Archives for March 2012

Scoring Teachers: Perversion by Policymakers

Policymakers have perverted teaching, and reduced the evaluation of teachers to a number based on questionable and unreliable data.   Not only do researchers at major universities caution policymakers about using Value-Added Models (VAMs), but using such a system that is based on student test scores will destroy the central character of teaching. As a […]

Charter Schools: Education's New Elixir?

In her new book, Dr. Lisa Delpit suggests that the original idea of charter school has been corrupted.  She explains that originally, charter schools were designed to be “beacons” for educational excellence.  Charter schools were to be designed to develop new approaches to teaching, especially for the most challenging populations of children.  Their results were […]

Charter Schools: Education’s New Elixir?

In her new book, Dr. Lisa Delpit suggests that the original idea of charter school has been corrupted.  She explains that originally, charter schools were designed to be “beacons” for educational excellence.  Charter schools were to be designed to develop new approaches to teaching, especially for the most challenging populations of children.  Their results were […]

Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal's Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.” I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published. […]

Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal’s Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.” I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published. […]

End Punitive Testing: Occupy the DOE in DC, March 30 – April 2

United OPT OUT NATIONAL is organizing an Occupy the Department of Education (DOE) in Washington, D.C. March 30 – April 2, 2012. Anthony Cody, on his blog Living in Dialog, interviewed two education activists who are part of the leadership spearheading the Occupy the DOE next week.  Anthony interviewed Ceresta Smith, a 23-year veteran teacher […]

I dare you to measure the “value” I add

Guest Post by Donna McKenna This was first published on March 8 on Donna McKenna’s blog, No Sleep ’til Summer.  She is an elementary ESL teacher passionate about language learners and language learning.  Published with permission. Note: This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post entitled Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Place.  Evaluating […]

Quality Teaching: We're Looking in the Wrong Places

According to a number of researchers (Marder, Ravitch, Darling-Hammond) our system of education is failing a huge number of students, especially in mathematics, and science.  Since 2003, when the NCLB Act was put into place that required schools to test all students beginning in grade 3, the Federal control by the U.S. Department of Eduction […]

Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Places

According to a number of researchers (Marder, Ravitch, Darling-Hammond) our system of education is failing a huge number of students, especially in mathematics, and science.  Since 2003, when the NCLB Act was put into place that required schools to test all students beginning in grade 3, the Federal control by the U.S. Department of Eduction […]

Anthony Cody Writes: A Million Teachers Prepare to March Out the Classroom Door

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Anthony Cody spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on Project Based Learning. With education at a crossroads, he invites you to join him in […]

Charter School Bill Passed by Georgia Senate, A Big Mistake

Although HR 1162 successfully passed the State Senate, I stand firm on my decision to oppose it.  I was elected to serve the best interest of the greater good, and this bill clearly does not.  Georgia State Senator Doug Stoner, District 6. The Georgia Senate was able to persuade three democratic senators to support HR […]

P.L. Thomas: Charter Schools Not the Answer, Especially if We Fail to Identify the Question

Guest Post by P.L. Thomas Paul Thomas, Associate Professor of Education, taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. Recent books include Parental Choice?: A Critical Reconsideration of Choice and the Debate about Choice (Information Age Publishing, 2010) and 21st Century Literacy: If We Are Scripted, Are We Literate? (Springer, […]

Georgia's "Priority" Schools: Still Held Hostage

This week, the Georgia Department of Education identified “priority” schools in Georgia. A “priority” school is one in which the students consistently perform poorly on tests, have low graduation rates, and are also receiving federal improvement funds. The designation of “priority school” is part of the new terminology in Georgia’s ESEA Flexibility Request, know commonly as […]

Georgia’s “Priority” Schools: Still Held Hostage

This week, the Georgia Department of Education identified “priority” schools in Georgia. A “priority” school is one in which the students consistently perform poorly on tests, have low graduation rates, and are also receiving federal improvement funds. The designation of “priority school” is part of the new terminology in Georgia’s ESEA Flexibility Request, know commonly as […]

Deja Vu: Panel Says Schools Put Economy & Security at Risk

Deja Vu In 1983, a panel of experts wrote the report: A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform.  In the report, the panel wrote: Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with […]

Deja Vu: Panel Says Schools Put Economy & Security at Risk

Deja Vu In 1983, a panel of experts wrote the report: A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform.  In the report, the panel wrote: Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with […]

Shameful and Degrading Evaluations of Teachers by Politicians

Teacher bashing has become a contact sport that is played out by many U.S. Governors.  The rules of the game are staked against teachers by using measures that have not been substantiated scientifically.  For many governors, and mayors it is fair play to release the names of every teacher in the city, and their Value-added […]

Shameful and Degrading Evaluations of Teachers by Politicians

Teacher bashing has become a contact sport that is played out by many U.S. Governors.  The rules of the game are staked against teachers by using measures that have not been substantiated scientifically.  For many governors, and mayors it is fair play to release the names of every teacher in the city, and their Value-added […]

Georgia Making Mistake to Ignore Charter School Research

The Georgia Senate is very close passing a bill HR 1162, which will enable the state to authorize charter schools.  In 2011 the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Georgia Charter School Commission to authorize charter schools.  The state constitution does not authorize any governmental entity to create or operate […]

Georgia Making Mistake to Ignore Charter School Research

The Georgia Senate is very close passing a bill HR 1162, which will enable the state to authorize charter schools.  In 2011 the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Georgia Charter School Commission to authorize charter schools.  The state constitution does not authorize any governmental entity to create or operate […]

Charter School Data Fuels Controversy in Georgia

The Charter school movement has been in  the news recently in Georgia.  The Georgia Legislature is trying to get around the present Charter School law which says that applications for establishing a charter school must be approved by the local school district. According to the Georgia Department of Education, there are 133 charter schools operating […]

Teacher Evaluation: Should We Look at Evidence of Learning?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody This post was originally published on Anthony Cody’s blog at Living in Dialog, on March 10. Anthony Cody spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on […]

High Hopes for Science Inquiry: Fewer Opportunities

The No Child Left Behind Act is linked to data that shows schools in California are teaching less science because teachers are pressured to prepare students for the required math and English high-stakes tests. Valerie Strauss writes that Virginia is moving to require that students would only be required to take tests in math and English.  Students would […]

Georgia Senate Further Degrades Education, Approves Bill to Grade Each School: A B C D F

The Georgia Senate approved Senate Bill 420 which is an amendment to part of the Official Code Georgia.  The bill relates to the accountability assessment for K-12 education.  The passage of the bill further degrades education and Georgia, and applies punitive measures to further humiliate and disregard educators in the state.  The 5-Star evaluation of each […]

Is There an Assault on Public Education and (Science) Teaching

There is an unrivaled assault on the teaching profession.  It  emerged and has sustained itself when education policy makers convinced themselves that public education should be based on standards driven accountability model, combined with high-stakes testing. The goal of this model of education is to improve student achievement test scores in mathematics, reading, and science. […]

The Radical Idea of Helping Students Construct Their Own Ideas

Helping students construct their own ideas is considered by some educators a subversive idea that runs counter to the present impetus of the Race to the Top and NCLB Waivers. These Federal programs, especially NCLB, have created a narrowing of the curriculum, a data-driven, test-based school culture, and the despicable use of student tests as […]