A grave mythology is propagated by our own colleagues.

I am certain that any educator and reader of this website has been confronted with the following: You are against standardized testing. Therefore, you are against all assessment. You are against test-based accountability. Therefore, you are against all accountability. High-stakes are removed. Therefore, you have no incentive to work hard. For many years now, I […]

Fred Klonsky is correct about the #NEARA14

Says the retired teacher on his website: Yesterday NEA Board of Director from Illinois, Jim Grimes, told us that the leadership would present two New Business Items (NBIs) to the delegates.   One addresses the issue of the use and misuse of standardized testing.   The other one will call on local and state affiliates […]

Rhetorical and/or philosophical question

Let’s say that your school, a low income area of an affluent major city, enrolls some of the most, shall we say, challenging upper elementary students you/I have ever seen. Day after day after day, they fight instruction and they fight among themselves. Their education is interrupted in what starts each day as minutes, then […]

Back live next week. For now, enjoy a studio version with public school parent Michelle

Enjoy your brunches. Then, listen to mom Michelle discuss her multi-year test refusal for her children.

Edweek blogger heads to guess where? College Board.

Education Weak and corporate reform journalist  mouthpiece Michele McNeil is leaving Politics K-12: Starting in mid-May, I’ll be the director of assessment and accountability policy at the College Board   Seriously. A non-educator as director of assessment policy? Who’s in charge of hiring, anyway?  

Spend part of your holiday with us at 6PM EST as we speak to GA parents with a strange #optout story

Here’s the deets. Now listen to the story.

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. […]


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