Today's news -- October 6, 2017

 

 

 

 

Why accountability based on standardized tests is “a charade” *

There is a new book out with a title that in eight words explains a good part of the mess that school reform based on standardized tests has been in recent years. The title is “The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better,” and the author is Daniel Koretz, a professor of education at Harvard University. Koretz is an expert on educational assessment and testing policy, and he has focused his work on the consequences of high-stakes testing. Before going into academia, he taught emotionally disturbed students in public elementary and junior high schools. The school “accountability movement” has relied in large part on standardized test scores to evaluate students, schools, teachers, principals and districts. It started under the No Child Left Behind Act, which went into effect in 2002 under President George W. Bush, grew during the Obama administration and is continuing with somewhat less fervor today. The movement led to classrooms dominated by test prep and a severe narrowing of the curriculum to a primary focus on subjects being testing: reading and math. More and more tests were piled on during the school year, eventually sparking a grass-roots resistance nationwide in which parents opted their children out of tests. Even some supporters of using high-stakes tests as a key assessment tool came to realize that the movement had gone too far. There are big questions that remain about the test-based accountability movement, including who allowed it to happen.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/10/05/why-the-school-accountability-movement-based-on-standardized-tests-is-nothing-more-than-a-charade/?utm_term=.67afdc6d9995

 

20,000 students from Puerto Rico can use Florida Virtual School

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article177200246.html

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-florida-virtual-school-puerto-rican-students-20171005-story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SentinelSchoolZone+%28Sentinel+School+Zone%29

 

School districts hit by Hurricane Irma ask Florida to postpone testing

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article177182171.html

 

State teachers who want a bonus will sit with students and retake the SATs (Justin Katz quoted)
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/fl-schools-teachers-retake-sat-20171004-story.html

 

Bay teachers, district start salary talks (Cindy Fowler quoted)
http://www.newsherald.com/news/20171005/bay-teachers-district-start-salary-talks

 

Sarasota school district PR firm linked to online comments (Barry Dubin quoted)
http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20171005/school-district-pr-firm-linked-to-online-comments

 

Hernando schools reduce testing

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/hernando-county-schools-reduce-testing/2339972

 

Marion charter school vote set for Tuesday

http://www.ocala.com/news/20171005/charter-school-vote-set-for-tuesday

 

Participant in pro-public school documentary lashes out at filmmakers (Randi Weingarten mentioned)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/participant-matt-damon-public-school-doc-lashes-at-filmmakers-1043801

 

For-profit schools reward students for referrals and Facebook endorsements

https://www.propublica.org/article/for-profit-schools-reward-students-for-referrals-and-facebook-endorsements

 

Sesame Street launches tools to teach coping skills to children who experience trauma

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/10/07/sesame-street-launches-tools-to-teach-coping-skills-to-children-who-experience-trauma-of-all-kinds-from-natural-disasters-to-violence-at-home/?utm_term=.eb5bf4130c78

 

New federal grant feeds charter school gravy train in New Mexico

http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/new-federal-grant-feeds-charter-school-gravy-train-in-new-mexico/

 

FSU introduces dual-degree major for education majors to address teacher shortage

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/10/05/fsu-introduces-dual-degree-major-education-majors-address-teacher-shortage/736612001/

 

White supremacist to speak at UF on October 19

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/10/05/white-supremacist-richard-spencer-to-speak-at-uf-oct-19-114903

http://www.gainesville.com/news/20171005/richard-spencers-contract-to-speak-at-uf-complete

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article177311986.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/10/05/richard-spencer-gets-ok-to-speak-at-the-university-of-florida-his-first-campus-event-since-u-va/?utm_term=.09cf8d42548b

 

University suggests international students could be reported to ICE if they unionized

https://www.thenation.com/article/this-university-suggested-international-students-could-be-reported-to-ice-if-they-unionized/

 

Reduced state pension rate creates $50 million budget hole

Revenue analysts agreed Thursday to lower the assumed rate of return on a pension plan serving 900,000 people across the state, leaving a potential $50 million hole in next year’s state budget. The consortium of analysts from the state House, Senate and Governor’s Office decided to decrease the rate of return on the $144 billion Florida Retirement System pension fund from 7.6 percent to 7.5 percent. The lower expected return on investment means the Legislature will need to set aside an additional $60 million next year. “I could live with 7.5 percent this year as what we have with a very strong caveat,” said Amy Baker, the state’s chief economist, adding another drop was likely. “I think the drum beat is definitely building over time to show that continuing downward adjustments will be necessary.” The small amount of extra cash the state could have had on hand has already been gobbled up by recovery costs from Hurricane Irma. An annual report written before the storm howled over the state last month offered $52 million extra money, an amount dwarfed by this year's $83 billion budget. “Now, as of today, they’re looking at $50 million they’ll need to make up,” Baker said. “But we’re thinking there will be more costs from the storm, too.” Pension plan includes 519,000 current employees from school districts, state agencies, universities and local governments. Another 395,000 retirees receive payments from the plan.  State Board of Administration Director Ash Williams said the plan, which serves 519,000 current employees from school districts, state agencies, universities and local governments, is revered as one of the strongest in the country. However, the 7.6 percent assumed rate was too optimistic. “We’re being a bit ambitious,” Williams said, adding his agency oversees the state’s investments. “We’ll give you whatever the market can give you but we can’t pull it out of a hat. It’s worth staying on top of this.” The pension plan carries $24.9 billion debt, and lawmakers pay to reduce that amount after considering the assumed return rate established by analysts. But a study they reviewed showed that hole would grow under the previous rate. The rate could drop to 6.8 percent in coming years. "You're taking reasonable, meaningful bites here, which is the way to go," House Finance and Tax Committee Staff Director Don Langston said. Those manageable bites will give lawmakers some breathing room as they negotiate a projected $1.64 billion budget gap by 2021 created by rising costs in Medicaid and school enrollment. Medicaid is expected to cost roughly $300 million more than this year's $26.2 billion due to an additional 58,000 recipients. School enrollment also will go up by 27,000 students. Legislative leaders have pledged to rein in spending. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, said the roughly $600 million in special projects added by members to this year's budget would be scrutinized. Projects added next year will hopefully be created to help the state recover from the September storm, Corcoran had said. 

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/05/reduced-state-pension-rate-creates-50-million-budget-hole/735589001/

 

Leaders consider proposed Florida Constitution amendment to let more felons vote

http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/2017/10/05/panel-considers-amending-floridas-felon-voting-closed-primaries-laws/733703001/

 

CRC consider amending closed primaries law

http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/2017/10/05/panel-considers-amending-floridas-closed-primaries-law/737939001/

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/florida-politics-blog/fl-reg-florida-closed-primary-20171005-story.html

 

Congressional Republican leader stakes opposition to hurricane relief without offsets

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/05/rsc-chief-congress-hurricane-relief-packages-243479

 

After hurricane, state doesn’t waive fees for KidCare insurance

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/10/05/after-irma-state-doesnt-waive-fees-for-kidcare-insurance/?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Daily%20Buzz%20on%20Florida%20Politics%20-%20100517&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

Lake Okeechobee hits highest level since 2005, raising concerns its dike could fail

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/water/lake-o-hits-highest-level-since-2005-raising-concerns-its-dike-could-fail/2339994

 

Puerto Rico health system on life support two weeks after Hurricane Maria

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/05/puerto-rico-health-system-life-support-two-weeks-after-hurricane-maria/734130001/

 

FEMA removes website statistics about drinking water access and electricity in Puerto Rico https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/05/fema-removes-statistics-about-drinking-water-access-and-electricity-in-puerto-rico-from-website/?utm_term=.113cf16a14bb

 

Trump’s handling of Hurricane Maria is getting really bad marks

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumps-handling-of-hurricane-maria-is-getting-really-bad-marks/

 

Vulture Capitalists Circle Above Puerto Rican Prey

http://billmoyers.com/story/vulture-capitalists-circle-puerto-rico-prey/

 

Medical debt biggest cause of South Florida homelessness, survey says

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/medical-debt-ranks-no-1-cause-of-south-florida-homelessness-survey-says-9724408

 

Scott's terrible choice for Public Service Commission

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-scotts-terrible-choice-for-public-service-commission/2339991?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/business/economy/jobs-report-unemployment.html?emc=edit_na_20171006&nl=breaking-news&nlid=3179832&ref=headline

 

Trump voter fraud commissioner is continuing voter purge crusade

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/voter-purge-crusade-continuing-election-commission

 

Supreme Court should end partisan gerrymandering

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article177361676.html

 

Russian propaganda may have been shared hundreds of millions of times, research says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/05/russian-propaganda-may-have-been-shared-hundreds-of-millions-of-times-new-research-says/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.e9ebd4081af1

 

How Russia’s fake social media accounts undercut Clinton’s campaign

https://thinkprogress.org/russia-facebook-clinton-campaign-d6d76b2a2e82/

 

Mueller's team met with Russia dossier author

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/politics/special-counsel-russia-dossier-christopher-steele/index.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-dossier/trump-dossier-on-russia-links-now-part-of-special-counsels-probe-sources-idUSKBN1C92WN

 

House Democrat leader demands Ivanka Trump and Kushner explain email switcheroo

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/top-house-dem-demands-ivanka-trump-and-jared-kushner-explain-email-switcheroo/

 

House passes budget blueprint, taking step toward tax overhaul

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/politics/house-budget-blueprint-tax-cut-overhaul.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171005&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

The GOP's tax reform push is already a huge mess

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/5/16400440/republicans-tax-reform-congress

 

More Americans favor raising tax rates on corporations, high household incomes

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/27/more-americans-favor-raising-than-lowering-tax-rates-on-corporations-high-household-incomes/

 

How biggest bank paid its fine for the 2008 mortgage crisis -- with phony mortgages

https://www.thenation.com/article/how-americas-biggest-bank-paid-its-fine-for-the-2008-mortgage-crisis-with-phony-mortgages/

 

As ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-aca-enrollment-nears-administration-keeps-cutting-federal-support-of-the-law/2017/10/05/cc5995a2-a50e-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14_story.html?utm_term=.3a82ed898303

 

Trump told HHS to deny request to fix Iowa ObamaCare market

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/354170-trump-told-hhs-to-deny-request-to-fix-iowa-obamacare-market-report

 

Trump administration to narrow Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-administration-could-narrow-affordable-care-acts-contraception-mandate/2017/10/05/16139400-a9f0-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html?utm_term=.f27622e0bf32

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/politics/trump-birth-control.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171005&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

White House plans to demand immigration cuts in exchange for DACA fix

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/05/white-house-immigration-cuts-daca-243493

 

Flake tries to strike DACA compromise

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/05/jeff-flake-daca-dreamers-bill-243484

 

Disabled and scraping by in the underground economy

https://www.washingtonpost.com/classic-apps/disabled-and-scraping-by-in-the-underground-economy/2017/10/06/4ebcf4f2-8102-11e7-ab27-1a21a8e006ab_story.html?utm_term=.6d06baa2052a

 

Sessions rescinds workplace protections for transgender people

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/politics/transgender-civil-rights-act-justice-department-sessions.html?emc=edit_cn_20171006&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

https://thinkprogress.org/doj-transgender-employment-discrimination-a2e4aa061387/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/jeff-sessions-just-reversed-a-policy-that-protects?utm_term=.bo5xmkx5B#.oxz9Kg9XM

 

Interior Department worked behind the scenes with energy industry to reverse royalties rule

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interior-department-worked-behind-the-scenes-with-energy-industry-to-reverse-royalties-rule/2017/10/05/30e8d8ce-a92a-11e7-b3aa-c0e2e1d41e38_story.html?utm_term=.df2029e637c0

 

Deep in 316-page EPA document, an unexpected turn in history

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/insider/foia-scott-pruitt-epa.html?emc=edit_cn_20171006&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Trump nominates a coal lobbyist to be No. 2 at EPA

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/climate/trump-epa-andrew-wheeler.html?emc=edit_cn_20171006&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Mnuchin’s military flights totaling $811,000 were legal but poorly justified, watchdog says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/treasury-secretarys-government-flights-were-legal--but-cut-corners-watchdog-says/2017/10/05/c032a9f8-aa04-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.4e9dfd90f6ce

 

Trump administration will propose repealing Obama’s key effort to combat climate change

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/05/trump-administration-will-propose-repealing-obamas-key-effort-to-combat-climate-change/?utm_term=.8e09bcd8c939

 

Courts thwart administration’s effort to rescind Obama-era environmental regulations

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/climate/trump-administration-environmental-regulations.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171006&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Trump gathers with military leaders, says “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/06/trump-gathers-with-military-leaders-says-maybe-its-the-calm-before-the-storm/?utm_term=.ec748cc9d45e

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/us/politics/trump-calls-meeting-with-military-leaders-the-calm-before-the-storm.html?emc=edit_tnt_20171006&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Tillerson summoned to White House amid presidential fury

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/tillerson-summoned-white-house-amid-presidential-fury-n808216

 

Trump and the (hopefully) temporary evisceration of political norms

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/10/05/donald-trump-and-the-temporary-evisceration-of-political-norms/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.59d5b51ebe64

 

“Toxic on a day-to-day level”: How Trump is mismanaging the White House

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/10/5/16401488/donald-trump-management-white-house

 

Loyalty to Trump isn’t enough

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/loyalty-to-trump-isnt-enough/2017/10/05/297a9d30-a9fb-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.578a2a32029b

 

Trump is worse than everything he was critical about during campaign
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-takes-his-opponents-evils-to-staggering-new-heights/2017/10/05/a769cb28-aa03-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.31cc6f63a097

 

Government won't produce Mar-a-Lago records, group says

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/10/05/government-wont-produce-mar-a-lago-records-group-says/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/national-govt--politics/trump-palm-beach-mar-lago-visitor-logs-secret-service-says/eWFGujHt1Yo4bhEejsd10O/?ecmp=newspaper_email&

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/05/mar-a-lago-visitor-logs-secret-service-trump-243478

https://thinkprogress.org/no-mar-a-lago-visitor-logs-630aad8d9a8c/

 

Sounding authoritarian note, Trump calls on Congress to investigate American media

https://thinkprogress.org/president-trump-calls-on-congress-to-launch-political-investigation-into-the-american-press-f860d1302422/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=59d64ffb04d3017a4491d0b7&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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