In-studio guest, CTU Political Organizer, Brandon Johnson.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Duncan's disaster, Mississippi churns

The Race To The Top is stalling out over testing and evaluation. Common Core roll-out has been an abysmal failure. High stakes testing data is invalid, unreliable and running too late to be used in mandated evaluations. Several states, including RTTT winners, are threatening to pull back or put test-base evaluations on hold. Sec. Duncan either has to respond by pulling the plug on federal funding as he's threatened or get off the pot.

Time to go, Arne. Surely you can move over to Gates, Walton, or Broad foundations or spend more time with the family.

Lyndsey Layton's recent front-page article in the Washington Post tells us “How Bill Gates Pulled Off the Common Core Revolution” implying that Gates can and did  buy the policy result he wanted—with democracy potentially at risk. But now, even Gates who has more that $200 million invested in CCSS is urging a moratorium on using student test scores to evaluate teachers, students and schools.

Not surprisingly, Gates finds a cloying defender at ForbesHoward Husock gives us a bit of untended irony when he writes:
"The idea that money alone can buy impact is no more true  in public policy than  it is in elections." 
Hello Howard. Anybody home?

MISSISSIPPI CHURNING...The race to the bottom continues in Mississippi today where T-baggers backing Chris McDaniel have their best chance to knock off a sitting senator, Thad Cochran in the state's GOP primary runoff. Some Dems are actually hoping racist McDaniel wins, possibly opening a chance for them to win a rare seat in a Dixie election. Others are calling on black voters to cross over a pull a Republican ballot to vote for Cochran. He has been openly courting black and union (the few that exist) voters.  It's an amazing turn of events when the black vote is actually encouraged in Mississippi.

Outside groups have poured more than $8 million into the race -- an amazing sum for a small state election-- and a collection of conservative groups will be sending in poll-watchers. FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, and the Senate Conservatives Fund will team up for the unprecedented, single-minded effort to beat the not-right-wing-enough Cochran.

McDaniel is married to a former teacher and has her make his pro-teacher, anti-Common Core and federal funding for education pitch here

The progressive Mississippi Parents Campaign is strictly non-partisan but is obviously worried about the loss of federal funding for education of McDaniel becomes the state's senator. 

The right-wing National Review reports: 
The executive director of the Mississippi Parents Campaign, a group that opposes vouchers and charter schools, sent an e-mail to members not-so-subtly urging them to vote for Cochran. Without mentioning either candidate by name, she said, “A number of our members have asked recently what impact the current Senate and Congressional elections could have on public schools. The truth is, a BIG one! Mississippi children benefit heavily from the federal investment in our public schools, and the folks we send to Washington determine, in large part, the resources that are available to educate our kids.” McDaniel has said that he thinks the Department of Education is unconstitutional.
Cochran's support for Common Core could be his undoing in a tight race, despite the fact that  has brought millions of federal education dollars into the state. But he also has a pro-voucher, pro-charter voting record.

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