Archives for April 2012

The Common Core Arrives in Georgia: Reasons for Caution

The march to standardize and uniform the curriculum is a dangerous movement in a democratic society, and especially in one that is so diverse in cultures, languages, and geography as America.  How can we really think that one set of statements of science objectives written by non-practitioners can be truly be valid for all learners, […]

Guest Post by Ingvar Stål: Humanistic Science Inquiry-Oriented Teaching in Finland

Note: This is the second post by Dr. Ingvar Stål, Senior lecturer in physics, chemistry, and science at the Botby Junior High School. In his first post, which you can read here, Dr. Stål gave us an overview of the Finnish educational system, which provides a basic education to all Finnish citizens ages 7 to 16, as well as […]

Guest Post by Ingvar Stål: Education in Finland, Part 1

This post is based on my correspondence with Dr. Ingvar Stål, Senior lecturer in physics, chemistry, and science at the Botby Junior High School. Dr. Stål and I began corresponding three years ago and I wrote about his work in designing inquiry-based and optional science courses at Botby Junior High. Dr. Stål has designed a […]

Guest Post by Anthony Cody: Cui Bono? The Question Rarely Asked, Let Alone Investigated

This was written by Anthony Cody, who 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 […]

Creationism and Intelligent Design make Stealth Appearances in Louisiana and Tennessee Science Classrooms

Over the past four years, two states have passed laws that protect teachers if they present scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical evolution in applicable curricula or in a course of learning.  Protecting teachers?  Have these legislators heard of VAM?  No protection of teachers here. What is […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5's Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5’s Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

How Standards are like Brick Walls in the face of Teaching and Learning

Note:  This is the fourth article in a series on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, suggested that brick walls are there for a reason.  The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance […]

The Testing Games: How America's Youth are being put at Risk

Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Starting tomorrow every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to determine which schools are good or bad, whether they have a good teacher or […]

The Testing Games: How America’s Youth are being put at Risk

Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Starting tomorrow every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to determine which schools are good or bad, whether they have a good teacher or […]

The Social-Emotional Consequences of the Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. Anxious teachers, sobbing children was the title of an opinion article published in the Atlanta newspaper last Sunday.  The article, written by Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the University of Georgia, asks “What’s […]

The Social-Emotional Consequences of the Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. Anxious teachers, sobbing children was the title of an opinion article published in the Atlanta newspaper last Sunday.  The article, written by Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the University of Georgia, asks “What’s […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

Australia Discovers New Element: Governmentium (GV)

I received word from Roger Cross, a friend and colleague in science education in Australia that the heaviest element yet known to science, has been discovered. The new element is Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These […]

Why a Single Set of Science Standards in a Democracy?

Why are we supporting the notion of a single set of science standards which has been done in mathematics and language reading/language art?  We live in a democracy.  One the of founding principles of education is that elected school board members for the more than 15,000 school districts are charged with making decisions for each […]

Peddling Panic: Biased Survey Promotes National Science Standards

Achieve, Inc. stands to make a lot of money for its work creating new science standards. It might not surprise us, therefore, that a survey they commissioned favors the adoption of these standards. But we need to look at these results with skepticism. Does US competitiveness depend on our rankings on test scores? And will new […]

Spinning the Numbers on Turnarounds: School Improvement Grant Controversy Brews

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 […]