Those who seek to profit from public education are parasites draining resources at an unprecedented scale. Parasites are inherently destructive to their hosts.
Recently in standardized tests Category
June 23, 2013
June 18, 2013
By attaching them to government initiatives such as high-stakes testing and teacher evaluation, the standards are being used as an instrument to standardize and control public education in the US.
June 14, 2013
Common Core standards are not the end of the world. They are, however, an obstacle to the reclaiming of our profession, rather than a vehicle.
May 29, 2013
Under the fear created by NCLB/RTTT, large scale ability group tracking has made its way back into schools. Because tracking is commonly considered odious, and the research does not support it, no one calls it that. It is now given cuter or more palatable names like 'Walk to Read' or 'Intervention Time' even 'Flexible Grouping.' (Although some schools have flexible grouping and intervention time that takes place in classrooms and is quite lovely.)
May 27, 2013
Schools of Education will become an endangered species if this bill becomes law. Advocates have long hungered for "disruption" of the "monopoly" that schools of education have had on teacher preparation. This bill would create big incentives for states to allow virtually anyone to set themselves up as a teacher preparation academy.
May 18, 2013
I did some of my own data analysis to determine how many school days will be non-teaching for me this year. It does not include the amount of classroom time that was lost to preparing my students for state tests. That data is forthcoming. In addition to the 40 days I will have spent doing state test work, seven school days were devoted to attending New York City DOE professional development workshops. A few were quite useful to my teaching practice; at one I learned new strategies for teaching reading and writing to ELLs (English-language learners), and another validated my collaborative teaching efforts. However, the others dealt solely with accountability matters such as learning how to use the AMAO (Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives) estimation tools, and looking at the new Common Core-fortified NYSESLAT assessment. The NYSESLAT is an annual four-part assessment given every spring to ELLs in New York State.
May 15, 2013
This is a future I believe is possible given the systems and structures being promoted by technocrats like Gates. This is NOT the way the system has been described by Bill Gates or any of his representatives. They tend to use the language of feedback and collaboration. But as I have been asking, if collaboration is the goal, why must this be embedded in an evaluation process, which has the goal of determining who ought to be fired?
May 15, 2013
Across the country, many local school boards, superintendents and principals have been speaking out against excessive testing. Parents, teachers, students and community groups should work with them to reduce the number of tests and any stakes attached to them. Those who still support the status quo need to be educated and, if necessary, pressured. In cities with appointed school boards, political pressure often will need to work through other avenues.
May 14, 2013
Across the nation, a rebellion is brewing against testing overuse and misuse. But just saying "no" isn't enough. In fact, high-quality feedback from assessment is vital to teaching and learning. Students, teachers and parents need to know whether kids are making progress. Communities and taxpayers deserve to know if schools are serving children well and children are succeeding. To win change, activists must offer proposals for better assessment systems coupled with demands to end harmful practices.
May 13, 2013
Over the past few months, I've been involved in dialogues and public meetings aimed at furthering the testing reform movement. Our conversations focused on how to win key goals: less testing, lower stakes, and better assessment practices. In this post, I focus on basic goals and strategy for launching a campaign. In subsequent posts, I will discuss the importance of pushing for high-quality assessments, and then propose tactics to educate the public, develop strong coalitions, and persuade policymakers.