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

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 the Art of Teaching Science Blog.

Inquiries

The first four areas of inquiry are up on the blog website, and they are:

  • Assault on Teacher Education:  The assault on teacher education is being led by neoliberal and conservative ideologues who want to de-professionalize teaching, and one of the places to do this is by attacking the nation’s colleges and universities that prepare teachers.
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A Vanguard of Voices for Educational Reform–Updated

Creative Commons Emerge with Intelligence and Creativity by Stefano Chiarelli is Licensed under CC BY 2.0
Creative Commons Emerge with Intelligence and Creativity by Stefano Chiarelli is Licensed under CC BY 2.0

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 lots of money who want to change education for their own ends.… Read more

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

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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.

Figure 1. Candidates for Georgia State Superintendent as listed on the EmpowerEd Take Action Site.
Figure 1. Candidates for Georgia State Superintendent as listed on the EmpowerEd Take Action Site.

EmpowerEd Georgia is a citizen group advocating for quality education in the state.  … Read more

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 Left Behind Act which mandated the testing of all students in reading and math.  Immediately, this set in motion the most devastating impact on curriculum in the elementary schools by narrowing the curriculum, and putting such emphasis on reading and math.… Read more

6 Reasons Why the Common Core is NOT Progressive Ideology

imageA 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 is Progressive Speak for a Nationalized (Common), Centrally Planned (Core), Agenda (Education), System (Standards). It will become a continuous accelerated march to Socialism and to the destruction of America through indoctrination of our kids.

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Infinity & Beyond: Unbounded Learning and Human Potential

 

geese 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 a set of performance goals that are crafted using technical language and not in plain language.  The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are full of technical words that student’s will be held responsible for learning.  … Read more

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 understandings, and their personal beliefs.  Not to do so, flies in the face of what we know about human learning.… Read more

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 Severe Weather Awareness Week. During that week, the state has a plan to highlight different natural threats, including weather, thunderstorms, lightning, and floods.… Read more

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 energetic field that is being led by a new cadre of educators who are willing to get out there and do it.… Read more