Jeb! 2016 & the Web of Influence Peddling

Latest Story Yesterday, Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for President under the logo Jeb!2016.  Then today, Donald Trump, from a basement in one of his buildings in NYC, announced that he is running for President! Is his logo The Donald!2016?  Can it get any worse? But Trump aside, I want to focus on the idea of influence peddling by […]

The Mischief of Standardized Teaching & Learning

The conservative world-view is at the root of educational reform, not only in the United States, but in most countries around the world.  This world-view has set in motion the reform of education based on a common set of standards, high-stakes tests, and accountability metrics that demoralize not only students and their families, but the […]

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 […]

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 […]

In Math and Science, Have American students Fallen Behind?

Is science and mathematics teaching inferior to science teaching in Singapore, South Korea, and Finland?  Have American students fallen behind in math and science? In the 2008 and 2012,  Science Debate asked presidential candidates (as well as congressional candidates) why have American students fallen behind in science and mathematics and what role should the federal government […]

In Math and Science, Have American students Fallen Behind?

Is science and mathematics teaching inferior to science teaching in Singapore, South Korea, and Finland?  Have American students fallen behind in math and science? In the 2008 and 2012,  Science Debate asked presidential candidates (as well as congressional candidates) why have American students fallen behind in science and mathematics and what role should the federal government […]

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 […]

Nationalized Assessments in Mathematics, English/Language Arts & Science are Just Around the Corner

National Assessments in  mathematics, English/language arts and science are coming soon to an American school in your neighborhood.  Although the national science assessments are a few years away, the national assessments in mathematics and English/language arts will begin early pilots and field testing next school year, and will be ready for full operational administration in 2014 – 2015. […]

Nationalized Assessments in Mathematics, English/Language Arts & Science are Just Around the Corner

National Assessments in  mathematics, English/language arts and science are coming soon to an American school in your neighborhood.  Although the national science assessments are a few years away, the national assessments in mathematics and English/language arts will begin early pilots and field testing next school year, and will be ready for full operational administration in 2014 – 2015. […]

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 […]

Peddling Panic: Biased Survey Promotes National Science Standards

Achieve, Inc. stands to make a lot of money for its work creating new science standards. It might not surprise us, therefore, that a survey they commissioned favors the adoption of these standards. But we need to look at these results with skepticism. Does US competitiveness depend on our rankings on test scores? And will new […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why Science Educators Need to Oppose High-Stakes Testing

There are many reasons that we can site to oppose the use of high-stakes testing in American schools.  Yesterday, I reported on a case in Florida in which several middle school teachers decided not to do hands-on, inquiry-based activities with their students.  These science teachers decided that a more direct instruction approach was called for, […]

Why Science Educators Need to Oppose High-Stakes Testing

There are many reasons that we can site to oppose the use of high-stakes testing in American schools.  Yesterday, I reported on a case in Florida in which several middle school teachers decided not to do hands-on, inquiry-based activities with their students.  These science teachers decided that a more direct instruction approach was called for, […]

Teachers of English Oppose Common Core Standards and National Tests

I read on the Schools Matter weblog site that the National Council of Teachers of English will consider a resolution to oppose the use of the Common Core State Standards, and national testing.  What about science teachers?  What about the National Science Teachers Association? In their resolution, they directly show that the claims that the […]

Teachers of English Oppose Common Core Standards and National Tests

I read on the Schools Matter weblog site that the National Council of Teachers of English will consider a resolution to oppose the use of the Common Core State Standards, and national testing.  What about science teachers?  What about the National Science Teachers Association? In their resolution, they directly show that the claims that the […]

4 Reasons We Need New National Science Education Standards

As you know, there are new science standards coming your way, and they are being developed by Achieve, Inc., with funds from the Carnegie Corporation, and other large corporations and foundations.  According to Achieve, 20 states are leading the effort, and about 40 teachers have been selected to write the new standards.  The teachers have […]

Some Questions About the NSTA Position on the New Generation of Science Standards

In the most recent issue of NSTA Reports (National Science Teachers Association), Francis Eberle, NSTA Executive Director wrote an opinion piece entitled First Steps Toward New Science Standards. Although not an official position of the NSTA membership, the article does outline the general attitude of the organization toward the recent effort to develop a Conceptual […]