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May 09, 2011

The "Counter-Manifesto" Against a National Curriculum

Today a "counter-manifesto" was released, opposing the move towards a common national curriculum. Entitled "A Critical Response to the Shanker Institute Manifesto and the U.S. Department of Education's Initiative to Develop a National Curriculum and National Assessments Based on National Standards,"...

May 06, 2011

Teachers Feeling Unappreciated by Secretary Duncan

Teacher Appreciation Week got off to a rocky start for Arne Duncan. He posted a letter to America's teachers, acknowledging our frustration, but expressing his determination to push forward the agenda that has us so frustrated. His letter was posted in three places that I have seen. Here, on Teache...

May 02, 2011

An Open Letter from an American Teacher to Secretary Duncan

Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Teacher Appreciation Week with another of his confusing tributes - a mixture of fulsome praise, acknowledgment of the errors of NCLB, and a reiteration of the fierce urgency he feels for pushing forward his agenda. This has become a familiar messa...

April 28, 2011

When Will the Testing Bubble Burst?

In the mid-1920s our economy boomed. The stock market, then relatively new, soared to amazing heights, as the middle class invested their money and saw their wealth grow. But there was a problem. The stock market prices had inflated beyond the intrinsic worth of the companies they were based upon. ...

April 25, 2011

Tests over Teachers in California

My recent dialogue with the Department of Education after President Obama acknowledged that we have gone overboard with standardized tests revealed that, in fact, there are plans to actually expand the number of mandated tests. Though we have heard a great deal about the $350 million the Dept of Ed ...

April 14, 2011

John Kuhn: Why Shouldn't Teachers Be Graded, Too?

Three weeks ago I shared an interview with Superintendent John Kuhn of the Perrin-Whitt Independent School District in the great state of Texas. Today he offers us a reflection on a recent experience at the state Capitol. Yesterday I testified before the Public Ed. Committee of the Texas House of R...

April 12, 2011

Pennsylvania Parents Call for Full Court Press with Politicians

Parent activists Tim Slekar and Michele Gray have recently made headlines with their decision to publicly boycott that state's standardized testing of their children. In this guest post they offer some advice, and urge others to help our politicians understand what is happening to our children in th...

April 10, 2011

The Media Discovers There is a Debate over Educational Reform!

The New York Times posted a column this morning titled The Deadlocked Debate over Educational Reform. And last week the Times ran a story covering the dialogue I was able to provoke with representatives of the Department of Education regarding President Obama's critical remarks about testing. This ...

April 08, 2011

High Tech Testing on the Way: a 21st Century Boondoggle?

In my recent exchange with the Department of Education regarding President Obama's remarks critical of our obsession with testing, it became clear that there is a vast expansion of testing on the horizon. Few reports have emerged that describe this, and I fear the public may be unaware of the resour...

April 07, 2011

President Obama: We Want for Our Children What You Want for Yours

Last week I kicked the hornet's nest by pointing out that President Obama's remarks at a town hall meeting do not align with the policies being carried out by his Department of Education. This was picked up by a number of fellow bloggers, including Valerie Strauss, Deborah Meier, Doug Noon and Ira S...

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