Druid Hills Charter Cluster Should Be Rejected Again

Latest Story The Druid Hills Charter Cluster has raised its nasty head again and is trying to convince the DeKalb County School Board to give a non-elected private group 5000 students, seven school campuses, and hundreds of teachers. I support Superintendent Michael Thurmond’s decision to oppose the Charter Cluster proposal. Here is what I wrote […]

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 […]

Atlanta’s New Superintendent Should Not Agree to Be Responsible for Narrowing the Achievement Gap

Latest Story The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has hired Dr. Meria Carstarphen to be its superintendent for the next three years.  She was hired after a one year search led by 13-member search committee.  She is now superintendent of the Austin Independent School District (TX).  Dr. Carstarphen was the only person put forward to be […]

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 […]

The Gobbledygook of Florida Teacher Evaluations

  Figure 1. Words used to describe the statistical model used to evaluate a classroom teacher in Florida! Earlier this week, Florida released the VAM scores of its teachers.  Disturbing to say the least.  The Florida Times-Union released links to teacher VAM data for the past two years. There are 116,723 teachers listed in the […]

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 […]

Higher Education, A Moral Voice, & Ed Johnson, Candidate for the Atlanta School Board

The power of universities to influence public policy and debate should be part of the mission of institutions of higher education. Yet, as Milton Greenberg points out in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “higher education tends to take a utopian “let us reason together” view of conflict, often refusing, or unable, to engage more-pragmatic power players.” […]

Higher Education, A Moral Voice, & Ed Johnson, Candidate for the Atlanta School Board

The power of universities to influence public policy and debate should be part of the mission of institutions of higher education. Yet, as Milton Greenberg points out in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “higher education tends to take a utopian “let us reason together” view of conflict, often refusing, or unable, to engage more-pragmatic power players.” […]

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 […]

A Heads Up for Georgia Teachers: The Problem with VAM Scores

Guest post by John Spencer John Spencer, who I met online after reading his blog, is a middle school computers and journalism teacher, passionate about authentic learning, social justice and critical thinking in a digital world.  Follow him at his blog. Reblogged from John Spencer’s blog on Arizona Stories from School. Arizona is one of […]

In Marietta, GA, Teachers Might Be Scammed by the Use of VAM

Latest Story In 2010, Georgia was one of the winners of the Race to the Top competition.  The prize was half a billion dollars from the Federal government to among other things, adopt the common core standards and base teacher evaluation on student test scores. Some more facts: In 2012 the Georgia Department of Education applied […]

Marietta City Schools To Use High-Stakes Achievement Tests in Teacher Compensation Plan

Did you know? The Marietta City Schools believes that teacher’s paychecks should be based on how well their students do on high-stakes achievement tests, and assessments of their classroom teaching based on a few pop-in-visits by administrators and “trained” observers. The truth is: The problem with this scenario is teacher performance is reduced to simple metrics, which […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Atlanta Cheating Scandal: Suspicions Raised About the AJC Investigative Methods

A Fulton County grand jury indicted former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall and 34 others — top aides, principals, teachers and a secretary — for racketeering as well as theft by taking for the bonuses they received for good test scores or making false statements or writings, charges that provided the basis for the Racketeer […]

Clueless in Atlanta; Not So in Seattle

Maureen Downey is the education blogger at Get Schooled on the Atlanta Journal-Journal (AJC) website, and writes occasional education editorials for the newspaper. In her post today, she wonders why the teachers in Seattle are protesting by refusing to administer a test they are required to give three times per year to all students in […]

How do You Defeat an Army of Determined Educators? You Don’t?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody This post was originally published on Anthony’s blog Living in Dialog.  Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyCod. The election of 2012 was a tough one for some who consider themselves “reformers” of education. Michael Petrilli, of the Hoover and Fordham Institutes wrote yesterday, in an op-ed that appeared in the Charlotte Observer, that “Teachers unions remain […]

How do You Defeat an Army of Determined Educators? You Don't?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody This post was originally published on Anthony’s blog Living in Dialog.  Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyCod. The election of 2012 was a tough one for some who consider themselves “reformers” of education. Michael Petrilli, of the Hoover and Fordham Institutes wrote yesterday, in an op-ed that appeared in the Charlotte Observer, that “Teachers unions remain […]

Thank You, Chicago Teachers

This is a letter of Thank You to the teachers of Chicago from the Teaching Georgia Writing Collective.  The letter was initially posted on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled website on the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Teaching Georgia Writing Collective is a group of educators, parents, and concerned citizens who engage in public writing and public teaching about […]

A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it […]

¿Is it Not Possible to Charter Teachers for a Change?

¿Is it not possible that if teachers were chartered to design curriculum and assessment methods geared to their own students they might provide an education that is closer to the lived experiences of their student?  ¿Is is possible that by enabling teachers to carry out their work as professionals the way most of them are […]

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 […]

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 […]

Peter Smagorinsky–>Great Georgia Teachers: Beyond Test Scores

Guest Post by Peter Smagorinsky Peter Smagorinsky is a former high school teacher turned University of Georgia professor.  His columns on education issues have been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and the Washington Post.  This article appeared on the EmpowerED Georgia newsletter, and was originally published on the AJC. Teachers sure are taking a beating these days. Not all teachers, […]

Peter Smagorinsky–>Great Georgia Teachers: Beyond Test Scores

Guest Post by Peter Smagorinsky Peter Smagorinsky is a former high school teacher turned University of Georgia professor.  His columns on education issues have been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and the Washington Post.  This article appeared on the EmpowerED Georgia newsletter, and was originally published on the AJC. Teachers sure are taking a beating these days. Not all teachers, […]

Georgia Department of Education Says Evaluation Plan Won’t Work But Will Implement it Anyway?

The Georgia Department of Education claims that the evaluation system they developed along Federal guidelines needs to be modified. . They  think one part will not work because it will put the state at risk from lawsuits by teachers. When I first saw the headline in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, I thought that maybe […]

Georgia Department of Education Says Evaluation Plan Won't Work But Will Implement it Anyway?

The Georgia Department of Education claims that the evaluation system they developed along Federal guidelines needs to be modified. . They  think one part will not work because it will put the state at risk from lawsuits by teachers. When I first saw the headline in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, I thought that maybe […]

Anthony Cody: Designer of Value-Added Tests a Skeptic About Current Test Mania

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Follow Anthony on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Defenders of our current obsession over test scores claim that new, better tests will rescue us from the educational stagnation caused by a test prep curriculum. And one of those new types of tests is an adaptive test, which adjusts the difficulty of questions as […]

Georgia Educators’ Open Letter: Proposed Teacher Evaluation Invalid, Unreliable, & Detrimental to Student Learning

Starting this Fall, Georgia will carry out a teacher and leader assessment system that will use student progress on content tests and administrator evaluation based on a checklist of teacher classroom behaviors to evaluate teachers. A group of Georgia professors has prepared a letter sent to key politicians including the governor,  the GA state school […]

Georgia Educators' Open Letter: Proposed Teacher Evaluation Invalid, Unreliable, & Detrimental to Student Learning

Starting this Fall, Georgia will carry out a teacher and leader assessment system that will use student progress on content tests and administrator evaluation based on a checklist of teacher classroom behaviors to evaluate teachers. A group of Georgia professors has prepared a letter sent to key politicians including the governor,  the GA state school […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Anthony Cody Writes: A Million Teachers Prepare to March Out the Classroom Door

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 […]