Archives for May 2014

Common Core Protest Poster by Joyce Murdock Feilke

Joyce Murdock Feilke has created and published this poster, that came about from her experiences in Austin, Texas as a Texas School Counselor.  In several earlier posts, her experiences were featured on this blog, and you can read about them here. The powerful message of this poster is clear in these words, but more evident […]

Bush’s Digital Learning Report Card: Misleading and Disingenuous

In March 2014, Jeb Bush’s organization Digital Learning Now (DLN), issued its 2013 Digital Learning Report Card measuring and grading K-12 education policies in the nation’s 50 states against its 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning. I found their report misleading and disingenuous. Digital Learning Now released its report card grading each state on 41 criteria divided into 10 Elements […]

Graphics of The Bush Foundation’s Influence on State Education Laws

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) agenda has seven “reform” priorities, and its work centers on influencing state governments to pass laws that are directly related to these reform priorities.  The seven reform categories (shown in Box 1) are elements of the corporate and foundation led privatization of public schools, as well as the accountability […]

Bush’s Education Foundation and Influence Peddling: Any Truth to It?

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) is an organization founded in 2008 by Jeb Bush.  After reading about Bush’s claims that American teens were falling behind in math and science, and listening to his most recent speech at the Heritage Institute, I decided to investigate ExcelinEd, to find out what it is up to, […]

Jeb Bush’s Math/Science Claim American Teens Falling Behind : Mostly False

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s (AJC) Truth-O-Meter did a check on Jeb Bush’s claim that U.S. teenagers have fallen behind their international counterparts in math and science as reported last year by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). His speech was given May 12th at a dinner at the Manhattan Institute (where all conservatives speak their […]

The Absurdity of Teacher Evaluation Systems

  There was an article today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that really got my gander up.  The article, written by AJC blogger Maureen Downey, was entitled Grading on a curve.  The article was about teacher evaluation systems.  Downey’s article focused on classroom observation systems, indicating that only 22% of teachers will be evaluated with student […]

A Vanguard of Voices for Educational Reform–Updated

I started this blog in 2005 to augment my book The Art of Teaching Science (Public Library), and to write about progressive & humanistic science teaching.   Over the years it morphed into a blog that not only explores science education, but its more of a discussion of the unnerving intrusion of corporate education-wannabes with […]

Third Strike Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes: Brave New Parents Opt Out

The headline in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution was “Parents push back on required testing.” Could the movement to Opt Out of high-stakes testing be the third strike against using high stakes testing to rate teachers? In an earlier post, two studies were reviewed that cast doubt on the use of VAM scores  (which are based on student achievement […]

Will the Atlanta Schools Be Run by an Authoritarian Regime?

The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) hired a new superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen, who formerly was superintendent of the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Dr. Carstarphen is bringing five administrators who worked for her in Austin.  These people will form the nucleus of her cabinet or central staff.  With outside private funding, she and her staff […]

Two Strikes Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes

Two curve balls were thrown at the movement to evaluate teachers using student tests scores and classroom observations.  Both were strikes! Attempts to evaluate teachers have focused on classroom observations of teacher performance, and the contributions (value added) teachers make to student test score gains. Two studies were published recently, casting doubt on the use […]

Why Candidates for Governor and State School Superintendent of Georgia Should Oppose High-Stakes Testing?

Latest Story In an earlier post, I challenged candidates for state school superintendent to oppose the Common Core State Standards.  Today, I am writing to candidates for Governor and State School Superintendent of Georgia to oppose High-Stakes testing.  If they would, they’d open the door to a new paradigm of assessment that would improve education in Georgia […]

Are Georgia School Superintendent Candidates Willing to Oppose the Common Core & High-Stakes Tests?

Dear Candidates for Georgia School Superintendent, Today, I want to challenge you to not only oppose Georgia’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), but also the use of high-stakes tests such as the CRCT. In this post, I’ll offer some facts you can use to discuss why to oppose the CCSS.  In the next post, […]

Climate Change: Are We In Trouble?

This is a reblog from the Moyers & Company website. It’s an article written by John Light that I’ve reblogged here as a follow up the May 7th post entitled Extreme Earth: Coming to an Environment Near You. The National Climate Assessment Says We’re in Trouble. This Chart Shows Why. (via Moyers & Company) This […]

What do the Candidates for Georgia State Superintendent of Education Have to Say about Reform?

Latest Story There are 15 people running for Georgia State School Superintendent in the primary election on May 20th.  There are 9 Republicans and 6 Democrats jockeying for positions for the November election.  In this post I want to explore issues that ought to be important in this election. EmpowerEd Georgia is a citizen group advocating for quality education […]

Poverty in Georgia and Its Effect on Student Learning

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story in which the writers connected the state of Georgia’s new academic performance score card with poverty. In their article they reported that Georgia students in poor schools got lower grades than students in affluent schools.  To show this they used a bar graph comparing poor schools (schools who have 40 or […]

Extreme Earth: Coming to An Environment Near You

The Earth’s climate has changed rapidly over the past fifty years, but when people talk about climate change, they frame it as a future threat. David Popeik, in Scientific American guest blog, says that “climate report nails risk communication.”  He suggests that the National Climate Assessment that was released by the White House presented a powerful […]

Pearson Just Saved Us $82 Million: Where’s The Money?

According to an Education Week article by Sean Cavanagh, Pearson won a the major contract with PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) to develop test items, delivery of paper-and-pencil and computerized test forms, reporting of the results, analysis of scores, and to “work” with the states to develop “cut scores.” Nearly […]

Psychological Abuse: A Springtime School Ritual?

  It might seem extreme to you for me to write about the psychological abuse of children in schools. However, at the end of the post, I hope you will understand why I did. Although the content of this post might seem to some to be controversial, I believe that the content warrants being stated, […]