@NPR @WHYY does #optout story. Cuts United Opt Out’s voice of truth, ME!

On Monday morning when I got to my desk I noticed that the voice mail light was blinking on my phone.  I picked up the receiver and went through the steps to retrieve my messages.  There was only one and it was a producer from NPR the WHYY affiliate (Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware) inquiring about my […]

Teachers. Remember #optout is for you.

Now that the opt out season is in full swing and the Testing Resistance has spread across the country, we should take a minute to reflect and remember the purpose of opt out. Despite what the “chancellor” Rhee has to say, opt out is the only movement that can save the idea of public education […]

#optout contemplation 2011: This is how it happened.

For as long as I can remember I have had serious issues with high stakes standardized tests. However, it wasn’t until after NCLB was in full swing and my son started to dread going to school that I actually contemplated doing something about it. I know that sounds kind of funny coming from me—a full […]

#commoncore standards or @slekar standards?

Fact! The common core standards were written to be tested. Fact! The tests will provide invalid data about students, teachers and schools. Fact! INVALID data will drive decisions to purchase curricular and instructional snake oil. Fact! Taxpayers will cover the costs. Fact! After spending billions of tax dollars we will learn AGAIN that America has an achievement […]

Wisconsin #commoncore Senate Bill 619: A conundrum?

Here it is as plain and simple as I can make it. Wisconsin Republicans in the state Senate drafted a bill that essentially turns over the writing of education standards to politicians and kills the common core. Someone has to say it: “Any bill that would allow politicians the ability to directly and/or indirectly write learning […]

#edreform and #commoncore: All aboard Wisconsin’s Crazy Train

What a week and it’s only Wednesday morning.  On Monday morning I went to a press conference held by Wisconsin Democrats from the state assembly to announce that they are introducing “accountability” legislation to counter Republican “accountability” legislation.  At the conclusion of the press conference I simply pointed out that “accountability” is actually the problem […]

@slekar supports this #commoncore close reading lesson: @sharemylesson

Over the past four years I have met some great people involved in fighting education reform.  It’s always awesome to get a surprise email from one of these activists that typically starts off with “I hope you remember me, we met….” Well I got one of those the other day from a brilliant teacher I […]

Why do we #optout?: Just fighting the good fight.

It is definitely getting close to testing season.  My email and voice mail are flooded.  Parents and concerned community members have questions about the opt out process.  Opt out Facebook pages are buzzing with questions and of course continued stories of bullying from education professionals engaged in deception by telling interested opt outers that there […]

Wisconsin education legislation: Faith-based ideology trumps evidence

The headline yesterday in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinal; Bill would close failing Wisconsin public schools, cut voucher payments Take a look and what you find is the same old “accountability mythology” being proposed.  How does the Wisconsin legistalure plan to hold schools accountable?  By assigning A-F letter grades to public schools.  How do schools […]

Battling Education Reform: In the End it must be a “calling.”

I am the “new” Dean of a School of Education at a Catholic College in the Midwest.  One of the major reasons I was attracted to this position was the prominence of the college’s Dominican values (Truth, Justice, Compassion, Partnership, and Community). Think about it.  If a college was committed to these values what would […]

Today’s Tests vs. “Better” Tests

I sent this letter to the editor (below) in response to Alan J. Borsuk’s article in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinal.  In the article Professor Borsuk laments low standardized test scores and over testing and then simply (with the help of Marc Tucker, CEO and president of the National Center on Education and the Economy) offers […]

#optout recruiting Hall of Fame: And the winner is?


2013 is coming to an end and we (@the chalkface) would like to pay special tribute to the one individual most responsible for swelling the ranks of the various opt out groups.  For example, when we (6 real radicals) formed United Opt Out National over 3 years ago we managed to dig up around 2000 […]

Hunger, Health, and Access to Books: Just an excuse

Three days ago I was interviewed on our local news channel.  I was contacted by a journalist because he wanted some comment on a report that claimed the Common Core would save American 15 year olds by increasing their scores on the PISA exams.  According to the report, • Students in the United States have […]

@chucktodd @dailyrundown: Why SC State Sen. Lee Bright when talking #CCSS?

I was outside this morning checking the handy work completed by my wife and me yesterday in the rain and cold (putting up a shed).  Luckily the shed was still in the yard but just as I was going to check out the detailed craftsmanship my wife opened the door, “Tim!  Hurry up! Come here!” […]

Test and Punish Moratorium: “I Won’t be Ignored!”

On Friday a colleague and I attended a meeting at a community center.  We were there to talk about how our college was going to help the community center continue a program that helps low income children develop cultural capital. Why?  Because like any program funded through a grant the money was just about gone. […]


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