Education Briefs

Back to July 2015 Ed Reporter

Education Briefs

Over a year ago, NYU professor of education and author Diane Ravitch called for a Congressional investigation of Bill Gates and Common Core, saying, “The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and — working closely with the U.S. Department of Education — impose new and untested academic standards on the nation’s public schools is a national scandal.” She says, “We now know that one very rich man bought the enthusiastic support of interest groups on the left and right to campaign for the Common Core.” Congress has done nothing about what Ravitch calls “one unelected man, underwriting dozens of groups and allied with the Secretary of Education, whose staff was laced with Gates’ allies.” (Washington Post, 6-9-14)

A distinguished Long Island high school principal is “stepping down as a formal protest against the government-mandated Common Core practices,” after 15 years on the job. Dr. Carol Burris, who originally supported Common Core, observed the negative consequences they have on students and now says that Common Core is not developmentally appropriate and ultimately will turn students against learning. Burris is particularly critical of the federally mandated tests, which 200,000 New York students refused to take this spring. (IJReview.com, 5-3-15)

Although the majority of young men who started school at Verbum Dei High School in the Watts section of Los Angeles entered one to two years below grade level, upon graduation this spring every senior has been accepted to college. And 2015 is not a fluke; the all-boys Jesuit school has achieved this goal for eight years in a row. Seventy economically disadvantaged graduates, most of whom are the first in their family to attend college, thrive in the school’s environment and feel well-prepared for college. The school provides rigorous course work in college preparatory classes during a four-day school week and offers job experience to students.