Guest post from teacher Mark Butler: Kicking the Common Core Football @parccinfo

On the surface it might seem confusing as to why Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) would suddenly come out in opposition to the PARCC assessment- and in doing so, undermine the authority of State Superintendent, John White, Jr. Jindal hand-picked White for Superintendent in January 2012, and has until this recent turnabout, remained lockstep with him on […]

Do private money and Title I money break even?

In a word, no.  The two kinds of money don’t represent an apples-to-apples comparison because different rules govern how they can be spent, but the raw totals show that schools that get public money do come out a little bit ahead – especially since they don’t have to raise it themselves. Even though this article […]

Press release from @whitehouse shows some promise for public schools. Seriously.

Just released from the Office of the Press Secretary, American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class. In a nutshell: Today, as part of this effort, the President and Vice President are announcing new federal investments using existing funds to support job-driven training, like apprenticeships, that will expand partnerships with industry, […]

Interesting Teacher Appreciation festivities from a MI charter school, via @eclectablog

A MI charter school decides to humiliate its teachers to appreciate them. Interesting. MANDIVA – Our 3 favorite male faculty members in heels for an hour SAVE MY JOB – 3 faculty members will stand in the parking lot during dismissal and hold a sign. CREAM FACIAL – Students will throw pie in 3 faculty members’ faces during […]

Funny anecdote on the edTPA

I see a few folks here and there starting to talk more about the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), or the Pearson product that will now be used to score and certify student teachers. I scored some of these things. Painfully mediocre stuff. Here’s a quick note about my experience that I shared with some others […]

Blowback question of the day: Are teachers also ceding control of their profession to parents?

I may get blowback for this one, so here goes: is the relative apathy of teachers, and the myopic ignorance of the larger political realities affecting education, forcing them to cede control of the activist narrative to parents? I am part of many activist groups, passively and otherwise. Many of these groups are led by […]

Interesting thought: Are the corporate reformers lamenting Colbert’s move to the Late Show?

From that Russo guy: For years now, Colbert has been riffing off of education issues, bringing education-related guests on the show, and generally making us all feel like we’re involved in something interesting and important. Fewer “heavy-hitting” and “wonkish” interviews with corporate education reform dilettantes, and intellectual geniuses, like Michelle Rhee and Wendy Kopp, in […]

I am conflicted over teacher resignation letters

The latest from a CO high school teacher, Pauline Hawkins, that has achieved “viral” status. Is this heroic? I think that’s a complicated question. It certainly adds some drama to the destructive potential of corporate education reform. That is, veteran educators are willing to sacrifice their chosen professions in the face of being compelled to […]

Remember the musicians who changed their tune

As organizations jumble and revise their official positions, remember those who tried to stifle you in the past. Forgive, cooperate, but never forget those who told you that, for instance, opting out was a great and radical evil. Remember those who called you crazy, passionate with no sense, and tried to tease you into submission, […]

Use caution with those attempting to write books on the backs of your labors @testingtalk @Skrashen

I viewed a passing mention of some new phenomenon called “Testing Talk,” which is a website devoted to soliciting feedback on the slate of Common Core tests being implemented nationwide. I have one very simple question: who is sponsoring this? Another simple question: why the lack of overall diversity on the “committee.” And, what does […]

What an anti-test activist can do in a school during testing

For me, nothing, just stand aside. That’s all I can do, unless I’m prepared to jeopardize my employment and, selfishly, the employment of others in my school. I’m a Kindergarten teacher, so thankfully we are insulated from most of testing’s ill effects. But I can report on how the administration of testing during the specific […]

We are officially in syndication, and have an updated show page

At the Chalk Face is now officially in syndication, with our first two stations secured in the Boston area. I also updated our main show page, and then stuck it to the blog’s homepage. We have to get this show out there as an oppositional voice to the corporate reform movement. Let any local radio […]

Recent #optout episodes of @thechalkface

As testing season is upon us, we’ve got a couple of recent, special episodes on the subject of opting out or refusing state testing. In the few years we’ve been covering this issue, this is the first time, at least to my knowledge that, one, massive opt outs are occurring, two, they’re being covered extensively, […]

Of the thousands of slacktivists, we only have 1,756 signatures?

I know what you’re going to say: petitions don’t matter. I get it. But I’ve seen one of the most respected authors and activists around, Susan Ohanian, publish a new White House petition to “Direct the Department of Education and Congress to Remove Annual Standardized Testing Mandates of NCLB and RtTT.” Just this morning, I […]

Random thought to start the day, on #grit and instructional time

Katie Osgood once again waxes defiantly against the most ridiculous concept of “grit.” I suggest reading that. I want to support this with my own experience. It is one thing to ensure that all students are reading, or what have you, on the monolithic concept of “grade level,” which is in and of itself an […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,865 other followers