Guest post from teacher Mark Butler: Kicking the Common Core Football @parccinfo

On the surface it might seem confusing as to why Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) would suddenly come out in opposition to the PARCC assessment– and in doing so, undermine the authority of State Superintendent, John White, Jr. Jindal hand-picked White for Superintendent in January 2012, and has until this recent turnabout, remained lockstep with him on […]

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.

The Relentless Bully Politics Continues in SC

Superintendent of Education Mick Zais can’t help himself. He is so enamored with his misinformation-as-talking-points that he is willing to visit and shame a high-poverty elementary school. This is the other side of the coin for Zais who has previously visited a so-called high-flying school in order to shame all the other schools. In both cases, […]

Testing Is the New Learning: Do the Math

While Orange Is the New Black continues to garner a wide range of reactions from the public and critics, let’s do a little math and confront something that is not receiving the media attention that it should: Testing is the new learning. Back in 2005, when the SAT introduced with much fanfare a third section […]

B.S. On Your Collar (Says Your Argument’s Untrue): Another Common Core Lie Exposed


FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE AN S.O.B.: First, let me introduce my first post at “Schools Matter at the Chalk Face.” It’s an enormous compliment to have been invited by Tim and Shaun to contribute to the collective blogging efforts of so many bright, insightful, and dedicated people. For the last couple of years, […]

Charleston P&C: How Media Fails Education

The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) has a long history of endorsing every education reform movement that doesn’t have any credibility: Teach for America? Sure. Charter schools? You bet. So it comes as no surprise that the P&C has penned an endorsement of SC’s move to reform teacher evaluation, by framing the issue as something […]

John Merrow, Welcome to Our World of the Ignored

At his Taking Note blog, John Merrow laments: “The op-ed below has been rejected by four newspapers, three of them national publications. One editor’s rejection note said that Michelle Rhee was not a national story.” On Twitter, Rachel Levy, though, noted: “That @John_Merrow story that no one will print? I did so 2.5 yrs ago.” Her […]

I am happy to see we are not eschewing the issue of #nojustice

Other authors beat me to it. I’m happy to see that. I am one of six founders of United Opt Out National and, like all well-mannered activist groups in the 21st century, we have a Facebook presence.  We have done a great job over the years avoiding the sidetracking of discussions. Like all new groups […]

Evidence? Secretary Duncan, You Can’t Handle the Evidence

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appears now to be assuming the mantle of self-righteous indignation—a tenuous perch for someone who is leading a field in which he has no experience or expertise. As Valerie Strauss has reported, Duncan this summer lambasted news editors, berating them for failing to demand evidence for claims against Common Core. […]

Solidarity and My Name: Some Thoughts

I have written about this before at this blog: John Proctor, in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, nearly bends to signing a false confession, but then has a moment of clarity and proclaims: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am […]

Saving DC Schools with Catastrophe Innovation!

Emma Brown in The Washington Post offers an important window into school reform occurring (ad infinitum) in Washington DC: D.C. Council member David A. Catania plans to announce wide-ranging legislation Tuesday that could substantially reshape the city’s public education system, as he seeks to increase funding to educate poor children, give more power to principals, […]

Celebrity Losing Popularity?

George Parker looks at celebrity, building on the renewed interest in The Great Gatsby: What are celebrities, after all? They dominate the landscape, like giant monuments to aspiration, fulfillment and overreach. They are as intimate as they are grand, and they offer themselves for worship by ordinary people searching for a suitable object of devotion. […]

Schools as Prisons

Please read my new piece at Truthout connecting education reform with the New Jim Crow Era: Education Reform in the New Jim Crow Era There are significant parallels between the war on drugs and market-oriented education reform, and both create an underclass – especially among African American males, according to Thomas, who traces the history.

Lessons from Finland and Wisconsin

Many of us who are lifelong educators find clinging to our optimism a difficult challenge. But two recent pieces may signal hope, a light at the long and dark tunnel of corporate education reform built on false claims and flawed solutions. While I urge you to read and share widely the two works below, I […]

Beneath the Surface: More Public School Dismantling in SC

My home state of South Carolina is a poster child of disfunction, a self-loathing mutt of myopic bible-thumping, state-rights’ libertarianism mated with historical and systemic poverty born out of racism and the lingering burden of slavery. SC voted for Newt Gingrich in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries and now stands as the home of former-governor turned […]


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