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

Latest Story 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 […]

5 Qualities of Systems Thinking and Communal Classrooms

Systems thinking teaching and learning can happen in any classroom, but it has a better chance of being successful when the school’s principles and policies are rooted in systems thinking.  However, as you will find out, the qualities that characterize systems thinking classrooms can be applied to any classroom. Systems thinking schools and classrooms seek […]

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 […]

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 […]

If We Ban High Stakes Testing, How Can We Assess Learning in Science?

High stakes testing should not be used to make significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course, being promoted, graduating) and should be banned.  In this post we explore formative assessment methods, and show how teachers to make decisions and judgments about student achievement should use a combination of formative and […]

If We Ban High Stakes Testing, How Can We Assess Learning in Science?

High stakes testing should not be used to make significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course, being promoted, graduating) and should be banned.  In this post we explore formative assessment methods, and show how teachers to make decisions and judgments about student achievement should use a combination of formative and […]

3 Assessment Methods, but Dominated by One

As teachers, we typically use three general approaches to assess student progress.  These include: diagnostic assessment—assessing prior knowledge, attitudes, and abilities, formative assessments–everyday methods that we use to help students improve their learning and understanding of science, as well as a way for teachers to inform and improve their teaching abilities, and summative assessment—the assessment […]

Freedom to Change & Transform the Practice of Science Teaching

Carl Rogers wrote a book many years ago entitled Freedom to Learn.  One of the most significant chapters in his book was “My way of facilitating a class.”  I read this chapter many times, and it had a profound influence on the way that I facilitated my classes at Georgia State University.  As a result […]

Freedom to Change & Transform the Practice of Science Teaching

Carl Rogers wrote a book many years ago entitled Freedom to Learn.  One of the most significant chapters in his book was “My way of facilitating a class.”  I read this chapter many times, and it had a profound influence on the way that I facilitated my classes at Georgia State University.  As a result […]

Teaching Science as if your Classroom was a Community

The community, as a concept, is where the action is not only when dealing with environmental, social and political issues, but is one of the most important ideas for us to incorporate into our approach to teaching.  A teacher, in a sense, is a community organizer who works with a group of students to teach […]