The NEA should have listened. It’s too late.


The Washington Post has a feisty profile of the new NEA president, Lily Eskelsen García: What would she do if she were still teaching and an administrator told her to do something in class to improve student’s standardized test scores so that her test-based evaluation would be better?  “I would totally ignore them,” she said. ” ‘Go […]

Tomorrow begins a multi-part series from #DougCo Colorado. #talkchalk #CrazyinCO

Here’s the listing for tomorrow’s show at 6PM EST: SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! @the chalk face radio presents “Crazy in Colorado.” We begin a series of Sunday shows devoted to the Rocky Mountain state’s embrace of the failed reform movement and also talking to those marginalized voices that have and are fighting back and suffering tremendous casualties. Joins us at 6 […]

Doge Duncan, without comment.

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Much reforms!

Enemies of Public Education: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil Logo

Here at the Chalk Face, we’ve spent some time questioning and exposing the intentions behind the energy giant, ExxonMobil.  Their ad campaign in support of Common Core continues to take up space and spread lies on the network airwaves.  It’s well-known by now that Bill Gates is the top fund owner for Exxon, which somewhat […]

Michelle Rhee: A Teacher’s Best Friend


What makes a really good friend?  The listening? The understanding?  Always being there for you?  Well, if you are a teacher, Michelle Rhee wants to be your friend.  To prove it, she’s personally inviting you to her upcoming Teacher Town Halls, where you and Michelle (and two of her other friends) can have “an open […]

A tale of two communities saying no

Global reforms are just that.  Global.  The same damage is being inflicted worldwide to schools in large and small communities, causing distress and doing nothing to improve education.  Often quite the opposite. This is Cedar, a small community in Canada.  I only heard about Cedar because my gorgeous friend James lives there.  James isn’t a […]

The Human Costs of School “Reform”

A study by Elaine Weiss and Don Long of the Bolder Broader Approach shows that the corporate school “reform” experiment has claimed to have raised student achievement but that those gains evaporate upon close examination. A previous post, “The Benefits (and Costs) of ‘Reform’ in Three Cities,” discussed their “Market-Oriented Education Reforms’ Rhetoric Trumps Reality,” […]

Beware the Reform-y Types in Constructivist’s Clothing

Put that away and get back to our hands-on learning!

There’s been a great way to teach out there in school-o-sphere for quite some time, which we know leads to authentic learning and happy kids.  It’s not lecture.  It’s not worksheets. It’s not even “hands-on.”  (“Hands-on” doesn’t always mean that kids are learning or even engaged.) It’s called constructivism, and it is totally awesome.  Seriously, […]

What about a new term to describe #edreform?

Maybe I should just use it on the sly and see if it sticks. But again, maybe if I make it plain, more people will use it casually themselves. I was listening to Bill Mahr in the car (that rhymes). A recent guest lamented that conservative, supply-side economic policies are not based on evidence. They’re […]

Competition, Choice and Market Forces

When it comes to education, governments bandy the word choice around with evangelical fervour saying, amongst other things, they are opening charter schools for us, the parents. Rubbish. In New Zealand we have heaps  of choice already: Special Character schools, Steiner Schools, home schooling, private schools, bilingual schools, correspondence school, Te kura kaupapa Maori (Maori […]

The Future is Disappearing…But Why?

In my soon-to-be-released, self-published book, I do my best to help parents, teachers, and others understand why the Common Core Network is so bad for our kids and our nation’s future.  (This is not a shameless plug, I promise.  I have a real question here.)  It’s becoming common knowledge that the Common Core State Standards […]

Writing Instruction Grounding Social Control


Those of us who have been teachers and/or wannabe authors before everyone was an author (see the note yesterday re: artists)–I know I’m treading on my commoner sensibility here, always a tension in me–remember there is a book by William Zinsser called On Writing Well.  I’ll confess that I own it and yet have never […]

To Dissect a Polemic: First, Examine the Polemicist


Dissecting The Atlantic’s Reform Manifesto: Part IVGo to Part I; Part II; Part III “Why Kids Should Grade Their Teachers,” by Amanda Ripley I had an instructive moment in my education well after I left the educational institutions at which I’d been vacationing (“all work and no play,” right?): I was working at a bookstore, […]

Empty of Fact: Rachel Brown’s Bellwether Propaganda


I asked Doug Martin, my colleague at The Common Errant and a dogged investigator of politico-corporate-educational malfeasance, to help us interpret the misleading graphic presentation offered by Rachel Brown for The Atlantic‘s Reform Pamphlet.  Ms Brown seems to be responsible for page 87; I don’t think it’s appropriate to say she wrote it as it is primarily […]

Homeschooling, Freely Unequal


Dismantling The Atlantic Monthly Reform Manifesto2nd Installment I. I introduced the The Atlantic’s Reform pamphlet (“22 pages…”) by focusing on the presentation of content.  But, I regret to say I left out what might have been the most important part: the “cover” of the section.  It’s a TEST BOOKLET!  Surprised? II. Now, this is clearly […]


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