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 […]

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” […]

Common Core Prescription Will Not Heal Education

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prescriptive

During my presentations, I make the case that the Common Core Standards are a prescriptive list of content standards, rather than a descriptive framework. The other night, in Santa Fe, one of my more well-known audience members disagreed, based on her opinion. What’s the difference? And why does it matter? First of all, let’s consider […]

Common Core = “College Ready” ?

From New York parent Loy Gross: Why do we need Common Core? Experts tell us it will make kids “college and career ready.” And let me add, potatoes don’t have wings because my bicycle is a 10-speed. Out of those two statements, only one has a measure of truth. Potatoes don’t have wings. And my […]

#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 […]

NYS PTA: We want your two dollars (but not your input.) #PTA


Let me start this post out by saying that as an educator and parent the local PTA groups in the districts I am involved with are amazing.  The volunteers of the PTA do so much to enhance the experiences of our children. We cannot thank active local PTA members enough for all they do for […]

@PARCCplace : More bang for the buck?

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 8.56.08 AM

The PARCC folks and Common Core cheerleaders like to talk about the next generation of standardized testing.  Are these new tests worth the $29.50 per student cost? In my state of New York that would triple the cost of the current 3-8 testing program.  Of course we will also need to seriously upgrade technology in […]

Dear Hanna: Where Are You?

I bet this totally freaked you out!

Dear Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera: I have to admit, I’m starting to get the feeling that you don’t want to talk to me. Or anyone else, for that matter. Just in case you’re not quite sure who I am, here’s a quick reminder.  I’m the guy that has already personally seen education reform (as your […]

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: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/01/the-defiant-parents-testings-discontents.html?mobify=0 […]

#AmericanGirl + Pearson = reality.

Get your doll ready for a "rigorous" day of school!

From what I hear the American Girl series of dolls from Mattel strives to create a realistic version of 9-11 year old girls. Congrats Mattel! This accessory is right on the mark for a young girl attending a public school. The backpack includes a Pearson enVision Math text book that is Common Core aligned.  Hopefully […]

Putting the “Public” Back into Public Education

I made my very first video! Yes, it’s catered specifically to New Mexico, but that’s the fight in which I’m embroiled at this point in time.  But I think that it can be shared with all parents of all states, just to get people exposed. And, hey–it’s set to “Uprising” by Muse.  The best modern […]

Cuomo: No longer the “lobbyist” for the students?


As the fight over Common Core, high-stakes testing, the new APPR teacher evaluation system, and education commissioner John King’s leadership hits a fever pitch in New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been silent for weeks.  Today we finally get some quotes from Cuomo who declared himself “lobbyist” for the students of New York. “It’s […]

Will the Common Core improve knowledge of history?

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On twitter recently I spotted a post from a Common Core supporter that implies that the new standards will solve our problems when it comes to history instruction in our schools. Here we have another CCLS advocate who ignores the reality in our schools: In this era of high-stakes testing what is tested will determine what is taught. […]

NYSED: Cherry picking data.

Testing Time compared NYSED vs Reality

Here is another example of education reformers cherry picking data.  New York Education Commissioner John King and the Board of Regents have been under a tremendous amount of pressure from parents and educators across the Empire State about the Common Core implementation and the significant increase in mandated testing, along with the cancellation and rescheduling […]

Of Babies and Bathwater: Can We Separate the Common Core, Various Materials, and Assessments?

Back in the ’90s, when the Math Wars raged (and they still do), I thought that if only the US Dept. of Ed was like the Ministry of Education in Japan, and could impose a national curriculum in mathematics, with a well-organized method of getting feedback on a lesson-by-lesson basis, fed through carefully-constructed local, state, […]


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