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January 22, 2016 - COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILITY: 3 Days to Launch


Closer and closer...Just three days to go now as we prepare to announce the guidelines and official launch of COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILTY. The project-based initiative gives citizens an opportunity to have a meaningful and creative impact at the local level and beyond in exposing the gap between how education reformers are using key terms and how the public understands them.

False reformers actually rely on that gap in understanding. They leverage it to advance their own agendas. Unfortunately, those agendas are not friendly to students, parents, teachers, taxpayers or other citizens. In fact, they're detrimental to society as a whole. So, it's time to remove from reformers the ability to muddle the meanings of words in order to manipulate and maneuver people. That all starts with the word "accountability."

We know that no one can be as ingenious and creative in reaching their communities with the truth as the informed, engaged, concerned students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers who are on the ground at the local level

Each day in our countdown so far, we've announced one member of a five-person judging panel. That panel will be evaluating any and all citizen-submitted projects we receive as part of this initiative in order to determine which ones Resounding Books will seek to fund. In other words, we're going to pursue funding for the awarded project plans to ensure they are produced in the communities from which they emanated. We're also going to make sure those projects are documented and shared, so that their impact can be felt and amplified nationwide.

Sound exciting...?  We sure hope so. We're definitely excited about this opportunity to make a difference.

Now, to our two primary objectives for today, announcing our third judge and unveiling our latest meme, created specifically for the countdown.

Our remarkable Judge #3 is...Jeffrey D. Horn!

Jeffrey D. Horn

A professional programmer by trade, Jeff holds a master’s degree in mathematics and a Ph. D. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He works daily to build infrastructure that can be used to leverage Big Data in improving advertising, medical decisions, investing, and more--which gives him a highly informed view into privacy issues related to student data and the tension that exists between technology and personal freedom.

A committed grassroots activist and the owner and administrator of the website Stop Common Core in Wisconsin, Jeff has been in the vanguard of those working to expose false education reform in his own state. He has worked the lines of communication to get an unprecedented number of signers for several open letters on Common Core and high-stakes assessment, addressed to various state officials, including Governor Scott Walker (see here and here, for example). Some of the first letters he circulated on the issue helped place enough pressure on Republican leadership finally to hold public hearings on Common Core, statewide--something they'd previously been uninterested in doing. The hearings provided an opportunity for informed experts and the public alike to testify before legislative committees.

Jeff has personally met with state legislators on reform-related issues, run for school board, and written numerous articulate blog posts in an effort to shed light on the ways in which corrupt leadership and public-private partnership have compromised and decimated true education. We were thrilled when he agreed to write an essay for our book Common Ground on Common Core. That essay, "Learning with Leviathan: Objectification, Surveillance, and Control in a Concealed Command Economy" has been heralded by individuals across the political and ideological spectrum for its incisive analysis of what today's education reforms are actually teaching students. 

For all these reasons and more, we are delighted that Jeff has agreed to take a seat on our judging panel.

Which brings us to...today's meme!

You may have noticed that we've been attempting to coordinate our memes for each day with the interests or backgrounds of our judging panel. We've had an enjoyable time doing so. On that day that we announce Jeff Horn, a mathemetician and data scientist, as one of our panel judges, it seemed appropriate to feature a meme with a quote from Jason Zimba, principle architect of Common Core's math standards--a quote, incidentally, that exposes the experimental house of cards on which Common Core, value-added measurement, and so-called accountability have all been built.

Without further ado...

Jason Zimba Meme
Note that Zimba made this remark in a 2013 interview, after the Common Core State Standards Intiative had already made much of the fact that the standards were internationally benchmarked (they weren't), that consortia assessments had been properly piloted (they hadn't), and that those assessments had scientific validity (nope!). We won't even go into the whole issue of what a standardized assessment can and can't, in point of fact, measure. That's a discussion for another day. But Zimba's comment remains a very public crack in [false] accountabilty's dam. 

We'll be back tomorrow with more information on the way to the launch. Till then, we'd appreciate your help in spreading the word about the initiative. Feel free to grab our posts and tweets. We'd love to have as many people as possible joining us. Together, let's...

COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILITY!