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

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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?

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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?

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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, […]

Fill in those bubbles Kindergarteners- this is your future.

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Not quite as horrible as the learn how to bubble for the sake of test taking skill as Shaun Johnson’s post today, but what the hell are we doing here people? From  New York parent Heather: Kindergartners learning to be “college and career” ready by practicing filling in those bubbles? Common Core aligned too! From […]

Score Reports: Send ‘em Back

Send Back

In a state-wide effort to protest the lack of validity, loss of instruction time, and educational harm caused by mandated state assessments, New York State Allies for Public Education has called for parents to “send the scores back”. Parents around New York will be sending back to their children’s score reports to NYSED Commissioner John […]

My 8 year old cries foul on testing.

At last week’s school board meeting in my rural Western New York community an excellent discussion on testing occurred, focusing on the use of progress monitoring assessments.  Several families, including mine, have made the decision to boycott all assessment that is mandated by federal or state policy.   Our district uses a Pearson product called AIMSweb […]

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