November 2013 Archives

I watched many of my peers become demoralized and angry about school, frustrated with their learning that they thought wasn't being measured by testing, and struggling with the feeling that they no longer meant anything to the school as a person


Here we are beginning to see the ways in which grading technology may be shaping the tests, and the very way we ask students to show how they are applying the skills they have learned.


It takes a lot of grit to be brazen enough to claim that the E4E's paper does anything other than use the words "True Grit" over and over, as it displays colorful photographs of attractive teachers and students, and state-of-the-art graphics to promote its agenda.


Common Core "close reading" lessons like this one on "The Gettysburg Address" completely miss the significance of African American troops fighting and dying for this "new birth of freedom.


The Common Core standards say, "Here's what you must prove you're accomplishing." If you tell your students that you expect them to study and learn the chapter about Torquemada and 15th Century Spain, they know there's a test coming.


The fiasco begins with a grand idea, planned with a bold vision. People set their sights on a goal beyond any they have ever achieved before.


There is a deeper principle at stake here. Standards developed in secret without the active participation of K12 educators, parents, students and experts from the start are not acceptable or legitimate.


If most of the standards themselves are not the problem, or if people are really only taking issue with some of the early childhood ones, then it's probably time to isolate the problem areas and deal with them separately.


The Common Core has been presented as a paradigmatic shift beyond the test-and-punish policies of NCLB. However, we are seeing the mechanisms for testing, ranking, rewarding and punishing simply refined, and made even more consequential for students, teachers and schools.


If you were to think of the key things that you would want to do to support learning at high poverty schools, what would be on your list?


Even though the A-F bipartisan panel has done an excellent job of wrestling with the difficult question of how to measure student growth against fixed standards, there are still fatal flaws in this system which determines winners and losers among schools, teachers, and students.


The idea that financial incentives can improve teacher quality in an age of high-stakes testing is dead on arrival unless top teachers can produce gains in the tough schools that are comparable to gains in lower-poverty schools.


Across the country, resistance is growing against public education's increased dependence on high-stakes standardized testing and on exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests.


As the review unfolded, it became apparent that we were not working with a holistic, integrated application of standards. To Rene and me, it began to look instead like a checklist forming a platform for standardized testing.


Government is supposed to be a force against corruption and control by private interests. It is a mark of how far we have come that only in Vermont does one see such a viewpoint expressed on a newspaper's editorial page.


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