Top 20 Organizations Receiving Common Core Grants from the Gates Foundation

It’s begun.  The School Board of Cobb County, Georgia, where I live, just voted (5-1-1) to purchase math books (print and digital) aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  McGraw-Hill books will be purchased for K-8, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for high school.  The cost for these CCSS math books: $7 million.  This translates into about […]

Are the Deep Pockets of Gates, Walton, and Broad Contrary to the Ideals of Education in a Democracy?

Latest Story According to the Foundation Center, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation are ranked 1, 13, and 38 respectively on the top 100 U.S. foundations by total giving.  The total assets of these three foundations as of April 2014 was $37 billion for the Gates […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Should Parents REFUSE to Allow Their Children to be Given the Georgia CRCT Test?

  It seems as if one Georgia couple says yes. In Marietta, a Georgia a couple has refused to allow their children at the West Side Elementary school to take the high-stakes Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). These parents informed the school’s principal two days before the testing period that their third and fifth graders would […]

Andrew Young Speaks Out at the Trial of Beverly Hall: Good!

  Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, U.N. Ambassador, and civil rights leader, was in attendance at the trial of Dr. Beverly Hall, former superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools. The purpose of the session was to hear arguments from both sides whether to grant a delay in the trial of Dr. Hall because of […]

Is the Common Standards Movement Unraveling?

Latest Story Mercedes Schneider, on her EduBlog, wrote several articles documenting a growing movement against the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by describing legislative action, and citizen protests in 23 states. I’ve used her observations to create a map locating these events across the U.S.  I’ve also included on the map the states that did […]

Learning from the Elections in Atlanta and New York

Latest Story Last week, a new mayor was elected in New York, Atlanta reelected its mayor, and elected a new slate of members to the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Board of Eduction.  What can we learn from the elections in these two cities? Will education in New York set the stage for a large-scale rethinking of […]

How Much Does It Cost to Find Great Teachers in Georgia? Answer: $60 Million

We’re spending a lot of money to find great teachers in Georgia.  Admittedly, Georgia isn’t the only state where this is happening.   Thanks to the Race to the Top Fund, the race is on to implement a system to score teachers based on pre-post test scores. The $4 billion Race the Top Fund, which […]

What is Georgia’s Race to the Top Plan for New Teachers?

What is the Georgia Race to the Top (RT3) Plan for New Teachers? Teach for America The simple answer is to hire inexperienced and uncertified teachers through contractual arrangements with Teach for America, a political action organization that provides boot camp summer training for college graduates from élite universities.  After five weeks of training, with […]

What is Georgia's Race to the Top Plan for New Teachers?

What is the Georgia Race to the Top (RT3) Plan for New Teachers? Teach for America The simple answer is to hire inexperienced and uncertified teachers through contractual arrangements with Teach for America, a political action organization that provides boot camp summer training for college graduates from élite universities.  After five weeks of training, with […]

Why Should Mr. Ed Johnson Be Elected to the Atlanta School Board?

Latest Story The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Martin Luther King Mr. Ed Johnson is one of the candidates running for Atlanta Board of Education (Board) District 9 At Large. His candidacy is just the opposite […]

The Race to Top P-20 Data System: Is it Petrology or Pedagogy?

Every state that was a winner in the Race to the Top (RT3) has millions of dollars to develop a P-12 Longitudinal Data System (LDS). And sure enough, our friends over at Achieve, developed RT3 primers that states could use to write their proposals. The Gates Foundation also provided help to states to write their […]

The Race to Top P-20 Data System: Is it Petrology or Pedagogy?

Every state that was a winner in the Race to the Top (RT3) has millions of dollars to develop a P-12 Longitudinal Data System (LDS). And sure enough, our friends over at Achieve, developed RT3 primers that states could use to write their proposals. The Gates Foundation also provided help to states to write their […]

Georgia's Race to the Top: Follow the Money

In 2010 the Georgia Department of Education received ~$400 million from the Race to the Top (RT3) fund to Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: Standards and Rigorous Assessment–The grant proposal indicates that the state’s Common Core Georgia Performance […]

Georgia’s Race to the Top: Follow the Money

In 2010 the Georgia Department of Education received ~$400 million from the Race to the Top (RT3) fund to Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: Standards and Rigorous Assessment–The grant proposal indicates that the state’s Common Core Georgia Performance […]

Georgia’s Turnaround Plan: Hire TFA and TNTP Cadets

Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: (1) standards and assessment (2) data systems (3) great teachers and leaders and (4) turn around the lowest achieving schools. In this post, I am going to look at the fourth goal of […]

Georgia's Turnaround Plan: Hire TFA and TNTP Cadets

Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: (1) standards and assessment (2) data systems (3) great teachers and leaders and (4) turn around the lowest achieving schools. In this post, I am going to look at the fourth goal of […]

Letter Number One to Governor Deal and State School Superintendent Barge of Georgia

Dear Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge, As sitting elected officials of Georgia, the next year will challenge each of you to think courageously about your views of K-12 education and the basis for your positions. Since you will be running against each other in the primary next year, you will have many opportunities to talk […]

Georgia’s Race to the Top Questionable Relationships with Charters, Teach for America & The New Teacher Project

Georgia’s Race to the Top has clear, yet questionable relationships with Charter Management Companies, Teach for America and The New Teacher Project. Charter management companies are private nationally based firms that receive public funds intended for public schools. The Race to the Top insures that management firms are welcomed into the 11 states and D.C., […]

Georgia's Race to the Top Questionable Relationships with Charters, Teach for America & The New Teacher Project

Georgia’s Race to the Top has clear, yet questionable relationships with Charter Management Companies, Teach for America and The New Teacher Project. Charter management companies are private nationally based firms that receive public funds intended for public schools. The Race to the Top insures that management firms are welcomed into the 11 states and D.C., […]