Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jeb's Charterpalooza Coming Soon

Proud to say that today's email includes my media registration invitation to this years convention thrown by Jeb Bush (out-of-work politician) & Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE)-- Transforming Lives Through Education.

I am interested in seeing what happens next to Jeb!, who now occupies a weird sort of reformster twilight zone. On the one hand, Herr Trump appears to fully embrace Bush's education policies, or at least the Let a Million Charters Bloom part. But Bush himself--well, it seems unlikely that Jeb is in line for Trumpian Ed Secretary. And that bitter taste resting on Bush's ivy league palate must be getting only more and more bitter as it becomes obvious that President Trump will be following a lot of the policies that Candidate Trump used to smack Bush over the head. What happens when hated political enemies actually stand for pretty much the same policy ideas? How exactly do you criticize someone for pursuing policies that you totally agree with?

The conference is as always aimed at bringing lawmakers and policymakers [and money makers] together "for in-depth discussions on proven [sic] education policies and innovative [sic] strategies to improve student achievement [aka scores on bad standardized tests]." And it's a cast of all-stars.

Bush himself will be presenting the keynote address because, after all, he's got time on his hands. Also featured will be:

Condoleeza Rice, who ran the store at FEE for Bush while he was out begging for votes. She's going to moderate a panel of former ed secretaries which, honestly, should be worth the price of admission all by itself.

Angela Duckworth, working to show that the Great Goose of Grit has not yet laid its last golden egg. Though this time it's billed as the "power of perseverance." That must be the same power that gives one the endurance to keep milking the same questionable research for consulting and speaking fees.

Todd Rose is from the Harvard Grad School of Education and is the co-founder Center for Individual Opportunity, and scored a book about the end of average. He'll be there, too.

Sal Khan and David Coleman are going to talk about leveling the playing field,  by which I presume they mean leveling the marketing playing field by leveraging free tutoring videos to build brand loyalty and market penetration aka How To Use SAT Products To Push Khan Academy and Vice Versa. Hope the College Board and Khan Academy paid well for this infomercial.

Diane Tavenner is the co-founder of the Summit charter management company, and a spirited acolyte at the altar of "personalized learning." Thank goodness she has no classroom background; otherwise, she might be distracted from her vision of education by actual experience in the field.

The summit is sponsored by some of the finest names in education profiteering, including Pearson, McGraw Hill, the Walton Family, and the College Board

You can get a laid-back, sitting in his big leather retirement chair invite in the video below. As always, FEE is determined to pursue the excellence in profit-making that still waits to be tapped in public ed. And maybe share some stories about that horrible man in the White House. I'll admit-- I'm a little curious to see how the summit goes this year, but not nearly as curious as I am bout the 2017 edition. Stay tuned!


  1. It's interesting that Todd Rose is speaking because his book, the End of Average, should have put the final nail in the coffin of standardized testing, as well as the entire reliance on "average" starting with "one-size-fits-all" education. He states that "Any system designed around the average fits NO ONE! I suppose the others will argue that this is why "personalized" education is needed, but I'm sure he'd shoot that down in a hurry if given a chance. The End of Average should be required reading for every person involved in public education. It will help every teacher understand how deeply flawed our current system is.

  2. Whenever I hear the Summit charter chain and its "personalized" learning methods are mentioned, I'm reminded of this version of "personalized learning":