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Breakthrough report by Cuomo Panel on CCSS and inBloom

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There is simply no doubt now that signs of sanity are emerging in the Education Reform arena. The recent report by Governor Cuomo’s panel examining the commitment of New York State to both the implementation of Common Core State Standards and participation in the inBloom data storage and exploitation contract recommends:

  • Restructuring our use of Common Core, including the banning of testing before 3rd grade, and limits on time that can be spent on test prep
  • Pulling out of inBloom, as every other one of the earlier participating States has already done. See links to the full report here:

http://on.wgrz.com/Pqdvs9

A survey of recent appearances on msnbc – admittedly a progressive news site and thus preaching largely to the already converted, (but we take inspiration where we can) reveals an appearance on the Ed Show by Leonie Haimson, of www.classsizematters.org Link here:

http://bit.ly/1nsDaiG

and by Bryan Jones, narrator and researcher, with Julie Cavanaugh (both of the M.O.R.E. caucus of the UFT) of “The Inconvenient Truth behind Waiting for Superman” (http://vimeo.com/41994760 ) on All In with Chris Hayes:

http://on.msnbc.com/1e4AmC7

In both cases, thorough and articulate voice was given to the drive among advocates and educators for a restoration of sanity and dignity to the classroom and the teaching profession. Consider the implications of ‘Citizen Rights’ before condoning the privatization of Public Education and the proliferation of (especially for-profit) charter schools!

So many clichés and misunderstandings abound, and so many valued words have been twisted into disservice by the ‘reform’ movement – words such as ‘accountability’, ‘choice’, 'evaluation' and ‘college and career readiness’, that understanding what the effects have been requires effort and a willingness to finally listen to a variety of experiences and realities that have been virtually crying in the wilderness until the dead weight of the Bloomberg era has passed away.

Am I alone in being shocked (once again) by the fear and denial that has come from a political regime? When something like Education Reform becomes such a monolithic presence that dissent is silenced or betrayed, and honest voices of criticism are ploughed under, doesn't this alarm anyone in a democracy? There are any number of similar examples –

  • The Mayor of Hoboken, who knew no-one would listen to her until Governor Christie became vulnerable
  • The players during the Watergate scandal who were too terrified of Nixon to disclose what they knew
  • Don’t even start on what Military, CIA and FBI operatives knew under the Bush administration….
  • No-bid contracts and sweetheart deals for worthless and faulty services costing the DOE billions under Bloomberg

The list goes on (and on).

This is an epochal, watershed moment for our City and Nation – let us all pay full attention!

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