Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Education

Obama’s USDOE: Appointed to Privatize. Period.

by Mercedes Schneider, November 23, 2014

President Barack Obama pretends to be a friend of public education, but it just is not so. Sure, the White House offers a decorative promotional on K12 education; however, if one reads it closely, one sees that the Obama administration believes education (and, by extension, those educated) should serve the economy; that “higher standards and better assessments” and “turning around our lowest achieving schools” is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) leftover casserole, and that “keeping teachers in the classroom” can only elicit prolonged stares from those of us who know better.

All of these anti-public-education truths noted, the deeper story in what the Obama administration values regarding American education lay in its selection of US Department of Education (USDOE) appointees. Their backgrounds tell the story, and it isn’t a good one for the public school student, the community school and the career K12 teacher….

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Feds: Pennsylvania cannot treat charter schools like school districts for yearly progress scores

By Steve Esack and Eugene Tauber, The Morning Call, 11/21/12

Measuring progress on standardized test scores at issue.

The federal government has shot down state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis’ unilateral PSSA rule change that made it easier for charter schools to meet federal testing benchmarks than traditional public schools.

Tomalis had said the state could treat charter schools the same way it treats school districts in calculating student test scores to come up with so-called Adequate Yearly Progress grades.

But The U.S. Department of Education said because charter schools are individual school buildings, they must have their own separate AYP grades under the No Child Left Behind Act. The federal order, dated Nov. 19, was released by the state Wednesday.

“Pennsylvania is obligated to make AYP decisions for all schools and hold all schools to the same standards,” states the order, signed by Deborah S. Delisle, assistant U.S. education secretary.

The federal government ordered the state Department of Education, by January, to recompute and publicize charter schools’ 2011-12 AYP grades in the same manner as public schools.

The U.S. Department of Education has final authority over any changes in how states grade public schools, school districts and any other “local education agency” under No Child Left Behind, a federal law.

Tomalis did not wait for federal approval when he made the change over the summer at the bequest of the charter school industry. The change may have inflated the success rate of charter schools because testing rules are more lenient for charter schools, according to a Morning Call analysis of PSSA test data….

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