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14 July 2015 @ 09:11 am
Expert Advice, part 2  
So, Campbell Brown is back at it again. Now she has founded an organization dedicated to dialogue about education. It is called The 74 after the 74 million K-12 students in the US. Here is their web site: https://www.the74million.org. Read. It. And. Weep.

Once again, MSNBC, that bastion of reform-y leaders in education, helped her launch it Monday. First up: two summits on education with leading candidates for President. But, I urge you to take a look at who is involved here. Guess who is missing? Yep, any educators. No classroom teachers, no members of colleges of education. The founders and leaders are all CEO or journalist types. How can this be non-partisan when not all the participants are invited to attend. And there was Ms. Brown this morning, hyping charter and choice and CCSS: let's think of them as the Axis of Evil, shall we?

I would also argue that having a summit with candidates is pointless. They know what to say and how to say it. NEA has already endorsed Bernie Sanders, someone who is not even the presumptive candidate. Way to go, guys. This endorsement is pointless and, potentially, damaging should someone else be the Democratic nominee.

Want some expert advice, Ms. Brown?

1. Talk to teachers outside of the charter and private schools which are where your kids are. Talk to the teachers who have lost pensions and, more importantly, lost autonomy. The problems with CCSS are to just in how it was rolled out as you suggested. The problems with CCSS go deeper. Again, let's talk about the lack of experts in terms of the architecture here.

2. Talk to parents who are part of the Opt-Out Movement. Listen to what they have to say about how much time is spent in test prep and how little time is spent in truly learning.

3. Talk to the people making the $$$ here. Pearson perhaps (though you had better get to them soon)? How about all the other test prep industry? Ask for some bottom lines here. How much $$$ is funneled for testing and test prep versus books, infrastructure, even things like supplies and furniture.

If you cannot find experts, let me know. I can recommend MANY folks that could provide you with the "non=partisan" approach should you care to listen.
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