#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 […]

DCPS and the WTU: A Negotiation Showdown or an Opportunity to Repair?

During the coming negotiation rounds between DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President, Elizabeth “Liz” Davis, the following issues need further elaboration: How has IMPACT 2.0 faired in the 40 lowest performing schools? What is the teacher turnover rate within these schools, especially for Group 1 teachers? Is the current classroom observations’ […]

@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 […]

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot UPDATED

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot * No one, myself included, expects a profession to hold lockstep to only one voice—including teachers. But Help teachers improve their craft, an Op-Ed by a public school teacher, calls for helping teachers become better educators, but in fact, perpetuates the worst aspects of the education reform movement. In the end, this […]

My second thoughts on DCPS #IMPACT and #teachereval @thewashteacher @rweingarten

I’ve been obsessing just a bit over my first official encounter with one of the crown jewels of the inner city education reform movement: the DCPS IMPACT evaluation scheme. Student growth, or VAM scores, account for a significant portion of any teacher’s overall evaluation. And despite AFT President Randi Weingarten’s recent come to Jesus moment […]

A story of revolution….

Boycott

The King and his policymakers gather in a large building making laws for the people in lands far from the towers of the capital.  The leaders imposed a biased system of judgement that took away the opportunities for localities to make their own decisions. People proclaimed that citizens should be judged by their “peers” instead […]

IMPACT scores in DCPS show errors. Is this not evidence enough for its immediate overhaul?

This from the Washington Post.  But an interesting choice of words at the end there: In October, researchers from the University of Virginia and Stanford University who have examined IMPACT reported that its rewards and punishments were shaping the school system workforce, affecting retention and performance. The study found that two groups of teachers were inspired to […]

Kindergarten and the #commoncore @dianeravitch

Some pretty emotional comments were posted to Diane Ravitch’s blog recently from Kindergarten teachers about how they’re teaching was forcefully changed by the Common Core. And by forcefully, I mean that new rounds of observation by new evaluators compel teachers to adjust their instruction in very negative ways. Two points. One, I do sympathize with […]

Anecdotes on teacher evaluation, horror-show edition @NCTQ

The DCPS IMPACT is considered by many to be a model for the nation, or it was in its heyday just a few years ago. It is now derided, disliked, and distrusted by nearly every DCPS educator with whom I encounter. If not for the impact of IMPACT, namely performance bonuses and the keeping of […]

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 […]

Lesson plans: Something scripted, something borrowed, something new. #ShareMyLesson

Today I was preparing a sub plan for next week and read Shaun Johnson’s piece about lesson plan books during my lunch period.  I know I will be out for a morning next week for some dental work so I am getting my lesson plans set for the day I will be absent.  Any teacher […]

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. […]

The Impact of DCPS IMPACT: An Actual DC Teacher’s Perspective

Introduction This piece is a response to a recent report titled, “Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance: Evidence from IMPACT” by Thomas Dee and James Wyckoff (2013). This response attempts to offer a ground-level perspective from a teacher working within a high poverty neighborhood public school; It’s not trying to undermine the report’s findings. In fact, […]

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 […]

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