How Has Standardized Test-Based School Accountability Changed the Way We Understand Public Schooling?


Chester Finn, president emeritus of the Thomas Fordham Foundation, Frederick Hess, head of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas Fordham Institute, have been arguing this summer about whether public school reform based on test-and-punish school accountability is dying. For decades, these three men have been central to defending the changes embedded into federal law by the 2002, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and into state laws across the United States as Arne Duncan’s Department of Education made states comply with these educational theories to qualify for federal Race to the Top grants in 2009.

While these three proponents of accountability-based school reform disagree on where this movement stands today, they all agree on what it is. Petrilli remembers how he defined school reform back in 2006: “There is now a Washington Consensus in education. It has been entrenched since the…

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Prosecuting Trump for Insurrection

Bob Shepherd | Praxis

Could someone please wake up A. G. Garland?

If Garland doesn’t prosecute Trump, then democracy in America is already over. The only think distinguishing us from a banana republic is that we don’t grow bananas ourselves. That said, here is

Your Handy-Dandy Guide to Some of the Federal Laws Under Which A.G. Garland Must Charge Donald J. Trump

(These are ones related to The Big Lie; a whole other set of laws would enable a whole other set of charges related to The Big Rip-off. Note that Trump needs to be charged with multiple, separate counts of each of the following.)

18 U.S. Code § 2384 (2000): Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy…

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Gwinnett GA Teacher of the Year Resignation Speech

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On May 23, 2022, Lee Allen, Gwinnett County (GA) teacher of the year, announced his resignation from Gwinnett Public Schools at a board meeting.

Man gets teacher of the year, then he says he has to leave. These things ought not to be, especially given that the district’s HR superintendent called this time “the Great Resignation.”

When the teacher of the year chooses to exit, perhaps it’s time for admin to both listen and act.

Allen had roughly three minutes to speak about his reasons for leaving Gwinnett County (not the profession entirely). I transcribed his words, which are captured on the Youtube video at the end of this post.

According to his LinkedIn bio, Allen has been teaching high school math in Geogia for eight years: five in Whitfield County, and three, in Gwinnett County. He also holds certifications in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and…

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Success Academy Parents Speak Out.  Part 1 “They banned me from attending my son’s graduation.”

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

The Success Academy charter school network has over 40 schools in the five boroughs of New York City. About 20,000 students in grades K to 12 attend these schools. Though Success Academy students have gotten exceptional 3-8 state test scores, the network has been very controversial because of some of their practices which some consider cruel if not illegal.

They have paid out millions of dollars in settlements for their treatment of families of students who the school wanted to rid themselves of and even went so far to create a written ‘got-to-go’ list.

One of their teachers treated a small girl abusively by executing a ‘rip-and-redo’ after the student gave an explanation for how to do the problem that the teacher did not think was good enough.

Maybe Success Academy gets away with these things because they are perceived to be isolated incidents where an administrator or…

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Arizona’s Expanded School Voucher Law Offers Parents the Freedom of Insufficient Funding

What a joke!!
I look forward to Texas attempting to pass similar lame legislation.

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On June 24, 2022, the Arizona legislature has passed legislation that expands school voucher eligibility to all Arizona students K-12 as well as PreK for students with disabilities. Arizona governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign the bill into law.

Arizona House Bill 2853, “Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts; Appropriation,” expands the state’s school voucher program such that even students already enrolled in private schools can get what is expected to be approximately $7,000 per student per year away from the state’s public schools and charter schools and toward educational expenses, including but not limited to private school tuition, “educational therapies,” psychological evaluations, standrdized testing fees, public transportation costs to and from school, and computer hardware used for educational purposes.

Once a parent or guardian signs the school voucher agreement, “the department shall transfer from the monies that would otherwise be allocated to a recipient’s prior school district… [or]…

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My Plan to Create a Meaningful College Football Playoff System-2018

The current “selection committee” process for determining the 4 participants that will be playing for the National Championship in College Football is biased and very illogical. Time to make a change.

  1. Start by changing the conference championships for each conference. No more “divisions”. One conference with a round-robin schedule.
  2. Each team will play an 11 game regular season. Game 12 would be the conference championship if they qualified.
  3. The two best records in the conference will play during “12th week” for the conference title.
  4. You must win your conference title to be eligible for the playoffs. In the case of the 4 Independents, you may be eligible if you have 2 or fewer losses.
  5. There are currently 10 FBS conferences with 4 schools playing as Independents.
  6. 10 conference champions and 6 At-large bids that may be selected from the conference runner-ups and a qualified Independents.
    1. Round 1 The higher seed would be the home team for Round 1
      • 1 vs 16
      • 2 vs 15
      • 3 vs 14
      • 4 vs 13
      • 5 vs 12
      • 6 vs 11
      • 7 vs 10
      • 8 vs 9
    2. After that, it would continue as a normal single elimination tournament.
    3. Round 2 the team with the higher seed would host the lower seed.
    4. Round 3 and forward would be played on neutral fields and use the current bowl system.

This would end the problem with 13-0 Central Florida being kept out of the playoffs. Yes, they may be from a non-Power-5 conference but they deserve a chance to play against the big boys just like Boise State did when they upset Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

National Titles by Conference Since 1980:

SEC – 12 and 1 Split

ACC – 5

BIG 10 – 2 and 1 Split

Big XII – 6 and 1 Split

PAC 12 – 1 and 2 Split

Big East – 1 and 1 Split

Western Athletic 1

Independent – 6 (Notre Dame, Penn St, Miami)

Brigham Young is the only school from a non-power-5  to have won a National Championship since 1980, in 1984. Penn St. and Miami have since joined a conference, Notre Dame remains an independent and BYU is now an independent. Historically, schools from non-power-5 conferences have not won a national championship since Army in the 1940’s.

We all enjoy the first round of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament when you have the seeds 11-16 upsetting the higher seeds. We have the opportunity to see the same type of drama in FBS.

The current system of propping up certain programs to make other’s look better will disappear. It will be decided on the field. If a 15 seed upsets a 2 seed, then more power to them, bring on the next opponent.

To Watch or Not To Watch, That is The Question!

As we approach the end of Week-1 of the 2018-19 NFL Season there have been many declarations from so-called fans that they are not going to watch the games because players take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.

I personally don’t agree with it but, they do have a right to chose not to stand. By the same logic, their team owners have the right to fire them for not complying with team rules and standing during the playing of the National Anthem.

With that said, that is not why I’m writing this today. My focus today is the people that have declared they are boycotting the games.

After lots of thought, I think have an appropriate analogy. When kids are in high schools they get mad at a coach in a particular sport, and then declare, “I’m not playing for Coach X”. My question has always been to them; did you starting playing because you love the game or because of a certain coach. Nine times out of ten, it is because of a love of the game. I always remind them they play because they love the game, so play because you love the game and not because of an issue with a coach.

The same philosophy applies in this situation; do you watch the NFL because you like the game or because of some coach or ower.

So I encourage the “boycotters” to watch the games because they like it, rather than not watch it because of something you disagree with.



I Bounced Through Oklahoma to Missouri and Back to Texas

This week I had to make a very fast trip to the Lake of the Ozarks to clean out a storage unit. From my house on the North Side of Houston to the storage facility was 720 miles one way. Driving a pickup and towing a trailer to carry the stuff back home so it was safe and dry.

A third of my trip (550 miles) was through the State of Oklahoma. The State of Oklahoma has the worst roads I have been on in a long time. US Highway 69 from the Texas border South of Durant, OK to entering the Interstate 44 at Big Cabin was the worst stretch of the trip. I literally bounce through some towns because the road was in such bad condition.

Initially the worst  location was as I entered Kiowa, OK. I between the road and the bounce created from the trailer, I hit my head on the roof of the my pickup.

This was just the beginning, the roads continued to be in poor condition the entire trip. Eventually when I reached I-44, I had hoped the road would improve, it was more of the same even with it being resurfaced.

I’m not sure what the State of Oklahoma is doing to fix their roads but it is not enough. First their teachers go on strike because they are not being paid and now their roads are pitiful. This state is a mess.

Other titles I considered:

I Left My Back in Kidneys in Kiowa Oklahoma

The Titanic Faced Fewer Waves in the North Atlantic Than I Did Driving Through Oklahoma

Come Visit the Sooner State, We Will Help You Wear Out Your Vehicle is Sooner

Oklahoma, We Have the Best Roads, Just Like in 1889



The Gross Manipulation of the NBA

Many people wonder why I don’t care for the NBA as a league. The current season is drawing to an end with very little climax. The NBA will get their Cleveland vs. Golden State matchup Chapter Four.

In 2016 with the Warriors leading the series 3-1, all the sudden a screen by Draymond Green on the Golden Boy Lebron James leads to Green being suspended for Game 5. This changes the whole momentum of the series in which Cleveland goes on to win. Lebron should have been suspended as much as Green for the incident or neither. Green should have not been suspended alone.

Now here in the 2018, game 6 of the Western Conference finals. The Rocket jump out to 61-51 halftime lead. Only to come out in the second half and only score 25 points.  It almost appeared to as if they were not allowed to win. The NBA had to have their game 7 (translation, more money).

Tonight was game 7 in Houston, the Rockets lead 54-43 at the half. Suddenly, there was a missed foul on the Rockets end of the floor and a touch fouls against the Rockets on defense. Then all a sudden the Rockets go from leading to tied to trailing. The end result was  Warrior 101-92.

Yes it did not help that the Rockets Chris Paul was injured but even his presence could not make up the inconsistencies in the officiating.

The NBA can deny all they want but the video evidence speaks for itself.

At this point, I don’t care if either team wins.

Go Astros and bring on College Football.