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 […]

Are the Common Standards & Assessments the Antithesis of Progressive Values?

We think that Common Standards and Assessments are the antithesis of the progressive  values upon which this nation was founded. The idea of having a single set of standards and associated assessments appears to remove individuality, creativity and innovation from American classrooms. Authoritarian & Undemocratic Common standards and assessments were conceived and developed in an […]

Are the Common Standards & Assessments the Antithesis of Progressive Values?

We think that Common Standards and Assessments are the antithesis of the progressive  values upon which this nation was founded. The idea of having a single set of standards and associated assessments appears to remove individuality, creativity and innovation from American classrooms. Authoritarian & Undemocratic Common standards and assessments were conceived and developed in an […]

The Common Core is here, Now what do we do?

The Common Core State Standards are here, now what do we do?  Some would suggest we should work to make them go away, or to ban high-stakes assessment.  The adoption of the Common Core and the requirements set forth by NCLB Act that all students be tested from grade 3 – 12, has resulted in […]

3 Grassroots Education Organizations in Georgia

Educational reform desperately needs reform.  Reform in education today is in the hands of Federal programs including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Race to the Top Fund of 2009.  Although states can submit “flexibility requests” to receive waivers on some aspects of the NCLB, the reforms that have been affecting […]

5 Reasons Why the Common Core Standards are not Good for Teaching and Learning

Standards as a flag to lead us forth contrasts for me with standards as a way of standardizing our minds” Deborah Meier The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 47 states, and school districts around the country are gearing up by spending millions of dollars on meager staff development training to indoctrinate teachers in […]

The Common Core Arrives in Georgia: Reasons for Caution

The march to standardize and uniform the curriculum is a dangerous movement in a democratic society, and especially in one that is so diverse in cultures, languages, and geography as America.  How can we really think that one set of statements of science objectives written by non-practitioners can be truly be valid for all learners, […]

Guest Post by Anthony Cody: Cui Bono? The Question Rarely Asked, Let Alone Investigated

This was written by Anthony Cody, who spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on Project Based Learning. With education at a crossroads, he invites you to join him in […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5’s Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5's Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

The Testing Games: How America’s Youth are being put at Risk

Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Starting tomorrow every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to determine which schools are good or bad, whether they have a good teacher or […]

The Testing Games: How America's Youth are being put at Risk

Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing. Starting tomorrow every American girl and boy in grades 3- 8 will participate in the testing games, an annual competition to determine which schools are good or bad, whether they have a good teacher or […]

The Social-Emotional Consequences of the Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. Anxious teachers, sobbing children was the title of an opinion article published in the Atlanta newspaper last Sunday.  The article, written by Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the University of Georgia, asks “What’s […]

The Social-Emotional Consequences of the Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. Anxious teachers, sobbing children was the title of an opinion article published in the Atlanta newspaper last Sunday.  The article, written by Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the University of Georgia, asks “What’s […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

Spinning the Numbers on Turnarounds: School Improvement Grant Controversy Brews

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Anthony Cody spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on Project Based Learning. With education at a crossroads, he invites you to join him in […]

Scoring Teachers: Perversion by Policymakers

Policymakers have perverted teaching, and reduced the evaluation of teachers to a number based on questionable and unreliable data.   Not only do researchers at major universities caution policymakers about using Value-Added Models (VAMs), but using such a system that is based on student test scores will destroy the central character of teaching. As a […]

Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal's Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.” I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published. […]

Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal’s Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.” I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published. […]

End Punitive Testing: Occupy the DOE in DC, March 30 – April 2

United OPT OUT NATIONAL is organizing an Occupy the Department of Education (DOE) in Washington, D.C. March 30 – April 2, 2012. Anthony Cody, on his blog Living in Dialog, interviewed two education activists who are part of the leadership spearheading the Occupy the DOE next week.  Anthony interviewed Ceresta Smith, a 23-year veteran teacher […]

I dare you to measure the “value” I add

Guest Post by Donna McKenna This was first published on March 8 on Donna McKenna’s blog, No Sleep ’til Summer.  She is an elementary ESL teacher passionate about language learners and language learning.  Published with permission. Note: This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post entitled Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Place.  Evaluating […]

Quality Teaching: We're Looking in the Wrong Places

According to a number of researchers (Marder, Ravitch, Darling-Hammond) our system of education is failing a huge number of students, especially in mathematics, and science.  Since 2003, when the NCLB Act was put into place that required schools to test all students beginning in grade 3, the Federal control by the U.S. Department of Eduction […]

Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Places

According to a number of researchers (Marder, Ravitch, Darling-Hammond) our system of education is failing a huge number of students, especially in mathematics, and science.  Since 2003, when the NCLB Act was put into place that required schools to test all students beginning in grade 3, the Federal control by the U.S. Department of Eduction […]

Georgia’s “Priority” Schools: Still Held Hostage

This week, the Georgia Department of Education identified “priority” schools in Georgia. A “priority” school is one in which the students consistently perform poorly on tests, have low graduation rates, and are also receiving federal improvement funds. The designation of “priority school” is part of the new terminology in Georgia’s ESEA Flexibility Request, know commonly as […]

Georgia's "Priority" Schools: Still Held Hostage

This week, the Georgia Department of Education identified “priority” schools in Georgia. A “priority” school is one in which the students consistently perform poorly on tests, have low graduation rates, and are also receiving federal improvement funds. The designation of “priority school” is part of the new terminology in Georgia’s ESEA Flexibility Request, know commonly as […]

Deja Vu: Panel Says Schools Put Economy & Security at Risk

Deja Vu In 1983, a panel of experts wrote the report: A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform.  In the report, the panel wrote: Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with […]

Deja Vu: Panel Says Schools Put Economy & Security at Risk

Deja Vu In 1983, a panel of experts wrote the report: A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform.  In the report, the panel wrote: Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with […]

Shameful and Degrading Evaluations of Teachers by Politicians

Teacher bashing has become a contact sport that is played out by many U.S. Governors.  The rules of the game are staked against teachers by using measures that have not been substantiated scientifically.  For many governors, and mayors it is fair play to release the names of every teacher in the city, and their Value-added […]

Shameful and Degrading Evaluations of Teachers by Politicians

Teacher bashing has become a contact sport that is played out by many U.S. Governors.  The rules of the game are staked against teachers by using measures that have not been substantiated scientifically.  For many governors, and mayors it is fair play to release the names of every teacher in the city, and their Value-added […]

Charter School Data Fuels Controversy in Georgia

The Charter school movement has been in  the news recently in Georgia.  The Georgia Legislature is trying to get around the present Charter School law which says that applications for establishing a charter school must be approved by the local school district. According to the Georgia Department of Education, there are 133 charter schools operating […]

Teacher Evaluation: Should We Look at Evidence of Learning?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody This post was originally published on Anthony Cody’s blog at Living in Dialog, on March 10. Anthony Cody spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on […]

High Hopes for Science Inquiry: Fewer Opportunities

The No Child Left Behind Act is linked to data that shows schools in California are teaching less science because teachers are pressured to prepare students for the required math and English high-stakes tests. Valerie Strauss writes that Virginia is moving to require that students would only be required to take tests in math and English.  Students would […]

Georgia Senate Further Degrades Education, Approves Bill to Grade Each School: A B C D F

The Georgia Senate approved Senate Bill 420 which is an amendment to part of the Official Code Georgia.  The bill relates to the accountability assessment for K-12 education.  The passage of the bill further degrades education and Georgia, and applies punitive measures to further humiliate and disregard educators in the state.  The 5-Star evaluation of each […]

Is There an Assault on Public Education and (Science) Teaching

There is an unrivaled assault on the teaching profession.  It  emerged and has sustained itself when education policy makers convinced themselves that public education should be based on standards driven accountability model, combined with high-stakes testing. The goal of this model of education is to improve student achievement test scores in mathematics, reading, and science. […]

The Radical Idea of Helping Students Construct Their Own Ideas

Helping students construct their own ideas is considered by some educators a subversive idea that runs counter to the present impetus of the Race to the Top and NCLB Waivers. These Federal programs, especially NCLB, have created a narrowing of the curriculum, a data-driven, test-based school culture, and the despicable use of student tests as […]

Are Science Standards Taught as if they were Bricks?

In the last post we used science education research to show how accountability standards in science education today pose barriers to meaningful learning in science.  Today, we extend this theme, and show that the theory of learning underlying the accountability standards movement is in conflict with contemporary theories used to explain how students learn. Ideas […]

Do Standards Impede Science Teaching and Learning?

Over the next few weeks I am going to focus on standards- and test-based educational reform with an eye toward opening a conversation about how standards and high-stakes tests might actually impede science teaching and learning. We begin by examining the science standards, which have been an integral part of science education since the publication […]

Anthony Cody Writes: At the Department of Education, Warm Snow Falls Up

Guest Post by Anthony Cody As the Simpson family prepared to travel south of the equator to Brazil, Homer revealed some misconceptions. In opposite land, according to Bart’s father, “warm snow falls up.” Reading the latest press releases and speeches from the Department of Education, sometimes I feel as if this is where we have arrived. For […]

A Perfect Storm Hits Public Schools

Steven Sellers Lapham and Jack Hassard Public schools in America are under attack from many directions, and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) seems bent on delivering a lethal one-two-three punch. This decade will likely witness more neighborhood schools shutting down, crowded classrooms, excellent teachers fired, and children fobbed off to “online learning programs.” Let’s recall that Prince […]

Test-Based Reform: What Values are we Adding?

Post 2.  Read Post 1 here. This post  was published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialogue. Practicing teachers, clinical professors, and researchers who work in the field know that assessing teachers or students requires much more than simply looking at test scores.  And indeed, researchers who have examined the value-added assessment system which purports […]

Test-Based Reform: Where is the Common Core Leading Us?

Part 1 Posted on Anthony Cody’s Living in Dialogue blog. In a post last week, I reported that Georgia’s Cobb County School System rejected the superintendent’s proposal to hire 50 Teacher for America teachers for schools located in South Cobb.  Many of the South Cobb schools are underperforming schools.  I suggested that this was a good decision, […]

Hip Hop Generation: Humanizing Urban Science Education

The current wave of reform in science education is not in the best interests of the diverse cultures that comprise 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 of what is to learned for all students […]

The Fordham Report on Science Standards Gets a "D"

Even reports published by prestigious institutions can be flawed and deserve a low grade.  In my own view, this is the case for the Fordham Institute’s new report entitled The State of State Science Standards that was published recently. Yet when you do a Google search for “Fordham review science standards” there are hundreds of […]

The Fordham Report on Science Standards Gets a “D”

Even reports published by prestigious institutions can be flawed and deserve a low grade.  In my own view, this is the case for the Fordham Institute’s new report entitled The State of State Science Standards that was published recently. Yet when you do a Google search for “Fordham review science standards” there are hundreds of […]

We Have Low Expectations for American Students in Math & Science!

Who the #@!% would make such a statement? Why would such a statement be made about America’s youth? If you go the Broad Foundation Education page you will find the answer to the first question.  This is the first of four statements about American youth, followed by “stark” statistics.  The Broad Foundation says: We have low expectations […]

We Have Low Expectations for American Students in Math & Science!

Who the #@!% would make such a statement? Why would such a statement be made about America’s youth? If you go the Broad Foundation Education page you will find the answer to the first question.  This is the first of four statements about American youth, followed by “stark” statistics.  The Broad Foundation says: We have low expectations […]

Quality Science Teaching

The No Child Left Behind Act is linked to the data that shows schools in California are teaching less science because teachers are pressured to prepare students for the required math and English high-stakes tests. Valerie Strauss writes that Virginia is moving to require that students would only be required to take tests in math […]

Obama Says: Stop Teaching to the Test; Teach With Creativity and Passion

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama included a section of his speech that focused on education, not only K-12, but he also challenged colleges and universities to be more creative about how they work with students, and as well as the hundreds of thousands of young students who are not yet […]

Which System is Broken: American Public Schools or the U.S. Congress?

It has been in vogue for at least a decade, maybe longer, to question American teacher’s abilities to educate its youth.  According to some politicians, America has had a series of Sputnik moments, starting in 1957 with the launch of the world’s first satellite, to most recently our annual penchant to ogle over the test […]

The Education Bellwether Governor

In 1982, John Naisbitt published, Megatrends, a book about trends that were transforming our lives.  In the book he identified five states as “bellweather” states—states that were setting trends for the rest of the nation.  The “bellwether” states he identified in 1982 were California, Florida, Washington, Colorado, and Connecticut. Anthony Cody, on his blog Living in […]

Standards-Based and High-Stakes Science Education: Frivolous, Capricious & Unreasonable?

Science educators, especially during the past 50 years, have been instrumental in developing curriculum and teaching methods that are intelligent, prudent, reflective, and thoughtful.  Underlying science education has been the well-advised and deliberate attempt to encourage inquiry- and problem-based teaching.  Not only has this been on solid ground in the U.S., but in most nations […]

Standards-Based and High-Stakes Science Education: Frivolous, Capricious & Unreasonable?

Science educators, especially during the past 50 years, have been instrumental in developing curriculum and teaching methods that are intelligent, prudent, reflective, and thoughtful.  Underlying science education has been the well-advised and deliberate attempt to encourage inquiry- and problem-based teaching.  Not only has this been on solid ground in the U.S., but in most nations […]

NCLB Waivers: The Details in the Devil's Bargain

This post was also published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialog at Education Week, January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants to insure that every teacher in the U.S. is evaluated on the basis on student progress on high-stakes achievement tests.  To achieve this, the DOE will issues waivers on some […]

NCLB Waivers: The Details in the Devil’s Bargain

This post was also published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialog at Education Week, January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants to insure that every teacher in the U.S. is evaluated on the basis on student progress on high-stakes achievement tests.  To achieve this, the DOE will issues waivers on some […]

Corporations are not People: Book Recommendation

I’ve started reading Corporations are not People by Jeffrey Clements and with a forward by Bill Moyers. On this post, and many other blogs (1,2,3 for example), the “reform” of education in the interests of corporations and private foundations has led to situation that many of refer to as the “corporate take-over of schooling” in […]

The Movement to Ban High-Stakes Testing

Today, I wrote a comment on the United Opt Out National website which has been organized by prominent educators as a movement to end punitive public school testing.  According to the organizers of United Opt Out National, Members of this site are parents, educators, students and social activists who are dedicated to the elimination of […]

2011 Science Education E-Books from the Art of Teaching Science

This blog was begun in 2005 with the publication of the first edition of The Art of Teaching Science.  Six hundred or so posts later, we find ourselves in at the end of 2011. This year, we published four eBooks based on blog posts made during 2011.  More eBooks will be published in 2012.  The […]

Educational Reform: A Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama, Educational reform is in need of your attention and help.  The 2012 election is only 11 months away, and I am writing this letter to you and your team for consideration as a policy statement as you outline your views on education, especially as it pertains to the educational reforms that have […]

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Enhances Student Achievement

In an important article in Education Week, Willis D. Hawley and Jacqueline Jordan Irvine, explain why students’ cultural identities are integral to “measuring” teacher effectiveness. As it stands now, student achievement test scores are being used as the measure of teacher effectiveness in terms of the value added measure (VAM).  VAM is a data driven measurement that […]

Effects of the Corporate Reform Movement on Science Teaching

If Mayor Michael Bloomberg had his way, he told students at M.I.T. that he would fire half the teachers in New York City, pay them twice as much to teach classes double the current size.  One of the Corporate Reform Movement slogans is weed out ineffective teachers.  Bloomberg’s theory is if we fire half of […]

5 Education Reform Posts Not To Ignore

Education reform in education seen through the lens of writers and teachers appears as repetitions of innovative ideas that claimed to change and improve schooling as we know it.  In a post at Education Week, Anthony Weiner suggests that education reform of any age simply offers more of the same.  In particular, he sees education reform […]

NCLB + RTTT = MOTS (More of the Same)

The equation above can also be expressed as follows: The No Child Left Behind Act + the Race to the Top Fund = More of the Same NCLB & Race to the Top In an edweek.org newsletter there was a No Child Left Behind Alert that I found interesting, and provided the starting point for […]

NCTE Says No to High-Stakes Testing

An article on Education Week reported that the National Council of Teachers of English considered proposals about high-stakes testing and the use of standards in public schools.  According to the authors of the report: the decision unfolded at the organization’s annual convention this past weekend in Chicago. As it does every year, the group accepts […]

In High Stakes Testing, Science Trumped by Math & Reading

This is a post I wrote five years ago today, and it sheds some light on the pressure that school districts experience as a result of high-stakes testing.  In particular, I draw attention to Atlanta cheating scandal which appears to have had its origins about five years ago when I first wrote this post.  There […]

In High Stakes Testing, Science Trumped by Math & Reading

This is a post I wrote five years ago today, and it sheds some light on the pressure that school districts experience as a result of high-stakes testing.  In particular, I draw attention to Atlanta cheating scandal which appears to have had its origins about five years ago when I first wrote this post.  There […]

Can Inquiry Continue to be a Primary Goal of Science Teaching?

Can science as inquiry continue to be a primary goal of science teaching in the burgeoning culture of common standards, and high-stakes testing? This is a question that I raised about a year and half ago. I am returning to the question now since the National Research Council released its report entitled A Framework for K-12 […]

The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science: A New eBook

The Art of Teaching Science has just published a new eBook entitled The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science. The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science is a new eBook published by the Art of Teaching Science Weblog, and made available free. This eBook is based on blog posts that were written over the past […]

High-Stakes Testing = Negative Effects on Student Achievement

In earlier posts, I have advocated banning high-stakes testing as a means of making significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course—end-of-year-tests, being promoted, and graduating from high school).  I suggested this because the research evidence does not support continuing the practice in American schools. The research reported here sheds light […]

Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting?

This is a link to  Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog. If you have been reading about banning high-stakes testing, and my criticism of the Common Core State Standards, and more recently the Next Generation of Science Standards, then you will find Vicki Davis’ blog post very pertinent and important.  It […]

Will Technology Help Science Teachers Think Different?

Will Technology Help Science Teachers Think Different? I watched a lecture  presented a couple of years ago by Allan Collins which was hosted by The Learning Sciences Group at Penn State, and organized by Penn State Professor Richard Duschl. The title of the talk was Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, and is title […]

New eBook on High-Stakes Testing

A new eBook will soon be published by The Art of Teaching Science Blog with the title: Why Should High-Stakes Testing be Banned? Over the past three months, I have written about the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation of Science Standards, and the corporate take-over of public education.  Living in the Atlanta area, […]

New eBook on High-Stakes Testing

A new eBook will soon be published by The Art of Teaching Science Blog with the title: Why Should High-Stakes Testing be Banned? Over the past three months, I have written about the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation of Science Standards, and the corporate take-over of public education.  Living in the Atlanta area, […]

If We Ban High Stakes Testing, How Can We Assess Learning in Science?

High stakes testing should not be used to make significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course, being promoted, graduating) and should be banned.  In this post we explore formative assessment methods, and show how teachers to make decisions and judgments about student achievement should use a combination of formative and […]

If We Ban High Stakes Testing, How Can We Assess Learning in Science?

High stakes testing should not be used to make significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course, being promoted, graduating) and should be banned.  In this post we explore formative assessment methods, and show how teachers to make decisions and judgments about student achievement should use a combination of formative and […]

The Consequence of Banning High-Stakes Testing in (Science)

American education in general, and science education specifically have been radically and negatively impacted by high-stakes testing. High-stakes testing, as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), is the idea that the pressure of such tests will increase student achievement.  But one of the major studies cited here finds that the pressure […]