Guest Post: Why My Family is Boycotting the State Field Tests

I previously wrote about the NY State Field Tests, in which unsuspecting students have their learning time hijacked so they can do free research for Pear$on. This piece, from a fellow member of NYC-based Change the Stakes, was originally published on Schoolbook. Why My Family is Boycotting the State Field Tests by Jinnie Spiegler There […]

NY: Calling on You to Stop Field Testing


In three weeks, students at over 3,600 schools in New York State will receive a nasty surprise. They mistakenly believe that, for this school year at least, they are done taking tests. When they least expect it, the number 2 pencils and bubble sheets will reappear. When I was in elementary school, June brought Field […]

NYSUT Clamps Down on Free Speech

Dear Readers, I would like to share with you an email I sent last week to my class parents:  April is the cruelest month… I doubt the NY State Education Department had T.S. Eliot in mind when they made the state testing schedule, but it does seem appropriate. Even with trying to keep test prep […]

“Performance Tasks” and the Common Core’s Big Lie


I’m busting out my old grad school textbooks for this one… Performance Task: As complex challenges that mirror the issues and problems faced by adults, they are authentic. Ranging in length from short-term tasks to long-term, multistaged projects, they require a product or performance (Wiggins & McTighe, 14f) Even at my high-performing, relatively affluent school, […]

Test Prep: Take it, or….?

Unlike so many schools in New York City (including both schools where I taught previously), my current school is not under the gun in terms of raising test scores.  So why did I just receive two stacks of New York State test prep books? Let’s end the illusion that standardized tests are authentic measures of […]

Why are white people afraid to integrate schools?

The New York City school system has all sorts of quirks, in part because it’s so massive that it makes a nice microcosm. I remember being a kid and occasionally hearing adults talk about moving to a different suburb for “better schools.” It all seemed very amorphous, like they could just have easily moved to […]

Hi. I’m Lauren, and I’m a Recovering Elitist NYC Teaching Fellow.

I so easily could have ended up on the other side of this reform debate. My story was straight out of the Educators4Excellence playbook: after graduating from an Ivy, I entered urban education  because I had been so inspired by W.E.B. DuBois’s writings on teaching in the Reconstructionist South (I had a major in Intellectual […]


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