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June 16, 2012

Open Letter to President Obama, Time to Do What's Right for our Schools

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody As the summer approaches, it is time for teachers to once again let President Obama know where we stand on his education policies. Two and a half years ago we wrote letters. Last summer we marched in front of the White House. This August the Save Our Schools c...

June 10, 2012

Wiring our Students with Galvanic Response Bracelets?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody "We are technocrats," Bill Gates recently stated. What do technocrats believe and do? They think that technology and science provide the answers for the problems we face. Our educational system is today being rewired by technocrats such as Gates, with the activ...

June 04, 2012

A Florida Teacher Explains Why She Thinks VAM is a Scam

Guest post by kafkateach, originally posted at her blog here. In my previous post about VAM, I chose to discredit value added models on a purely humanistic level and to leave the attacks on the validity and reliability of the algorithm to the mathematicians. In the past week, I have learned so muc...

April 23, 2012

Pineapplegate Raises Fresh Questions about the Obama Administration's Expansion of Testing

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The recent debacle in New York over an absurd story about a pineapple racing a hare has renewed doubts about the degree to which we have come to rely on test scores for very high stakes decisions. Although it is clear we are not getting high quality information ...

April 15, 2012

Get Rid of Teachers or Encourage them To Stay -- What is Best for our Schools?

Guest post by Mark Simon. After over a decade of "corporate reform" strategies in many places, we have a chance to compare the results of two drastically different approaches to improving public schools. In some places, such as Washington, DC, we have seen teacher turnover skyrocket, in line with ...

April 10, 2012

Educators Issue VAM Report for Secretary Duncan

Guest post by Educators for Shared Accountability. A new group, Educators for Shared Accountability (ESA), has issued the first-ever Value-Added Measurement (VAM) evaluation of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Secretary Duncan was rated "ineffective," based on four indicators. The United State...

March 29, 2012

Flipping the Script on Turnarounds: Why not Retain Teachers instead of Reject Them?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody At the Education Writers Association conference on School Improvement last Saturday, I was a bit of a contrarian. Many speakers suggested we need to "break the culture" at failing schools. A number suggested that the reason federal policies were not working was ...

March 21, 2012

Gates/Scholastic Teacher Survey Challenges Assumptions About Test-Based Reform

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The big headline from the recent Gates/Scholastic survey of teachers is that only 28% of teachers see standardized tests as an essential or important gauge of student assessment, and only 26% say they are accurate as a reflection of student knowledge. Another qu...

March 18, 2012

A Million Teachers Prepare to March Out the Classroom Door

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The Metlife survey of American teachers has been much discussed in recent weeks. The biggest red flag I see waving here is the 70% increase, over the past two years, in the number of teachers who are likely to leave the profession in the next five years (from 17...

March 13, 2012

John Thompson: New York Reformers Show Their True Colors

Guest post by John Thompson. If nothing else, the controversy over publicizing New York City teachers' value-added scores has revealed the essence of test-driven school "reform." The contemporary data-driven accountability experiment was begun by idealists, who sincerely sought a "civil rights move...

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