My old stomping grounds: United Opt Out doubles and triples down.

United Opt Out (UOO), a true grassroots organization if there ever was one, is lately expressing a much more forceful message against high stakes testing. This small group of roughly seven individuals is largely doing so on the shoulders of co-founder and chief activist, Peggy Robertson. She seems to be assuming all of the risk […]

Obsessions with the f-word. I mean, FRUSTRATION

I saw this posted today from the Answer Sheet on reading in our current standards-obsessed era. The article poses an interesting question: is cultivating frustration in children something we should embrace? My instincts tell me no, and I’ll let you debate that answer for yourself. But what I will say is that I’ve seen this word, […]

EngageNY : Robotic Teachers Wanted.

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Came across this gem when trying to decipher my son’s 4th Grade math homework (which included the inane task of making 50 dots to represent multiplying by tens).  EngageNY contains scripted curriculum modules at a price of $12.9 million for the K-8 lessons. I find it insulting that a teacher should be told to add emotion and energy […]

EngageNY modules: Stunning incompetence.

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Another questionable lesson from the curriculum modules found at NYSED’s propaganda website   Once again, why did NYSED spend $12.9 million of taxpayer money on scripted lessons for K-8 when New York’s teachers can produce superior (and appropriate) curriculum.   Thoughts on this Kindergarten homework assignment?                   […]

A Tale of Two Students

This is a guest post from Loy Gross, upstate New York parent and advocate.   Proponents of Common Core State Standards and the New York tests associated with them try to convince us they are necessary. They say the standards make students college and career ready, and the New York tests provide an accurate measure […]

Dear PTA,

Dear ___________________ (Insert District/School PTA President’s name), Please accept my donation of $_____  to our school Parent Teacher Association.  I/We truly appreciate the dedication and time that our local PTA devotes to enhancing the educational and social opportunities for our children and their school. I/We are choosing to donate money to our school’s PTA as […]

.@EngageNY Modules: Out of Alignment

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A year ago I criticized the ELA curriculum modules found on NYSED’s EngageNY website and their “random” nature of content.  I expressed concern that many elementary schools have reduced or even eliminated instruction in Science and Social Studies in favor of the tested subjects of ELA and Math in this era of accountability via test […]



Fred Klonsky is correct about the #NEARA14

Says the retired teacher on his website: Yesterday NEA Board of Director from Illinois, Jim Grimes, told us that the leadership would present two New Business Items (NBIs) to the delegates.   One addresses the issue of the use and misuse of standardized testing.   The other one will call on local and state affiliates […]

Anatomy of a hashtag and the @amprog report #forthecore

The Center for American Progress, often touted as a “liberal” think tank, released a set of recommendations to make Common Core implementation successful. The release was accompanied by a media event just the other day, shared on social media with the hashtag “forthecore.” Let us first dismiss any arguments that CAP is actually a “liberal” […]

@amprog imitates neoliberal wankers and excludes educator voices

A panel on the Common Core today from the Center for (on?) American Progress. See the speakers. Any educators in site? Introductory Remarks: Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress Panelists: Gov. Jim Douglas, Former Governor of Vermont Gov. Ted Strickland, Former Governor of Ohio Chester E. Finn, President, Thomas B. […]

AFT’s American Educator: Voice of the Rank and File or Tool of the Reformers?

Guest Post: By Bianca Tanis Teachers are dosed with Common Core propaganda daily. A few times a year, this comes in the form of the American Federation of Teachers’ quarterly journal, American Educator. It is not surprising that the summer 2014 issue (which focuses primarily on early childhood) is chock full of “career and college ready” […]

The well-meaning liberals of the world aren’t going to like the front page of the Washington Post

How Bill Gates bought us the Common Core. Thank you, and it wasn’t even my birthday. As a matter of fact, our right-wing brothers and sisters might not like this either since they believe this is a massive communist conspiracy. I’m also doubting, however, that many teachers know about this. I either hear glowing endorsements […]

Check out this new #forthecore campaign on Twitter and…

… tell me that the Center for American Progress is not implying that you hate military families if you don’t support the Common Core. This is highly disappointing coming from a so-called progressive organization. Actually, it’s not disappointing at all, just predictable and hilarious. It proves that progressives are terrible on issues dealing with education […]

NYSED, @EngageNY, and the Module Money Pit.

If you see this EngageNY icon on your child's work, they are getting a scripted education.

As part of its rushed implementation of the Common Core, the New York State Education department contracted with three entities to create scripted module lessons for schools across the Empire State at a cost of $12.9 million.  Some schools trusted their educators to create their own lessons that would best suit their classrooms.  Other schools, possibly out of […]


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