Is @TeachForAmerica Cloaking Inequity?: Discussing the Headwind

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Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig, author of the blog, Cloaking Inequity, provides an important look into the nature of Teach for America, and why it is not the way teachers for our schools should be prepared, or hired.  He writes:

After several decades, Teach For America, a program that sends inexperienced teachers (typically only 5 weeks of summer training) before they are shipped off to teach on a temporary basis (primarily) in America’s toughest schools, is facing some headwind.… Read more

Can EcoJustice, Citizen Science and Youth Activism Inspire New Ways of Teaching Science?

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EcoJustice, Citizen Science and Youth Activism  (Library Copy) is the title of a new book edited by Michael P. Mueller, University of Alaska, and Deborah J. Tippins, University of Georgia.  It’s the first in the new Springer Book Series Environmental Discourses in Science Education in trying to bridge environmental education with science education.

ecojustice bookI received my copy of the book in the mail today, and was very happy for Mike and Deborah who have worked for several years to bring together the research and writing of science educators from various parts of the globe.  … Read more

Is the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Smart or Just Dumb?

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Is the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Smart or Just Dumb?  That’s the question we’ll try to address in this blog post.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) released scale scores for math and ELA (English Language Arts) aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

In their release to the public on November 17, Smarter Balance announced that:

Members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have voted to approve initial achievement levels for the mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) assessments that will be administered in 17 states and one territory this school year.

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Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence: Poster Child for Influence Peddling

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Earlier this month, Governor Bush talked with the editors of Education Next about the legacy of the Florida reforms, his support for the Common Core State Standards, and his vision for education in the United States.  Education Next published the interview on its website here.

I responded to the article on their website, but my comment has not been published yet.

Here is what I wrote:

Mr. Bush’s analysis of his organization’s work is disingenuous.  

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The Common Core: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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Photo by Kristian Niemi, Creative Commons
Photo by Kristian Niemi, Creative Commons

There was an article in Scientific American entitled Science in a Republican Senate: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  It is well worth a read, and I’ll be commenting more on the article in the days ahead.

But for this blog post, I want to apply the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to an analysis of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The Common Core State Standards initiative began in 2009 at a Chicago meeting held by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. … Read more

Authoritarian Spray: How the Spread of Standardization is Damaging Public Schools With Its Canopy of a Common Core, High-Stakes Testing and Market-Based Hooey

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Please accept apologies because my title is nearly a picture. I just couldn’t pinch the title to a few words. That said…

The authoritarian spray of standardization has spread harm and inflicted damage to America’s public schools during the last two decades. The profits from standardized tests and teaching materials associated with the Common Core have overwhelmed the nature of learning in public school classrooms that one wonders if  this goliath, which has trampled on the very heart of education in a democratic society, can be brought down.… Read more

Web of Influence Peddling

An Art of Science Teaching Inquiry

In this post I argue that politicians, lobbyists and corporate executives have worked together to peddle their influence in the name of educational reform. This triad of influence is dismantling public education one charter school, voucher, tax incentive, and law at a time.

In today’s culture, politicians and especially business leaders, have perpetuated the myth that academic achievement in a few subjects is the most important outcome of schooling, and that indeed, there is a huge gap between achievement of students in the United States and its counterparts in other industrialized nations.… Read more

Charter Schools: In Whose Interest?

An Art of Science Teaching Inquiry

Charter schools are seen as a cure-all to raise test scores of American students. It kind of like a philosopher’s stone, or a 19th century elixir, to serve as an antidote for the ills of traditional public schools. Many policymakers are motivated by the delusion that choice and competition is the answer to solving problems facing our schools.

Public schools are the only agent that can create a sense of community among diverse communities from which students come.… Read more

An Inquiry into the National Council on Teacher Quality

The Devil is in the Detail

This inquiry is an investigation into the behavior of two organizations that claim to have the inside track on understanding how teachers should be educated: The National Council on Teacher Quality, and it’s partner and founding organization, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.  The findings are published and available as an eBook that is available free on the Art of Teaching Science blog.

In this eBook,  I argue that the reports issued by these organizations on teacher preparation and science standards are nothing short of conservative propaganda put out by organizations with ties to each other, and a common sources of funding from the leading donors of corporate-styled accountability.… Read more

E-valuating Teaching: It Doesn’t Add Up–An Art of Teaching Science Inquiry

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