Testing and monitoring in Kindergarten

The picture in this article about new testing protocols for Kindergartners in MD reminds me of this memorable exchange from Shawshank Redemption: Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means. 1967 Parole Hearings Man: Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin society… Red: I know […]

Colleague and I on the front page of Sunday’s Baltimore Sun on #optout

Amazing how good conversations lead to such small quotes.  Journalists! In any event, opt out and common core resistance makes the front page of the Baltimore Sun, mainly about the left-right debate. The coverage continues.

Details on #sequestration and #edreform… blah, blah, blah

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Both poles of the political spectrum have been trying to game the impacts of the sequester. I wanted to take a closer look at its effects in education, particularly in the state where I reside, Maryland. Fortunately for us plebes, documents are available detailing the impact of the sequester in each state. Here’s Maryland’s, for […]

#MoCo super calls for a moratorium on #HST

This has been making the rounds. Montgomery County, MD Superintendent Josh Starr said this: Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Starr said Monday that the country needs a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and needs to “stop the insanity” of  evaluating teachers according to student test scores because it is based on “bad science.” He also said […]

#RtTT asking schools to crap or get off the pot…

… only states can’t really get off the pot. They’re chained to it. Or, kind of like in Lethal Weapon (2?) where Danny Glover was trapped on the toilet because a bomb would go off. Yeah, a pressure sensor, that’s a better analogy. Well, Education Week is reporting that the Federali’s or whatever want states […]

#Maryland petition to #opt-out of #testing

A friend/colleague and I wrote the MD petition to opt out of testing. Please sign if you are a Marylander. If you are a resident of another state, check the opt out website for your state. Forward to your friends.

The state will ruin the environment

So, I’m back in Bloomington, Indiana to give a talk on urban agriculture and eduction during a meeting for the Association of Literature and the Environment. I know right: what am I doing here? Although, I miss Bloomington a lot and I’m sure all the hipsters around me at Soma Coffeehouse are itching to see […]

#Professor of the year

Not surprised that a professor of human sexuality would win MD professor of the year. Just saying. And no, I’m not jealous and I’m sure she’s deserving. But still: human sexuality? I mean, you could stand up there and talk about positions and all of that for 90 minutes or whatever, sure your audience will […]

Green ed.

Although the measure is laudable, let me go ahead and shoot down the overall effectiveness of the MD state department of education’s recent approval of environmental education in K-12 schools.  I’m not trying to be a Negative Nellie here (is that how it’s spelled?), but how exactly is this supposed to be done when all […]

Cheers or jeers

My state of residence and employ is one of the 19 current finalists for Race to the Top, competing for a few billion dollars of federal funding.  Here are some of the proposed changes: To make the state more competitive for Race to the Top, Maryland has changed laws governing teacher tenure and evaluations, adopted […]

Hey Matt?

Hey Matt, Matt Joseph, do you know what you’re talking about? Seriously. The MD state school board is looking to increase the weight of test scores on teacher and principal evaluations to fifty percent.  First, what does 50% even mean?  So, half is quantitative and half is qualitative: a teacher’s effectiveness (also a vague term) […]

Race to the trough

Well, it appears as if the 16 finalists for the Race to the Top have been chosen, my state of Maryland not being one of them.  Interesting, I just sat through a meeting a couple of weeks ago where a representative from the local Board shared with us some details in the state’s proposal.  Now, […]


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