South Carolina Withdraws from Smarter Balanced Assessments


In a letter to the Chair of the South Carolina State Board of Education, State Superintendent Mick Zais has exercised his authority to pull South Carolina out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC): SC State Superintendent Letter SBAC This does not release South Carolina from the use of the Common Core State Standards; although it […]

Georgia Moms Stand Firm Against Testing

Guest post by Meg Norris It was my fourth or fifth speech about Common Core and why I had left my teaching position to fight against it. By the time I was finished, I noticed a beautiful, young couple in the second row. He looked okay, but she looked like I had just punched her […]

Behind the CCSS Corporate Curtain: Gates, TURN, and the AFT Innovation Fund

He's coming! Quick! Put up a post about he's being "divisive" on Facebook!

I know it doesn’t seem healthy to continue to speak of the roles that national teacher union groups are playing in our current corporate education reform takeover, but this is kind of important, for three big reasons: (1) Most teachers have never heard of what I’ll be writing about here, because it’s not advertised. (2) The organizers who are a […]

Common Core Can’t Bring Teaching Back to Teachers


Before attending the United Opt Out conference in Denver, I began to do a little more research on the trends in the Common Core debate for some of my upcoming presentations.  One of the interesting things I came across was a PowerPoint created by Ellen Bernstein of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF), a local chapter of […]

Katherine Duran Shares More of Her Story

I’m the mom who was “suspended” from my son’s elementary school. They can lie all they want about me, but this is about my child. When they crossed the line at firs,t I gave them the benefit of the doubt because just as stated in the letter my son handed out, we love or teachers […]

Parent Suspended and Threatened with Arrest for Opt Out Notices

Click to enlarge

Not too long ago, some parents from the small oil town of Hobbs, New Mexico, told me that some middle school kids had been handing out test refusal forms to their peers for the upcoming state tests.  The principal, unsurprisingly, collected the remaining opt out forms and asked the students to stop passing them around. […]

What to Expect When Your State is Being Run Amok

Yes, Liverpool was home

I had the unique experience of living in several states as the reform onslaught took hold over America’s public schools.  Each state had its nuances, its preferences, its prejudices, and its own structure.  I also had the priviledge of living in New York State just as the shit was hitting the fan and parents decided […]

STANDARDIZED Brings a Suppressed Crisis to the Screen


Daniel Hornberger & Company’s new documentary, STANDARDIZED: Lies, Money, and Civil Rights, finally brings into a clear focus why the testing culture sitting atop national Common Core standards is absolutely dangerous. The film includes testimony and experiences from a handful of very knowledgeable and passionate professors, teachers, activists, and parents.  At roughly an hour-and-a half, […]

BATs: Sanitized for Weingarten’s Protection?


On the second day of the NPE Conference in Austin, I was working at home, with one browser tab open to the livestream of the conference and another open to the Twitter feed about it. At one point, I saw a tweet that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was not going […]

My Open Letter to Dennis Van Roekel

Mr. Van Roekel: I haven’t formally thanked you for allowing me to share the stage with you in December of last year at the NCUEA conference in Austin. It was an enlightening experience for me and it was a pleasure to meet you. I remember being pleasantly surprised by your speech! Your insistence that the […]

The Face of Education Reform

Source: KellyAnnePhotography

Every time I read a story about some education reformer saying something dumb, like “status quo” or “student achievement,” I shake my head and sort of giggle to myself. Then, I read another story about a child who is really hurting under the system those reformers are pushing so fiercely into our public schools.  The […]

Teachers Often the One Thing Between Kids and the World #evaluatethat


Every once in a while, a teacher is the one thing standing between kids and their world.  Teachers stand up and are always ready to help in any way needed.  Read this account from an elementary teacher in New Mexico, which took place during a relatively rare winter storm: This morning, I got to school […]

My Endorsement for Governor of New Mexico


I know what you’re thinking: “Why are you endorsing a candidate?  You’re just an independent blogger who likes to rabblerouse!” And you would be right.  But, c’mon, give me some credit.  I’m also a community activist and organizer who likes to rabblerouse. I also pay attention–very close attention–to the goings on in my state of […]

Response to Obama’s Early Childhood Education Plan

Let them play!

President Obama promised us something in his State of the Union address that I think is bad news for our kids.  Here is the excerpt, with my reply underneath: Race to the Top, with the help of governors from both parties, has helped states raise expectations and performance. Teachers and principals in schools from Tennessee […]

Dear Hanna: Where Are You?

I bet this totally freaked you out!

Dear Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera: I have to admit, I’m starting to get the feeling that you don’t want to talk to me. Or anyone else, for that matter. Just in case you’re not quite sure who I am, here’s a quick reminder.  I’m the guy that has already personally seen education reform (as your […]


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