inBloom, Education Technology and the Murdoch-Klein Connection: A Son-of-Frankenstein B-movie Sequel?

I had not put together that John White worked for Joel Klein, godfather of inBloom before. The ties and inbreeding among these companies that seek to profit from capitalizing our children and their data never ceases to amaze and disturb me. I worked with Natasha Singer on her article for the Times, and was a bit chagrined by the too balanced coverage in my opinion. I’m hoping the next article, if it ever gets published, covers more of the concerns and remedies I discussed with Natasha. If that article does not come out in the next week or so I will publish the points I made that I think should have been brought out in the NYT story.

Andrea Gabor

Last Sunday’s New York Times ran a fascinating story on the controversy surrounding inBloom, which promises to serve as a one-stop warehouse-in-the-cloud for student data, but which many educators and parents worry might compromise the privacy of kids in grades K-12. Like a number of major education-reform ventures, this one was launched by a group of funders led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Now that most states have signed onto the Common Core State Standards, which will use computerized assessments, the allure of creating a central repository of student data is more compelling than ever.  The NYT lays out the potential benefits of the inBloom system, including the ability to store large amounts of student information and provide tools for analyzing the data–information that will be available not only to educators, but also to education-technology developers who can tailor products to student and school needs. The…

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Defies Measurement is almost funded!

Defies Measurement is almost funded!

Just 23 hours more to go folks before Shannon Puckett can stop worrying about fundraising and start worrying about production issues.

If you have not donated, or have not shared this film with your Facebook friends and twitter followers, now is your chance. We have less than 1600 dollars to go and 23 hours to get it. To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure Shannon was going to make her goal, but like a ravenous cheetah she has been ceaselessly tracking down funders for the past month until she’s gotten within spitting distance of her goal.

Shannon stalking new donors (actual picture)

If you love public schools, and the damage being wrought on them in the name of education reform, then this is the film for you. Please consider making your pledge not just today, but in the next 23 hours to lock in the donations everyone else has committed to give on Kickstarter.

This is the premise: A documentary film that exposes the damage caused by high-stakes testing on our children, teachers, schools and communities.

This is the reason: The American public school system hangs in the balance. High-stakes testing has tipped the scales toward a culture of learning that favors standardization over inspiration. Schools are being closed, teachers are being fired, and curriculum is being stripped of depth and mastery of content. Meanwhile, students are denied a culture of learning that is needed for their social, emotional and intellectual growth.

Now is the time.

This is the truth behind education reform, not the Hollywood and corporate fiction we’ve been dosed with in the form of “Won’t Back Down”, “Waiting for Superman”, and “Education Nation.”

If you need truth, you need this.


CC (semi-official crustacean mascot/producer)

The Fight to Save Common Core: Count Me Out

Me too. No Commoners Core Curriculum for me or my kids, thank you very much.

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

I have written a number of posts on the so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS), an unprecedented effort by those outside of the classroom to exercise control over the classroom by standardizing what is taught in classrooms across the nation.

Since CCSS did not originate with those forced to accept it, there has been resistance. Legislators are drafting bills to drop CCSS.

But CCSS is a real money maker. Corporate reform is fighting back.

Arne Duncan: Defending CCSS

I find it interesting to read about both the individuals and organizations fighting to “save” CCSS– and their justifications for doing so. First is US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s repeated attempts to defend what he insists are not federal standards.

Yet he campaigns for CCSS, even to Congress:

During a question-and-answer period, reporters pressed Duncan on why the Common Core standards have become so toxic, particularly with GOP activists. He gave his…

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