strategic partnerships, resulting in more than 40% of company bookings associated with partnership sales.

Screened and structured deals based on financial business case and alignment to corporate strategy, product portfolio requirements, and sales strategy. Negotiated terms and oversaw legal contracting.

Executive coach for strategic sales. Supported development of solutions selling through strategic deal reviews, coaching on customer engagement, solution design, and direct customer engagement.

Established company’s brand as a thought leader in formative assessment and personalized learning by delivering keynotes, presenting at conferences, and publishing.

In other words, since 2011, Vanderveen has had little to do with assessment. And yet, on its sparse home page, New Meridian advertises itself as follows:

New Meridian is a nonprofit that provides assessment design and development services to states.

Our vision is for every student to develop the critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary to succeed in college and career.

Our focused mission is to provide states with best-in-class, flexible assessment systems that measure the competencies that genuinely matter for students’ success in college and career.

The New Meridian website offers no information on any of its clients, PARCC included (though I suspect PARCC is its only client). New Meridian says it is a nonprofit but offers no physical address and does not even mention in what state it is registered. Its “contact” link is a single, generic email address.

It turns out that New Meridian is registered as a nonprofit in Texas, where Vanderveen resides. New Meridian has no business address and no other filings to date with the Texas Secretary of State other than this certificate of formation dated September 23, 2017. New Meridian calls itself a nonprofit but does not yet appear to be registered (no EIN number).

New Meridian does acknowledge two nonprofit funders: The Baton Rouge Area Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation. However, New Meridian does not yet show up on grantee listings for either organization.

New Meridian is indeed new.

Who could doubt their future PARCC promotion success?

edsel

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

PARCC: Still Trying to Hold Itself Together

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has a new website.

On May 02, 2017, one could still access the old link for the PARCC governing board (archived here)– the one listing Hanna Skandera as the PARCC governing board chair.

On July 02, 2017, the old PARCC governing board link was still active (archived here), but with DC superintendent, Hanseul Kang listed as chair. Skandera is still listed as New Mexico education superintendent, despite her having resigned effective June 20, 2017.

Interestingly, Skandera continues to be listed as NM ed sec on the new PARCC web page, now called parccgoverningboard.org., despite her “passing the reins” to NM deputy ed sec, Christopher Ruszkowski (Louisiana Teach for America executive director/state ed board member, Kira Orange-Jones’ husband).

The PARCC governing board on the revamped PARCC website is listed as follows:

If one clicks the link for Skandera, one reaches a generic NM ed dept page.

Another link on revamped PARCC takes one to the “states and organizations” page— which is written in such a way to convey the misleading message that even states that are only purchasing PARCC items are certainly *taking the test*:

In the 2016-2017 school year, students in Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will take the test.

Note that Louisiana is included as “taking the test”; however, the term “PARCC” is not even mentioned on this summary of Louisiana’s 2016-17 assessments. Not to worry, though, notes PARCC on its “assessment options” page— which includes cautions about comparability as part of an incomplete graphic presented at the top of the page. However, I preserved the PARCC testing options caveat in this November 2015 post.

The bottom line is that there is no “the test” PARCC comparison for Louisiana’s assessments using PARCC items since the 2015 Louisiana legislature voted to limit 2015-16 PARCC items to just under half of any Louisiana assessment content (see Act 342).

However, PARCC continues to try to plug along. Never mind that as of this August 2017 writing, its most recent press release is from December 2016, and its most recent featured news item is dated March 17, 2017.

And its official vendor, Pearson (still identified in graphic on the “assessment options” page) continues to shed thousands of employees in the name of *restructuring.*

PARCC and Pearson: Both floundering.

flounder

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

Birthday Wish Met and Then Some!

On the late evening of August 05, 2017, I posted a thank you message to the many kind supporters of my birthday fundraiser for my attendance at the upcoming Network for Public Education (NPE) conference in Oakland, California, in October.

At the time of that posting, people had generously contributed $1,158 of my $1,350 GoFundMe goal, which was enough for airfare, hotel, and airport parking, and for which I was truly thankful.

By breakfast on the morning of August 06, 2017, not only had my goal of $1,350 been completely met but also exceeded by $300, for a remarkable campaign total of $1,650.

Your thoughtfulness is indeed touching. Thank you so very much.

And in case you were wondering, as of lunchtime today, my scrumptious birthday cake is gone, baby, gone. 🙂

birthday cake gone