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March 08, 2013

Chicago Students Boycott the NAEP to Demand Safety

So we acted. We talked to other seniors and got them to wear black and taught them about how they didn't have to take the test. We told them that this wasn't a service learning opportunity, and that the NAEP scores might be used against schools like ours. We talked through texting and social media. On the day of the test, we were called out of class to attend the test. Some of my classmates refused to come. We went to the location and we told the test proctor that we didn't want to take the test and asked if we could return to our regular classes.

February 21, 2013

Feeling Stressed? MetLife Survey Shows You are Not Alone

The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher is out, and it shows that more than half of all teachers feel under great stress. This relates closely to the number of teachers who describe themselves as "very satisfied," which has fallen to an all-time low, at 39%.

February 05, 2013

Does the Battle in Seattle Foreshadow Trouble for the Common Core?

We are approaching a real crossroads. Educators, parents and students have come to loath NCLB and the tests that have become ever more intrusive in our schools. Secretary Duncan and well-paid functionaries from all sides have promised that the "next generation" of assessments will be so superior that we will no longer object to high stakes being attached to them. Unlike any large scale standardized tests ever devised before, they will measure and promote critical thinking. But we n longer need to suspend our judgment. Teachers in Seattle have seen the future. Their verdict is clear. The emperor has no clothes.

January 30, 2013

Gerald Coles: Education in Obama's Second Term: What Lies Ahead?

In the president's inaugural speech, the few signs of his thinking about education and poverty offer no hope that policy in the next four years will differ from the last four. Bleak poverty will continue, education will be constrained within the boundaries of educating to "compete in the global economy," the curriculum will be narrowly crafted toward that goal, corporate attacks on the public schools will be promoted through more support of privatized alternatives, and the president will continue to regard charter schools as "incubators of innovation". It will be in stark contrast to the schooling that Martin Luther King, Jr. would have worked to achieve.

December 18, 2012

NEA and AFT: Let's Apply the Lessons of NCLB to the Common Core

Our two major unions are one of the best vehicles teachers have for communicating with the public. Teachers have gotten on board with efforts to raise standards in the past, but we have to have our eyes wide open this time. There is going to be a major publicity campaign associated with the results we will get from the Common Core assessments. This will be yet another iteration of the wails we heard with the release of the Nation at Risk report in 1983. We have got to be prepared to mount a robust defense of the very institution of public education. Tests associated with the Common Core are going to be used to discredit our schools. We must be ready to respond.

November 02, 2012

Are Education "Reformers" Becoming Privatizers?

Will they continue to support special exemptions that allow Teach For America novices to be considered "highly qualified teachers"? Will they support the expansion of charter schools and the use of the deceptive "parent trigger" even as they increase segregation and leave the toughest to teach students behind? Will they support the expansion of sham virtual schools like K12 Inc even as they divert public funds to clearly inferior alternatives?

October 30, 2012

Powerful Coalition Opposes NCLB Waivers in New Jersey

A remarkable coalition of individuals and organizations, many of them with deep roots in the African American and Latino communities, is calling upon the Department of Education to abandon plans to implement new policies associated with NCLB waivers in the state of New Jersey. In the past, some le...

October 19, 2012

John Thompson: Gates Foundation's MET Project Has Leaped Before Looking

Guest post by John Thompson. The Measures of Effective Teaching Project (MET) is the Gates Foundation's flagship effort to fill what they believe is a huge void in the teaching profession. According to them, up until this project, there was no way to know how effective any given teacher is. Their g...

October 16, 2012

A Principal Writes to President Obama: Schools do not Need Your Punishment. We Need Your Support

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody As I have shared for the past week, I have volunteered to help Diane Ravitch collect and organize letters for the Campaign for our Public Schools, which will culminate on Wednesday, October 17. All the letters collected by then will be sent to the White House an...

October 13, 2012

How Can One Teacher be Both the Best and the Worst? A Letter to President Obama

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody I have volunteered to help Diane Ravitch collect and organize letters for the Campaign for our Public Schools, which will culminate on Thursday, October 17. All the letters collected by then will be sent to the White House and to the Department of Education. Ins...

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