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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

What’s with all the white men in #edreform debates (PS, I’m a white dude)?

Let me begin. I am a white dude. I repeat: I am an average, everyday, Irish, white guy. Let me continue. When I earned my PhD in 2009, I wrote about the lack of men in education, internationally, and the various stereotypes that preclude their entrance into teaching, plus solutions to overcoming the diversity problem […]

Another brief word on civility in the #edreform debates

I know I’ve commented on this before, so I’ll keep this brief. Within debates for and against corporate education reform, corporate reformers often respond to passionate debate with complaints. “Ouch, you’re attacking me.” “That’s an ad hominem attack, sir, that’s just morbidly ad hominem.” Folks like to throw that word ad hominem around. It’s almost […]

Register for UOO’s annual spring event in Denver, CO, March 28th to 30th


Click the box below to head over to Eventbrite. All the action you need for $20.

Reformist @teachplus puts out some pretty thin gruel on the impact of testing

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Teacher leadership organization and reformist Teach Plus put out a recent study on the amount of time actually spent on testing in urban districts. It’s interesting that so much (relatively, speaking) fanfare surrounded this report because, well, it’s not really all that powerful. After reading through it, Teach Plus seems to want to tip its […]

Another anti-TFA screed for the books

I won’t say that I disagree with the author’s arguments. However: I am white.  I am female.  I was educated at a prestigious university, which included a minor in education.  In essence, I am riddled with privilege.  Do I belong in a classroom in a community of color to which I have no connection and […]

#CCLS: Moratorium, Or Delaying the Inevitable?

From the massive amount of media coverage lately I am sure you have heard the NYS legislature is debating placing a “moratorium” on consequences from Common Core testing.  The discussion revolves around teachers, principals, and schools not being punished for low scores while New York slows down the implementation of the Common Core.  Many questions […]

An Opt Out must read.

I have been involved in the Opt Out movement for two years and have read many articles and opinion pieces about boycotting high-stakes standardized testing.  This essay from the The New Yorker hits home on many levels, including the history of testing, is the best piece I have read to date. A must read: […]

Student: We’re Messing Up My Generation


The following speech was written by one of my former students in North Carolina, who also read my resignation letter from October 2012 and told me it brought her to tears.  She wrote this before she saw my letter in the Washington Post.  This speech shows that our kids are feeling the realities more strongly […]

Common Ground is not so Common

Originally posted on EdCentrist:
In the words of Mark Twain, “We have not all had the good fortune to be ladies. We have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground.” Finding common ground is difficult, yet it’s often necessary for producing pragmatic…


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