How Can We Challenge the Standardization of Science and Other Aspects of Education?

Latest Story I received an email from Professor Emeritus Charles “Kip” Ault, Lewis & Clark University.   We’ve never met, but we have a connection through each others’ writing.  In 1992, I wrote and published a science education book, Minds on Science (Library Copy) and he used the text in one or more of his graduate classes […]

The Scary Language of Crisis and the Seductive Language of Choice and Accountability by Alfredo Gaete and Stephanie Jones

Latest Story by Alfredo Gaete of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Stephanie Jones of the University of Georgia. The Georgia General Assembly is one vote away from approving Governor Nathan Deal’s plan to take over the state’s “chronically failing” public schools by privatizing them with charter schools.  It’s a plan that demolishes the public […]

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 […]

The Conundrum of Adolescence, and the Middle School Science Curriculum

Sixth Article in the Series on The Artistry of Teaching Does neoliberal education reform consider the nature of adolescence and the advances in our understanding of how humans learn?  Is it necessary for every American human adolescent to learn the same content, in the same order, and at the same time?  Why should every student […]

Do Green Classrooms Lead to Artistic Teaching?

Second Article on The Artistry of Teaching In this article we are going to apply the ecological work of Arne Naess to show that classrooms are places where we can find something wonderful and amazing happening among teachers and students.  In doing research for this blog post I came across an article on Education Week by Cord […]

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 […]

From Educators to Racketeers: How Education Reform Led to a National Testing Scandal

Thirty-five Atlanta Public School educators were accused by a grand jury of racketeering, false statements and writings, false swearing, theft by taking and influencing witnesses. How could this happen in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS)?  The district is in a city that is home to The King Center, The Carter Center, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia […]

The Power of School Music Programs

Guest Post By Melissa Walker, Executive Director of JazzHouseKids,  and Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia.  This article appeared on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled Blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Public schools, in general, have become incriminated in the public mind for having failed society. They must be re-envisioned, restructured, reassessed, and […]

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 […]

One Size Does Not Fit All

On August 4, 2011, Nikhil Goyal, a sophomore at Syosset High School in Long Island, New York wrote and asked me answer some interview questions for a book he was writing about “transforming our 19th Century industrial model of education into a 21st Century model grounded in creativity, imagination, and project-based learning. I had no […]

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 […]

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  […]

The Hip-Hop Generation: Implications for Teacher Preparation

The current wave of reform in science education, including teacher preparation, is not in the best interests of the diverse cultures that make up 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 (read that “standards”) of what is to […]

Reform needs Reform: How Testing is Sucking the Breath out of Teaching and Learning

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Ingvar Stål: Humanistic Science Inquiry-Oriented Teaching in Finland

Note: This is the second post by Dr. Ingvar Stål, Senior lecturer in physics, chemistry, and science at the Botby Junior High School. In his first post, which you can read here, Dr. Stål gave us an overview of the Finnish educational system, which provides a basic education to all Finnish citizens ages 7 to 16, as well as […]

Why a Single Set of Science Standards in a Democracy?

Why are we supporting the notion of a single set of science standards which has been done in mathematics and language reading/language art?  We live in a democracy.  One the of founding principles of education is that elected school board members for the more than 15,000 school districts are charged with making decisions for each […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

P.L. Thomas: Charter Schools Not the Answer, Especially if We Fail to Identify the Question

Guest Post by P.L. Thomas Paul Thomas, Associate Professor of Education, taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. Recent books include Parental Choice?: A Critical Reconsideration of Choice and the Debate about Choice (Information Age Publishing, 2010) and 21st Century Literacy: If We Are Scripted, Are We Literate? (Springer, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: 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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Does the NCLB Act mean less time for 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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Why in a liberal democracy are we centralizing education reform?

Why is the United States moving toward a centralized reform of education in a society that is based on democratic principles, and at a time when other countries are moving in the opposite direction? In his book, Catching Up or Leading the Way, Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, the University […]

Corporate Science Education Standards—Far From the Classroom

I got a Tweet from Christopher Emdin, Professor at Columbia University Teachers College linking me to his recent article on the Huffington Post entitled 5 Reasons Why Public School Teachers are Occupying Wall Street.  His reasons, which I will list below, resonated with me with regard to the way in which corporate boards, through organizations […]

Review of the NRC's Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of […]

Review of the NRC’s Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of […]

The Next Generation of Science Standards: Covering Science with Factoids

The Next Generation of Science Standards are under development by Achieve, Inc. and will be published next year.  Achieve will identify content and science and engineering practices that all students should learn from K – 12, regardless of where they live.  The science standards will cover the physical sciences, the life sciences, the earth and […]

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 […]

Common Corporate Science Standards?

My choice of a title for this blog post is not a play on words, but describes the current effort to write the next generation of science standards.  The next generation of science standards is being developed by Achieve, Inc., a corporate and foundation support-type organization that was established in 1996 by governors and corporate […]

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 […]

Progressive Science Education

I have been reading and have referenced on this weblog the October 2009 special issue of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST) on the topic/theme “Scientific Literacy and Contexts in PISA Science.”  The articles in the special issue provide a broad view of international testing as conceived in PISA, as well as the […]