Part 3 of 4: STAT AS KOOL-AID (from “The Truth About STAT”)

Yet another great video from a very astute (and creative) Baltimore County citizen.  We’ll be sad when this four-part series is done.

STAT as Kool-Aid

It’s scary because our Superintendent speaks about BCPS getting Towson University education students to drink the BCPS Kool-Aid before they even enter our school system as teachers.  Yes, he actually uses the word “Kool-Aid.” An earlier STAT-us BCPS post talks about heavy-duty ed-tech connections to Towson’s teacher-prep program.

It’s maddening because it shows clearly that BCPS spent millions on the inferior iReady program and that the iReady developer, Curriculum Associates, is a sponsor of the BCPS Education Foundation, the primary mission of which is to promote and fund STAT.  Read another post about other questionable connections between school system ed-tech vendors and the foundation.

It’s upsetting because it paints a picture of future schools where computers have taken over.

See previous videos here.

COMMENTS from the video’s creator:

After literally many thousands of hours of research, it is abundantly clear to many of us that:

  1. What is happening here is not unique, we are just a little bit ahead in some areas.
  2. A great deal has been learned about other schools systems and superintendents who are doing identical things in their systems (i.e. proactively pursuing colleges to change their curriculum to suit tech initiatives in the public schools — albeit prematurely) to hire teachers who are already on board with the program. Also, targeting the younger kids to “carry the initiative forward”, as well as the creation of vanguard groups of teachers (within schools systems — which includes those “pre-loaded” college grads) to be the cheerleaders/ arbitrators of change.
  3. What DOES make Baltimore County unique is that, due to the insane amount of public relations campaigning, marketing and ridiculous amounts of vendor-sponsored speeches and presentations, there is an enormous amount of material which serves as a breadcrumb trail of how this is going down.  For this reason, it is easy to piece together the entire puzzle of “premature celebrations” — to phony awards — to manipulated technology surveys — to conflicts of interest with our vendors — to being “bought and paid for” by the ed-tech industry (many members of which have zero educational background).
  4. Lastly — and probably the most important reason — is that there is a very high likelihood that our leadership could become the leadership for the U.S. Department of Education (in some capacity).

To be clear, this is not an issue about technology.  Technology  (of course) is not bad.  That is not the issue.  Many experts in education agree that technology most certainly has a place in education and is helpful in many ways.  The issue is how it is (and will be) used and how the role of teachers is being diminished from Pre-K to 12.   But more than anything, the issue is that what is happening in BCPS is shrouded in deception.  That is the primary reason why there is so much resistance from some in the community.

There is something very wrong going on here and it is our belief that BCPS will be used to replicate this to a larger degree, across the country.  There is so much deceit here and we have a media that is not paying attention (or chooses not to).  Yet, it is nearly impossible for those paying attention to just let it go and turn a blind eye.  So this is more like documenting the lies, than it is about technology — although those lies have the potential to lead to disastrous results for public education.

What started out as some research into a particular issue — having nothing at all to do with any of this — has turned into THIS!  It is scary to imagine where we would be, had it not been for the other problems that caught our attention in the first place.

While watching the new video, keep in mind the following:

The Towson University College of Education was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) at a Teacher Preparation Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. TU was selected because of its leadership in the innovative use of technology to support the learning of pre-service teachers.

‘America’s pre-service teachers must be prepared to use technology effectively in the classroom,’ said Joseph South, director of the ED Office of Educational Technology. ‘We are excited by the innovations we’re seeing at Towson University to ensure their pre-service teachers have opportunities to actively use technology to support learning and teaching through creation, collaboration, and problem solving.’

‘We were honored to attend and present at the 2016 Teacher Preparation Innovation Summit  hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and ASCD,” Mullen said. “The summit was an opportunity to join educators across the country who are on the leading edge of innovation and educator preparation.”

http://www.towson.edu/news/2016/coesummit.html

Sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Also, there are at least two other BCPS employees (in addition to Dallas Dance) who work closely with the U.S. Department of Education on Personalized Learning technology initiatives, all of whom also attended and presented at the recent ASU Global Silicon Valley event in San Diego.  Joseph South presented, as well.

Ryan Imbriale and Verletta White are both on the Superintendent’s Technical Working Group http://tech.ed.gov/technicalworkinggroup/ under Joseph South’s Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education  http://tech.ed.gov/joseph-south/.

So, is it any surprise that Towson University would be so easily sucked up into the national recognition machine?

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