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

Third Strike Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes: Brave New Parents Opt Out

Creative Commons Strike Three by rundnd Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Creative Commons Little League Strike Three by rundnd Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The headline in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution was “Parents push back on required testing.”

Could the movement to Opt Out of high-stakes testing be the third strike against using high stakes testing to rate teachers? In an earlier post, two studies were reviewed that cast doubt on the use of VAM scores  (which are based on student achievement scores) and classroom observation systems to rate teachers.… Read more

Will the Atlanta Schools Be Run by an Authoritarian Regime?

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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 have set up shop and begun the transition to take over the APS in July.

What kind of administration will emerge from the Austin group?  … Read more

Two Strikes Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes

"Creative Commons Strike One" by Eli Christman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
“Creative Commons Strike One” by Eli Christman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Two curve balls were thrown at the movement to evaluate teachers using student tests scores and classroom observations.  Both were strikes!

Attempts to evaluate teachers have focused on classroom observations of teacher performance, and the contributions (value added) teachers make to student test score gains.

Two studies were published recently, casting doubt on the use of classroom observations and VAM as strong indicators of teacher quality.… Read more

Why Candidates for Governor and State School Superintendent of Georgia Should Oppose High-Stakes Testing?

Latest Story

"Creative Commons Gravel Hill School 1950" by Erin Nekervis is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
“Creative Commons Gravel Hill School 1950″ by Erin Nekervis is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

In an earlier post, I challenged candidates for state school superintendent to oppose the Common Core State Standards.  Today, I am writing to candidates for Governor and State School Superintendent of Georgia to oppose High-Stakes testing.  If they would, they’d open the door to a new paradigm of assessment that would improve education in Georgia beyond their wildest dreams.… Read more

Are Georgia School Superintendent Candidates Willing to Oppose the Common Core & High-Stakes Tests?

Creative Commons School of Neon Fusiller School" by Malcoml Browne is licensed  under CC BY-ND 2.0.
Creative Commons School of Neon Fusiller” by Malcolm Browne is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

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, we’ll give reasons why high-stakes tests need to abolished.… Read more

Climate Change: Are We In Trouble?

This is a reblog from the Moyers & Company website. It’s an article written by John Light that I’ve reblogged here as a follow up the May 7th post entitled Extreme Earth: Coming to an Environment Near You.

The National Climate Assessment Says We’re in Trouble. This Chart Shows Why. (via Moyers & Company)

This animated chart from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences shows the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

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

Latest Story

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

Poverty in Georgia and Its Effect on Student Learning

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story in which the writers connected the state of Georgia’s new academic performance score card with poverty.

In their article they reported that Georgia students in poor schools got lower grades than students in affluent schools.  To show this they used a bar graph comparing poor schools (schools who have 40 or more percent students receiving free or reduced lunch) and affluent schools (less than 40 percent).  Three comparisons (see Figure 1) are shown at the elementary, middle and high school levels.… Read more