The Radical Right’s Trojan Horse

Last night Ed Johnson suggested I listen to a podcast, Jennifer Berkshire interview Nancy MacLean, on the subject “The Long Crusade against Public Schools.”  I did, and thus is post.  You can click on the graphic and listen to it yourself.  It’s well worth 30 minutes of your time. Why should you listen? Nancy MacLean is […]

You’re Fired, James B. Comey

Breaking News: I’m sitting at my iMac, and Wolf Blitzer announces that James Comey, Director of the FBI has been fired by Trump, the Authoritarian.  The last time something like this happened was in 1973, when Richard Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.  The Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, who Nixon asked to fire Cox, resigned as […]

Letter to a Friend in Australia about the Serial Liar

Roger is a long time friend of mine.  We were colleagues at distant universities from 1992 on, and have remained in touch via email.  Roger was a prolific writer in the field of science education, and wrote a ground breaking book, Fallout! about an Australian scientist who spoke out against the British testing of nuclear weapons […]

Let the Sunshine In

The new Congress assembled today in DC, and the Republicans already showed their devious hand meeting in secret to dump the Office of Congressional Ethics.  But if you think about it, their meeting could be construed as unethical, and I don’t know how they can assemble as a very large group of elected officials without some […]

Now is the Time For All Republican Electors to Read Federalist Paper 68

There now is clear evidence agreed to by the NSA, CIA and the FBI that Russia*, with directives directly from President Putin, waged a cybercrime by interfering with the US Presidential election. The DNC and the RNC were hacked and millions of documents stolen and then given to others, including Wikileaks.  Emails of Hillary Clinton […]

Fighting the Good Fight: Georgia and Massachusetts Defeat Charters

For many of us, the 2016 election was a horrific and bitter defeat.  Although he was elected, he will face a powerful opposition from lots of folks. On the other hand, the election for millions of people was a triumph.  In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal’s plan to establish a New Orleans style recovery (Opportunity) school […]

Now Is the Time to Be Vigilant, Observant and Active

There is a lot of writing, reporting and protests in journals (Truthout, Mother Jones, The Nation), by bloggers, and by brave activists in cities across the country mad as hell about the outcome on Tuesday. Cathy O’Neil, a mathematician and blogger at Mathbabe, wrote a powerful post entitled “It’s time to smell the Shit.” She […]

I’m For Her

In the November, there is the national election, and one ballot measure that will encourage me to share my thoughts and encourage people to join me in electing the next President, and making sure that the Georgia Governor’s Opportunity School District amendment is defeated. There is a link between the election of our next president and the campaign […]

Seventy-Five Years and Beyond: It Was All About Cooperation

Latest Story Right now I am at Fen Farm in the UK for a two week expedition with my wife searching for antiquities for our antiques business.  It’s been  an exciting and exhilarating experience over the past 15 years. Tomorrow is the start my seventy-fifth year revolving around the sun on this 4.5 billion year […]

Paul Vallas Writes on AJC Blog Praising the Georgia Opportunity School District. Is He Looking for a Job?

Latest Story Paul Vallas Writes on AJC Blog Praising the Georgia Opportunity School District. Is He Looking for a Job? Update:  I received a tweet from Lindamarie via Twitter that linked to an article about Paul Villas and the Bridgeport School District in which he was superintendent.  It’s a stinging indictment of Villas and the […]

Why Bill Gates Defends the Common Core & Other Top 2014 Posts

In 2014, there were 100 new posts added to the Art of Teaching Science blog, as shown in the graphic below. I’ve made links to the top five posts for 2014.  As you can see, our examination of the how the Gates Foundation has used its billions to influence the Common Core State Standards was […]

The Mischief of Standardized Teaching & Learning

The conservative world-view is at the root of educational reform, not only in the United States, but in most countries around the world.  This world-view has set in motion the reform of education based on a common set of standards, high-stakes tests, and accountability metrics that demoralize not only students and their families, but the […]

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

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 […]

What’s Common Here: Teacher Education, Authoritarian Reform, Poverty, & Charter Schools?

In this first blog post in nearly two months, I want to introduce you to four areas of inquiry that have been explored on this blog over the past 10 years. Over the next month, I’ll be uploading links to landing pages, each of which is a kind of inquiry or an investigation of themes that appeared on […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why Achievement Test Scores are Poor Indicators of Student Learning and Teacher Effectiveness

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has established a single variable as the way to reward and punish schools, teachers, students and their parents.  The fact that I have used the terms “rewards” and punishments” is evidence enough that the ED is stuck in 19th century psychology. In 2001, the Congress approved the No Child […]

6 Reasons Why the Common Core is NOT Progressive Ideology

A growing criticism of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards is that its a way for progressives to inject their philosophies and ideology onto children and youth in American schools. One reader of this blog made this comment about my post in which I discuss why Bill Gates defends the common core. Common Core […]

Infinity & Beyond: Unbounded Learning and Human Potential

  Figure 1. Unbound Learning Learning is limited by the test-based and standards-based accountability system that holds the reins on the curriculum of American schools. One of the consequences of this system of accountability is the limitations it has imposed on the real curriculum that emerges in the classroom.  Learning is limited, and restricted to […]

Infinity & Beyond: Unbounded Learning and Human Potential

  Figure 1. Unbound Learning Learning is limited by the test-based and standards-based accountability system that holds the reins on the curriculum of American schools. One of the consequences of this system of accountability is the limitations it has imposed on the real curriculum that emerges in the classroom.  Learning is limited, and restricted to […]

Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas Are Important

In this post I am going to claim that evolution is a law, no different from the accepted laws of gravitation or motion.  However, as science teachers, we know that students can be helped to build their own meaning and understanding of evolution, or gravity, or motion if we connect with their prior-experiences, their community […]

Atlanta Snow Storm Fiasco: The Case for High-Stakes Testing of The Georgia Emergency Management Agency

Believe it or not, on Thursday, January 16, more than week before Georgia and Alabama citizens were stranded by a snow and ice storm, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal held a “Severe Weather Awareness Week” proclamation ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol. At that meeting, it was announced that Feb. 7 – 11, 2014 would be […]

Teacher Educators are Teachers First by Practicing What They Teach

Teacher Educators are Teachers First by Practicing what they Teach. This is the first of several posts that will be published here about the art of teacher education.  There is a rich body of research on teacher education, and I will make use of recent work that shows that teacher education is a vibrant and […]

EmpowerED Georgia Kicks Off Stop Putting Georgia Schools on Shoestring Budgets

Guest Post by Matt Jones EmpowerED Georgia Kicks Off Stop Putting Georgia Schools on Shoestring Budgets. Since 2010, EmpowerED, a grassroots nonprofit, has focused on building and growing a grassroots movement of parents, educators, and community members to support public education in Georgia. This week, EmpowerED launched a campaign called “Stop Putting Our Schools on […]

How to Make Sense out of Educational Reform

P.L. Thomas explains that to understand U.S. educational reform, foundational differences among the various groups or camps of reform need to be clarified.  And, in a post he wrote this week, he has provided a map that we can use to help us understand educational reform. He states that all reform is driven by ideology. […]

A High School Principal Tells How One Great Teacher Was Wronged by Flawed Evaluation System

Guest Post by Dr. Carol Burris Carol Corbett Burris has served as principal of South Side High School in the Rockville Centre School District in NY since 2000.  Prior to becoming a principal, she was a teacher at both the middle and high school level.  She received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, and […]

The Conundrum of Adolescence, and the Middle School Science Curriculum

Sixth Article in the Series on The Artistry of Teaching Does neoliberal education reform consider the nature of adolescence and the advances in our understanding of how humans learn?  Is it necessary for every American human adolescent to learn the same content, in the same order, and at the same time?  Why should every student […]

The Art of Mingling Practice and Theory in Teaching

This article is the Fourth in a series on The Artistry of Teaching.   In 1896, the laboratory school of the University of Chicago opened its doors under the directorship of John Dewey (Fishman and McCarthy 1998).  Dewey’s idea was to create an environment for social and pedagogical experimentation.  Theory and practice should mingle, and […]

The Wisdom of Practice

Latest Article on the Artistry of Teaching Around 1990, I started working on a research project which was published as a book entitled Minds on Science (library copy). I was interested in exploring teaching from a humanistic and progressive point of view. One aspect of this project was to include “wisdom-of-practice” interviews with teachers that […]

Do Green Classrooms Lead to Artistic Teaching?

Second Article on The Artistry of Teaching In this article we are going to apply the ecological work of Arne Naess to show that classrooms are places where we can find something wonderful and amazing happening among teachers and students.  In doing research for this blog post I came across an article on Education Week by Cord […]

NCTQ's Assault on Teacher Education

In May 2012 and April 2013 I wrote articles on this blog about the National Council on Teacher Quality, and its haunting assault on teacher education.  In the May 2012 article, I reviewed the NCTQ’s study of assessment and how it is used in teacher preparation courses.  My assessment of the NCTQ report was to […]

NCTQ’s Assault on Teacher Education

In May 2012 and April 2013 I wrote articles on this blog about the National Council on Teacher Quality, and its haunting assault on teacher education.  In the May 2012 article, I reviewed the NCTQ’s study of assessment and how it is used in teacher preparation courses.  My assessment of the NCTQ report was to […]

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ's View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight. Really.

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight.  Really. On this blog, I have reviewed earlier reports put out by these two oxymoronic organizations, the Thomas Fordham Institute: Advancing Education Excellence (Fordham), and The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).  You need to […]

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight. Really.

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight.  Really. On this blog, I have reviewed earlier reports put out by these two oxymoronic organizations, the Thomas Fordham Institute: Advancing Education Excellence (Fordham), and The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).  You need to […]

What Everybody Ought to Know About Teaching

In this post I am going to share some thinking about teaching that I learned along my journey as a teacher from three people.  I future posts I’ll share thoughts about teaching from other people who I’ve met along the way. What everybody ought to know about teaching is a response to what Henry Giroux […]

The Ecology of Innovation in Teaching and Learning

In this post I want to show that innovation in teaching & learning is a form of deep ecology in which collaborative relationships among teachers and students opens the classroom to new ways of thinking. These actions and subsequent innovations can be local and global in nature.  For most of my career I majored in […]

Guest Post by Ed Johnson: The Next Atlanta Superintendent: Seeking Someone Who Embraces Unconventional Possibilities

Guest Post by Ed Johnson This post is a letter written by Ed Johnson, an advocate and citizen for improving education in the Atlanta Public Schools. This letter is especially timely in light of the consequences of the Atlanta and State of Georgia testing debacle. Although Atlanta has a superintendent, his term will end in […]

The Standards Emerged from the Progressive America Playbook: I Don’t Think So

Latest Story In my previous post, Are the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology, I argued that the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards are not the kind of movements that would attract the freethinkers that I discussed.  The K-12 Standards movement is a top-down, authoritarian system […]

The Standards Emerged from the Progressive America Playbook: I Don't Think So

Latest Story In my previous post, Are the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology, I argued that the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards are not the kind of movements that would attract the freethinkers that I discussed.  The K-12 Standards movement is a top-down, authoritarian system […]

Are the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology?

Are the Common Core and  Next Generation Science Standards Progressive Ideology? A growing criticism of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards is that its way for progressives to inject their philosophies and ideology onto children and youth in American schools. Ralph Watts, a state representative from Iowa believes this, and […]

Countering the Authoritarian Reform Agenda

I am going to argue in this post that progressive values should set the ideals of teaching and learning in American society.  These values are rooted in democratic ideals and citizen action.  Unfortunately the cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it difficult to design curriculum and instruction around progressive values. This post is a […]

From Educators to Racketeers: How Education Reform Led to a National Testing Scandal

Thirty-five Atlanta Public School educators were accused by a grand jury of racketeering, false statements and writings, false swearing, theft by taking and influencing witnesses. How could this happen in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS)?  The district is in a city that is home to The King Center, The Carter Center, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia […]

School Closings in Our Cities: A Deep Ecological Problem

In this post I am going to argue that it is a mistake for large school districts such as Chicago, New York, and Atlanta to close schools on the basis of achievement and cost effectiveness.  The Chicago School District announced that they plan to close 61 schools which is 13% of the total schools in […]

The Power of School Music Programs

Guest Post By Melissa Walker, Executive Director of JazzHouseKids,  and Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia.  This article appeared on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled Blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Public schools, in general, have become incriminated in the public mind for having failed society. They must be re-envisioned, restructured, reassessed, and […]

Why Cooperative-Communal Classrooms Trump Competitive-Corporate Classrooms?

There are a lot of people in the U.S. who think that the only way you can decide whether students learn is with a test.  In fact, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, has decided to get involved in education in Texas.  Being a guru on testing, he backs the State of Texas Assessments of Academic […]

Why Cooperative-Communal Classrooms Trump Competitive-Corporate Classrooms?

There are a lot of people in the U.S. who think that the only way you can decide whether students learn is with a test.  In fact, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, has decided to get involved in education in Texas.  Being a guru on testing, he backs the State of Texas Assessments of Academic […]

Education Secretary Duncan on the TIMSS Results: We’re Being Out-Educated & Out-Competed

If you go over to the U.S. Department of Education website, you will find the Secretary Arne Duncan’s statement on the release of the 2011 TIMSS and PIRLS assessment.  You can read it online here, and I’ve copied it and posted it below.  Highlighted (my own) words describe the essence of Mr. Duncan’s view of […]

Education Secretary Duncan on the TIMSS Results: We're Being Out-Educated & Out-Competed

If you go over to the U.S. Department of Education website, you will find the Secretary Arne Duncan’s statement on the release of the 2011 TIMSS and PIRLS assessment.  You can read it online here, and I’ve copied it and posted it below.  Highlighted (my own) words describe the essence of Mr. Duncan’s view of […]

In the Aftermath of the Newtown Tragedy, an Education Advocate asks the President: Has Rampart Competition Undermined Civility and Democratic Ideals?

Guest Post: Ed Johnson, Advocate for Quality Public Education, Atlanta, Georgia. Ed Johnson consults as Quality Information Solutions, Inc., with a commitment to human social and cultural systems to receive quality information from information systems for the continual improvement of life, work, and play. His commitment extends to advocating the transformation of K-12 public education systems to […]

Babel from The Right: Truth, Justice, & Which Way

There are millions of people who deny the scientific truth that the Earth is 4.55 Billion years old.   They insist that it no more than 10,000 years old.  In poll of U.S. adults, 40% did not accept the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the creation of life on earth.  Instead they […]

Babel from The Right: Truth, Justice, & Which Way

There are millions of people who deny the scientific truth that the Earth is 4.55 Billion years old.   They insist that it no more than 10,000 years old.  In poll of U.S. adults, 40% did not accept the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the creation of life on earth.  Instead they […]

Why Are We Surprised About Senator Rubio’s Concept of Geological History?

You would think that a United States Senator would have at least a rudimentary knowledge of geology.  Presumably the Senator, who is on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, must use knowledge of science to deal with some of the issues this committee tackles, especially the subcommittee of Science & Space, of […]

Why Are We Surprised About Senator Rubio's Concept of Geological History?

You would think that a United States Senator would have at least a rudimentary knowledge of geology.  Presumably the Senator, who is on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, must use knowledge of science to deal with some of the issues this committee tackles, especially the subcommittee of Science & Space, of […]

Hip-Hop Culture & Science Teaching: Progressive Education in Action

I’ve written several posts on this blog about Professor Christopher Emdin, Professor of Science Education, Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Emdin has worked for years in New York City schools with urban youth to help teachers change the way they work with their students to bring real meaning to the learning […]

Hip-Hop Culture & Science Teaching: Progressive Education in Action

I’ve written several posts on this blog about Professor Christopher Emdin, Professor of Science Education, Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Emdin has worked for years in New York City schools with urban youth to help teachers change the way they work with their students to bring real meaning to the learning […]

Why Education Must Be Public & Not Privatized

Education needs to be in the public domain, and citizens need to fight to make sure that the slow creep of privatization does not turn into an avalanche. The democratic values that are the centerpiece of our society have been under assault, especially with the rise of the extreme conservative movement that began with Barry […]

Why Education Must Be Public & Not Privatized

Education needs to be in the public domain, and citizens need to fight to make sure that the slow creep of privatization does not turn into an avalanche. The democratic values that are the centerpiece of our society have been under assault, especially with the rise of the extreme conservative movement that began with Barry […]

Will Progressive Education Be On the Post Election Reform Table?

Will Progressive Education Be On the Post Election Reform Table?  Many American’s were thrilled with the re-election of Barack Obama.  I am one of them.  Yet, there are many who are concerned about the direction of education under a second term Obama administration.  I am one of them, too. Years ago I read President Obama’s first […]

In His Own Words: Obama’s Progressive World View of Education

Update:  I’ve added a section at the end of the post suggested by Anthony Cody who blogs over on Living in Dialog (Education Week Teacher).  The section includes a radical quote from Obama about his view of using high-stakes tests that will surprise you. President Obama has written and talked about education from a progressive […]

In His Own Words: Obama's Progressive World View of Education

Update:  I’ve added a section at the end of the post suggested by Anthony Cody who blogs over on Living in Dialog (Education Week Teacher).  The section includes a radical quote from Obama about his view of using high-stakes tests that will surprise you. President Obama has written and talked about education from a progressive […]

Anthony Cody: Dialogue With the Gates Foundation: How Do We Build the Teaching Profession?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Note: This is the first of five posts on the dialog between Anthony Cody and his readers, and the Gates Foundation.  This post was originally published on Anthony’s site over on Education Week Teacher.  This dialog is a major contribution to educational reform.  Anthony Cody is one of the leading […]

Anthony Cody: Dialogue With the Gates Foundation: How Do We Build the Teaching Profession?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Note: This is the first of five posts on the dialog between Anthony Cody and his readers, and the Gates Foundation.  This post was originally published on Anthony’s site over on Education Week Teacher.  This dialog is a major contribution to educational reform.  Anthony Cody is one of the leading […]

In Math and Science, Have American students Fallen Behind?

Is science and mathematics teaching inferior to science teaching in Singapore, South Korea, and Finland?  Have American students fallen behind in math and science? In the 2008 and 2012,  Science Debate asked presidential candidates (as well as congressional candidates) why have American students fallen behind in science and mathematics and what role should the federal government […]

In Math and Science, Have American students Fallen Behind?

Is science and mathematics teaching inferior to science teaching in Singapore, South Korea, and Finland?  Have American students fallen behind in math and science? In the 2008 and 2012,  Science Debate asked presidential candidates (as well as congressional candidates) why have American students fallen behind in science and mathematics and what role should the federal government […]

Should All Students Be Held to a Single Set of K-12 Education Standards?

Should all U.S. students meet a single set of K-12 education standards?  In a democracy should all students be held to the same standards? This was the question that Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute  and  Jay Greene, head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas  […]

The Hip-Hop Generation: Implications for Teacher Preparation

The current wave of reform in science education, including teacher preparation, is not in the best interests of the diverse cultures that make up the population of the United States. The reform is standards- and test-based, and seeks to create schooling that ignores differences in people, and instead creates an outline (read that “standards”) of what is to […]

K-12 Education Through the Lens of the Progressive World-View & Values

Note: This is the third post on a discussion of progressive and conservative values and how they impact education in America. In this post we will explore the progressive world-view and its values, and try and understand why the progressive ideals ought to form the foundation for American K-12 education. Progressive values should set the […]

K-12 Education Through the Lens of the Progressive World-View & Values

Note: This is the third post on a discussion of progressive and conservative values and how they impact education in America. In this post we will explore the progressive world-view and its values, and try and understand why the progressive ideals ought to form the foundation for American K-12 education. Progressive values should set the […]

K-12 Education Viewed Through the Lens of Conservative Values & World-View

Note: this is the second in a series of posts on the effect of conservative & progressive values on K-12 education. Progressive values should set the ideals of teaching, and learning in American society.  Unfortunately, the “cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it very difficult to design instruction around progressive values.  We’ll refer to […]

K-12 Education Viewed Through the Lens of Conservative Values & World-View

Note: this is the second in a series of posts on the effect of conservative & progressive values on K-12 education. Progressive values should set the ideals of teaching, and learning in American society.  Unfortunately, the “cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it very difficult to design instruction around progressive values.  We’ll refer to […]