Remember the musicians who changed their tune

As organizations jumble and revise their official positions, remember those who tried to stifle you in the past. Forgive, cooperate, but never forget those who told you that, for instance, opting out was a great and radical evil. Remember those who called you crazy, passionate with no sense, and tried to tease you into submission, […]

Use caution with those attempting to write books on the backs of your labors @testingtalk @Skrashen

I viewed a passing mention of some new phenomenon called “Testing Talk,” which is a website devoted to soliciting feedback on the slate of Common Core tests being implemented nationwide. I have one very simple question: who is sponsoring this? Another simple question: why the lack of overall diversity on the “committee.” And, what does […]

What an anti-test activist can do in a school during testing

For me, nothing, just stand aside. That’s all I can do, unless I’m prepared to jeopardize my employment and, selfishly, the employment of others in my school. I’m a Kindergarten teacher, so thankfully we are insulated from most of testing’s ill effects. But I can report on how the administration of testing during the specific […]

Recent #optout episodes of @thechalkface

As testing season is upon us, we’ve got a couple of recent, special episodes on the subject of opting out or refusing state testing. In the few years we’ve been covering this issue, this is the first time, at least to my knowledge that, one, massive opt outs are occurring, two, they’re being covered extensively, […]

Security theater during high stakes testing. Why? Because security.

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I’m advocating for a new government agency, under the authority of the Department of Education or Homeland Security, or perhaps a novel collaboration between the two. This new agency could easily handle the security theater that permeates all schools during the testing window. Actually, it’s apt to call it a theater of the absurd. For […]

Register for UOO’s annual spring event in Denver, CO, March 28th to 30th


Click the box below to head over to Eventbrite. All the action you need for $20.

Reformist @teachplus puts out some pretty thin gruel on the impact of testing

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Teacher leadership organization and reformist Teach Plus put out a recent study on the amount of time actually spent on testing in urban districts. It’s interesting that so much (relatively, speaking) fanfare surrounded this report because, well, it’s not really all that powerful. After reading through it, Teach Plus seems to want to tip its […]

A parent “release” form for testing #optout from #DougCo Colorado


I think this is pretty hastily written and there are legal implications to it. No alternative activities? If your child is in attendance they WILL be tested? And, the punishments to teachers and schools for low test participation are hardly clear, or as clear as they indicate. Case in point, there are no quotes of […]

Goodness gracious, the PARCC samples are ready! Thanks @PARCCplace

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Is there no irony sensed that PARCC Place is a play on words of the most expensive place on the Monopoly board? Ok, let’s shoot on over to PARCC Place, then, and see what they’re about. Let’s practice! Damn it!! All right, all right. I’ll play along. Even though all the cool kids use Chrome. […]

With all due respect @jeffbcdm, this doesn’t sound like a good idea at all

There are a lot of folks out there nibbling at the edges of this Common Core ordeal. We get it, it’s a “flashpoint,” or what have you. It’s tough to debate because so many emotions enter the conversation; that is, if you care about this sort of thing. I think a poll of the larger […]

Guest Post: Here’s to a Progressive/Conservative Movement to Take Back Our Schools

We met the other day in the kitchen of a retired teacher. We were quite the mix of people, with a far right conservative and a far left progressive; long­time retired teachers, and currently working teachers; elementary teachers, high school teachers and a university teacher. Despite our differences, we all came together out of a […]

Teaser trailer for United Opt Out’s annual spring event #optout

Embed and share widely. UOO takes their fight to Denver, CO this year, March 28th to 30th, 2014. Check their website over the coming months for updates and details. In the past two years, UOO’s events in Washington, DC attracted grassroots activists and prominent figures nationwide. They’ve kindled uprisings and awareness in numerous communities. If […]

The Axiom of the Abandoned: “I Am the Union”

Source: Washington Post

I am pro-union.  Teachers need strong representation and advocacy.  But it’s broken right now. Just when I thought that the speeches and editorials from Dennis Van Roekel and Randi Weingarten were showing a turn-around back to reality, and just when I thought those two were going to start fighting for public education and their members, […]

#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 […]

Good coverage of the #optout movement from NYmag

Read up. United Opt Out National receives a mention. Nice.


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