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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Extreme Earth: Coming to An Environment Near You

The Earth’s climate has changed rapidly over the past fifty years, but when people talk about climate change, they frame it as a future threat. David Popeik, in Scientific American guest blog, says that “climate report nails risk communication.”  He suggests that the National Climate Assessment that was released by the White House presented a powerful […]

Georgia’s College & Career Ready Performance Index is Not Scientific But is a Media Darling

Latest Story The Georgia Department of Education would have you believe that the College & Career Ready Performance Index is based on scientific research, and is a valid and reliable “index” of school performance. Each year during the spring, about 1.6 million Georgia students need to be in school so that they can spend hours […]

Terrill L. Nickerson: The Paradox of the Common Core

 Terrill Nickerson commented on the previous post on this blog, 6 Reasons Why the Common Core is Not Progressive Ideology.  I thought his comments were important to share as a separate post.  Terrill Nickerson has written an interesting article on how he approaches the Common Core and high-stakes testing in his context of teaching, which […]

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 […]

NAEP Math Scores Insignificantly Affected by the Common Standards

The Common Core State Standards (Common Standards) have been implemented for about four years. According to the developers (the folks over at Achieve) and it’s billionaire financiers, such as Bill Gates, the Common Standards are benchmarked against high performing international standards, and should result in higher achievement scores for American students. According to Achieve, the […]

The Common Core: A Dream Come True for the Publishing & Media Industries

> Imagine what it would be like if every school district in the U.S. used the same core (standards) curriculum, and that every few years, new textbooks and media products needed to purchased. If the Common Standards are fully adopted across the nation, then it will be a booming business for media and publishing companies. […]

Using Computers and Related Technologies in an Age of Standards

According to Allan Collins, Professor Emeritus of the Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, in this “age of technology,” the very technology which consumes so many of us, has had little effect on mainstream education. As he pointed out in his book, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology (library copy), which he wrote with Richard Halverson, […]

Technology as Cure-All for Standards, and Even Snow Days

  Technology is viewed by some as the elixir or cure-all for education, and school districts, with lots of money available through grants such as Race to the Top, technology investments from organization such the Gates Foundation, and law edicts,  have embraced technology as a magic bullet.  Virtual classrooms, digital textbooks, flipped classrooms (use of […]

Is Technology the Trojan Horse of the Common Standard’s Movement?

  Anthony Cody (Living in Dialog) and Mercedes Schneider (deutsch29) wrote articles on their blogs about the Arne Duncan – Bill Gates – Common Standard’s triumvirate.  Cody commented that Duncan and Gates are trying to woo teachers to support the floundering rollout of the Common Standards.  As he explains, teachers were not involved in the development of the Common […]

Is Technology the Trojan Horse of the Common Standard's Movement?

  Anthony Cody (Living in Dialog) and Mercedes Schneider (deutsch29) wrote articles on their blogs about the Arne Duncan – Bill Gates – Common Standard’s triumvirate.  Cody commented that Duncan and Gates are trying to woo teachers to support the floundering rollout of the Common Standards.  As he explains, teachers were not involved in the development of the Common […]

Why Bill Gates Defends the Common Core

At the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, Bill Gates came to the rescue of the Common Core State Standards.  In an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Gates said he was concerned with people who oppose the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, an initiative begun in 2009 […]

Georgia Legislature Having Difficulty Opting Out or In of Common Core

Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a bill in the Senate (SB 167) that will essentially opt the state out of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts and other projects, ideas, technologies that have any glimmer of association with the federal government.   This version of the bill is an anti-common core bill, […]

Unreason and Anti-Science Alive and Well in the Georgia Legislature and is not Unique to Georgia

  Figure 1. High School mathematics teacher. Creative Commons Attribution.[/caption] The Georgia legislature has already passed a bill in the Senate (SB 167) that will essentially opt the state out of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts and other projects, ideas, technologies that have any glimmer of association with the […]

The Season of Unreason in the Georgia State Senate@Standards Bill 167

  In an article published at the PeachPundit, the author, Charlie Harper suggests the Georgia Senate Bill 167 is an anti-science bill.  In this post, I want to add to Mr. Harper’s conclusion that the action of the Georgia Senate is major step backwards for education in the state. Senators Ligon, Loudermilk, Hufstetler and Hill, […]

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 […]

Why Standards-Based Teaching is a Hopeless Way to Educate Youth

Why is Standards-Based Teaching a Hopeless Way to Educate Youth?  That is the question to be explored in this post.  At the end of this post is a YouTube video of a high school student’s speech in which he provides research evidence that the Common Core State Standands (CCSS) is a contrivance of educational testing executives […]

10 Ways to Modify the Druid Hills Charter Cluster in DeKalb County, Georgia

Latest Story The Druid Hills Charter Cluster, Inc., is a corporation that has petitioned to the DeKalb County School Board to convert seven public schools into a charter cluster. In 2010, the Georgia Legislature amended the Georgia code to enable a local board to act on a petition for a conversion charter school for a […]

What’s the Formula for Designing Rigorous Standards for Teacher Preparation?

What’s the Formula for Designing Rigorous Standards for Teacher Preparation? Read on to find out. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) published recommendations for Accreditation Standards and Evidence: Aspirations for Educator Preparation.  According to the CAEP website, “July 1, 2013, marked the de facto consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and […]

What's the Formula for Designing Rigorous Standards for Teacher Preparation?

What’s the Formula for Designing Rigorous Standards for Teacher Preparation? Read on to find out. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) published recommendations for Accreditation Standards and Evidence: Aspirations for Educator Preparation.  According to the CAEP website, “July 1, 2013, marked the de facto consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and […]

Low Levels & Bottom-Feeders: Education Through the Eyes of Educationnext

A colleague in Massachusetts alerted me to an article in Educationnext, an opinion and research site sponsored by the Hoover Institution and The Thomas Fordham Institute.  The article, written by the editor-in-chief of Educationnext, Paul E. Peterson, and Peter Kaplan, an undergraduate, describes the view from these two men at Harvard and what they think […]

Low Levels & Bottom-Feeders: Education Through the Eyes of Educationnext

A colleague in Massachusetts alerted me to an article in Educationnext, an opinion and research site sponsored by the Hoover Institution and The Thomas Fordham Institute.  The article, written by the editor-in-chief of Educationnext, Paul E. Peterson, and Peter Kaplan, an undergraduate, describes the view from these two men at Harvard and what they think […]

Fordham Institute’s Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science. In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess […]

Fordham Institute's Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science. In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess […]

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 […]

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 […]

Defunding the Common Core: Back to the Future

Charles Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa, has begun the process of removing funding from the Federal Budget that would be used by districts to carry out the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards have raised the ire of not only Republicans and right leaning groups such as the Heartland Institute, but […]

Special Delivery: NGSS Adoption Workbooks

Yesterday, I discovered a new organization, the U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDi). When I saw the name, I first thought it was part of the U.S. Department of Education, or the United States Postal Service. I was wrong on both counts. The EDi, formed in 2010 is another Washington D.C. non-profit founded by Sir Michael […]

Boxed In: How the NGSS Impedes Science Teaching

The major journals of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have published articles featuring and explaining to science teachers the nature of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The journals include The Science Teacher, Science Scope and Science and Children.  For the past several issues, each journal has published articles that deal with different aspects […]

Fordham Report on Next Generation Science Standards Lacks Credibility

On January 29, the Thomas Fordham Institute published a report, “Commentary & Feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards (Commentary).  Nine people wrote the report, none of whom are “experts” in the field of science education.  Yes, most of them have Ph.D’s in science, but they lack the experiential and content knowledge of science education, science […]

The Neoconservative Drive for Common Standards in Math and Science

For the past two decades there has been a drive to create a common set of standards in math and science (and English Language Arts).  The enterprise is well-funded, and supported not only by the U.S. Department of Education, but by corporate and philanthropic America to the extent that the initiative is pushing ahead at […]

Enough is Enough: Abating the Pursuit of Test Score Growth

Why are we so hung up on making sure students’ test scores rise, year after year? Is this a sustainable and humanistic approach to educating children and youth? Is using the metric of competency-based test scores a valid measure of student learning and a convincing appraisal of teaching? This week Illinois raised the “cut score” […]

Whose Next Generation of Science Standards?

The Next Generation Science Standards are on the web for all of us to view and critique until January 29th.  According to Achieve, the developers of the standards, they will use the feedback to revise last version of the science standards, to be published in March, 2013. The new science standards are the scientific and science […]

The Next Generation Science Standards: In the Service of the STEM Imperative or Students?

The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released this week, and you can check it out and give feedback here. Millions of dollars are being spent to write the new science standards. And it will cost even more to carry out them in the Nation’s schools. Why new standards at this time? […]

Dream Document: The Next Generation Science Standards

Achieve, Inc., a corporate sponsored non-profit company, uploaded the 2nd draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on its website for review until January 29, 2013.  A final version will be uploaded in March, 2013. For many educators, the NGSS are just what the doctor ordered to improve science teaching in the U.S.  In […]

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 […]

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 […]

Do Higher Science Standards Lead to Higher Achievement?

In a recent article in Scientific American, it was suggested that the U.S. should adopt higher standards in science, and that all 50 states should adopt them. When you check the literature on science standards, the main reason for aiming for higher standards (raising the bar) is because in the “Olympics” of international academic test […]

Fordham Institute Review of New Science Standards: Fealty to Conservatism & Canonical Science

Fordham Institute has published their  review of the draft of the Next Generation Science Standards.  Achieve wrote the the new science standards.   Achieve also wrote the math and reading/language arts common core standards. Unchanging fealty to a conservative agenda and a canonical view of science education restricts and confines Fordham’s review to an old school […]

Fordham Institute Review of New Science Standards: Fealty to Conservatism & Canonical Science

Fordham Institute has published their  review of the draft of the Next Generation Science Standards.  Achieve wrote the the new science standards.   Achieve also wrote the math and reading/language arts common core standards. Unchanging fealty to a conservative agenda and a canonical view of science education restricts and confines Fordham’s review to an old school […]

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  […]

What are People Saying About the Next Generation Science Standards?

The Next Generation Science Standards came online last week, and some of us have read and explored Achieve’s website.  It’s a massive site, so much so that there is a video on how to use the website. What are people saying about the new standards?  Do they like what they see?  Do they think that the […]

Are Next Generation Science Standards a Brick Wall or a Bridge to Learning?

Are Next Generation Science Standards a Brick Wall or a Bridge to Learning?  After a review of the new standards, one has to wonder. Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, suggested that brick walls are there for a reason.  The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there […]

Some Problems with the Next Generation Science Standards: One Reviewer's Notes

As you know the first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are online and you have until June 1, 2012 to read and provide comments on the NGSS. I’ve decided to participate in the survey, and use this post to share with you some aspects of the survey, especially the surveys on individual […]

Some Problems with the Next Generation Science Standards: One Reviewer’s Notes

As you know the first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are online and you have until June 1, 2012 to read and provide comments on the NGSS. I’ve decided to participate in the survey, and use this post to share with you some aspects of the survey, especially the surveys on individual […]

Inverse Relationship between Common Standards & Innovative Science Teaching?

Is there an inverse relationship between the use of common standards and innovative and differentiated science teaching? I saw a former science education student today as I walking into the local Home Depot.  He is currently teaching physics at a local high school.  He earned his second master’s degree in science education in the TEEMS […]

Inverse Relationship between Common Standards & Innovative Science Teaching?

Is there an inverse relationship between the use of common standards and innovative and differentiated science teaching? I saw a former science education student today as I walking into the local Home Depot.  He is currently teaching physics at a local high school.  He earned his second master’s degree in science education in the TEEMS […]

Curious Relationship Between NAEP Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards

There is a very curious relationship between NAEP Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards that I discovered while studying the NGSS and wanting to find out what was emphasized on the NAEP Science Assessments.  I had read on an NSTA list that I receive that someone had questioned the distribution of questions on […]

The Predicted Effects of the Common Core: Implications for Next Generation Science Standards

According to Achieve, the U.S. system of science and mathematics education is performing  below par, and if something isn’t done, then millions of students will not be prepared to compete in the global economy.  Achieve cites achievement data from PISA and NAEP to make its case that American science and mathematics teaching is in horrible […]

Next Generation Science Standards: Old School?

Sometime ago, we argued that there is little evidence that the National Science Education Standards published in 1996 and the Next Generation Science Standards released for public view by Achieve are any different than the content oriented projects of the 1960s.  The disciplines and content areas of science were seen as fundamental in those earlier […]

Next Generation Science Standards: What’s Really Been Achieved?

Note:  This is the second in a series of posts on the Next Generation Science Standards.  You can read the first one here. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the latest iteration of writing science objectives for the eventual purpose of testing students’ knowledge of science.  The objectives are developed by teams of experts, […]

Next Generation Science Standards: What's Really Been Achieved?

Note:  This is the second in a series of posts on the Next Generation Science Standards.  You can read the first one here. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the latest iteration of writing science objectives for the eventual purpose of testing students’ knowledge of science.  The objectives are developed by teams of experts, […]

Next Generation Science Standards Online for Review

The Next Generation Science Standards are available for public view. Follow this link to the Science Standards Survey (feedback) Website. According to Achieve, Inc., the corporation that is writing and publishing the standards: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are distinct from prior science standards in that they integrate three dimensions within each standard and […]

Count Down to the Next Generation Science Standards

UPDATE: The Next Generation Science Standards are available for public view and feedback here.   According to various bloggers, the Next Generation Science Standards are to be released today for public review.  The release has been delayed twice, and hopefully we’ll see the draft of the science standards. According to the Next Generation Science Standards […]

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 […]

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 […]