“The Vallas Manifesto”—Peddling Fear, and Weather-Beaten Ideas

Latest Story “The Vallas Manifesto”–Peddling Fear, and Weather-Beaten Ideas In an earlier post, I wrote about the discontent brought on by Paul Vallas’ article published in the AJC telling Georgians that  Governor Nathan Deal did the right thing in proposing his Opportunity School District (OSD). I wondered out loud if Vallas is looking for a job in […]

Common Core Protest Poster by Joyce Murdock Feilke

Joyce Murdock Feilke has created and published this poster, that came about from her experiences in Austin, Texas as a Texas School Counselor.  In several earlier posts, her experiences were featured on this blog, and you can read about them here. The powerful message of this poster is clear in these words, but more evident […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

Psychological Abuse: A Springtime School Ritual?

  It might seem extreme to you for me to write about the psychological abuse of children in schools. However, at the end of the post, I hope you will understand why I did. Although the content of this post might seem to some to be controversial, I believe that the content warrants being stated, […]

Should Parents REFUSE to Allow Their Children to be Given the Georgia CRCT Test?

  It seems as if one Georgia couple says yes. In Marietta, a Georgia a couple has refused to allow their children at the West Side Elementary school to take the high-stakes Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). These parents informed the school’s principal two days before the testing period that their third and fifth graders would […]

How is High-Stakes Testing Related to Child Labor in the U.S.?

  Reblogged from Stop the CRCT Madness by Stephanie Jones.  Dr. Jones’ research engages the intersections of social class, gender, and race with language, literacies, and educational equity with a particular interest in social class and poverty.  You can follow her on her blog Engaged Intellectuals. Context for Dr. Jones’ Article on Child Labor I […]

Why High-Stakes Tests Should Not Be Used to Measure Student or School Performance

Latest Story In my earlier post, I urged Atlanta’s new superintendent to explain to the Atlanta community why using high-stakes achievement measures, such as increasing achievement scores while raising the bar, should not be used to measure school performance. Yet, for the next month, nearly 40 million students will take high-stakes achievement tests which will […]

Terrill L. Nickerson: The Paradox of the Common Core

 Terrill Nickerson commented on the previous post on this blog, 6 Reasons Why the Common Core is Not Progressive Ideology.  I thought his comments were important to share as a separate post.  Terrill Nickerson has written an interesting article on how he approaches the Common Core and high-stakes testing in his context of teaching, which […]

NAEP Large City Study Sheds Light on the Effects of the Atlanta Public Schools' Cheating Scandal

NAEP Large City Study Sheds Light on the Effects of the Atlanta Public Schools’ Cheating Scandal. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) created the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in 2002 to assess student achievement in the nation’s large urban districts.  Reading results were first reported in 2002 for six districts, and math results […]

NAEP Large City Study Sheds Light on the Effects of the Atlanta Public Schools’ Cheating Scandal

NAEP Large City Study Sheds Light on the Effects of the Atlanta Public Schools’ Cheating Scandal. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) created the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in 2002 to assess student achievement in the nation’s large urban districts.  Reading results were first reported in 2002 for six districts, and math results […]

PISA Testing in the Year 2063: Fives Walk to School on Thursday

Latest Story Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2063.   Her name is Sklyer F., a 14 year-old girl living in Atlanta with her family—3 brothers, her father who home schools his children, and her mother who is an activist-independent-politician.  The PISA test, developed by the […]

Georgia's High-Stakes Plan Based on Erroneous Conclusions

“High-stakes plan could change teachers pay,” is the title of an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution paper. The article is a good review of the history behind why the state is going to move to “merit” pay, and how the Race to Top grant that Georgia won in 2010 provided the funds and a mandate […]

Georgia’s High-Stakes Plan Based on Erroneous Conclusions

“High-stakes plan could change teachers pay,” is the title of an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution paper. The article is a good review of the history behind why the state is going to move to “merit” pay, and how the Race to Top grant that Georgia won in 2010 provided the funds and a mandate […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Finding Common Ground to Build the Movement Against High Stakes Tests

This was written by Anthony Cody, who 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 […]

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 […]

5 Reasons Why the Common Core Standards are not Good for Teaching and Learning

Standards as a flag to lead us forth contrasts for me with standards as a way of standardizing our minds” Deborah Meier The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 47 states, and school districts around the country are gearing up by spending millions of dollars on meager staff development training to indoctrinate teachers in […]

Guest Post by Anthony Cody: Cui Bono? The Question Rarely Asked, Let Alone Investigated

This was written by Anthony Cody, who 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 […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5's Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5’s Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance. Dear Friends: I learned that in America, […]

The Social-Emotional Consequences of the Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. Anxious teachers, sobbing children was the title of an opinion article published in the Atlanta newspaper last Sunday.  The article, written by Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the University of Georgia, asks “What’s […]

The Social-Emotional Consequences of the Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. Anxious teachers, sobbing children was the title of an opinion article published in the Atlanta newspaper last Sunday.  The article, written by Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the University of Georgia, asks “What’s […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

The Power, Privilege, and Injustice of Authoritarian Standards & High-Stakes Testing Sham

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the consequences of the authoritarian standards & high-stakes testing sham. The authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing movement conjure up for me the use of power and privilege to create injustices for not only schools and teachers, but for students and their parents.  Using invalid test scores, the […]

Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal’s Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.” I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published. […]

Suspicions About the Atlanta Journal's Investigation into Cheating Across the Nation

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox newspaper published the results of its investigation into “cheating” in American schools.  The article was entitled Suspicious Scores Across the Nation, and you can read it by following the link. The article was subtitled “Cheating Our Children.” I was immediately suspicious of the report that the Journal-Constitution published. […]

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. […]

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: What Values are we Adding?

Post 2.  Read Post 1 here. This post  was published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialogue. Practicing teachers, clinical professors, and researchers who work in the field know that assessing teachers or students requires much more than simply looking at test scores.  And indeed, researchers who have examined the value-added assessment system which purports […]

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 Movement to Ban High-Stakes Testing

Today, I wrote a comment on the United Opt Out National website which has been organized by prominent educators as a movement to end punitive public school testing.  According to the organizers of United Opt Out National, Members of this site are parents, educators, students and social activists who are dedicated to the elimination of […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science: A New eBook

The Art of Teaching Science has just published a new eBook entitled The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science. The Enigma of High-Stakes Testing in Science is a new eBook published by the Art of Teaching Science Weblog, and made available free. This eBook is based on blog posts that were written over the past […]

High-Stakes Testing = Negative Effects on Student Achievement

In earlier posts, I have advocated banning high-stakes testing as a means of making significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course—end-of-year-tests, being promoted, and graduating from high school).  I suggested this because the research evidence does not support continuing the practice in American schools. The research reported here sheds light […]

Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting?

This is a link to  Standardized Testing: Modern Bloodletting at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog. If you have been reading about banning high-stakes testing, and my criticism of the Common Core State Standards, and more recently the Next Generation of Science Standards, then you will find Vicki Davis’ blog post very pertinent and important.  It […]

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, […]

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 […]

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, […]

With Out Science Inquiry Activities, Science Test Scores Are Better

In an article in the The Palm Beach News, science teachers discovered that when they threw out the recommended science inquiry and hands on activities, their students improved their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I am not writing this as a protest against these science teachers.  They know their students better than […]

With Out Science Inquiry Activities, Science Test Scores Are Better

In an article in the The Palm Beach News, science teachers discovered that when they threw out the recommended science inquiry and hands on activities, their students improved their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I am not writing this as a protest against these science teachers.  They know their students better than […]

High-Stakes Testing & the Culture of Fear: The Atlanta Case, Report #1

Over the next few days, I am going to write a series of posts on the “Atlanta Test Erasure Scandal” that has dominated the newspapers here in Atlanta, and has been a major story on the national scene.  There is more than meets the eye here, and I hope to shed some light on it, […]

High-Stakes Testing & the Culture of Fear: The Atlanta Case, Report #1

Over the next few days, I am going to write a series of posts on the “Atlanta Test Erasure Scandal” that has dominated the newspapers here in Atlanta, and has been a major story on the national scene.  There is more than meets the eye here, and I hope to shed some light on it, […]

The Danger in Using a Test Score as a Measure of Student Achievement

It doesn’t matter whether you are high school student or teacher in Madrid,  Manila, Marietta, Manchester, Moscow, Mumbai, or Montevideo, the chances are that you will study or teach the same concepts in the high school science curriculum.  The science concepts that I have shown using  “Wordle” (Wordle a neat program for generating ‘word clouds’ […]

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 […]

Panel Calls into Question the use of SATs and ACTs for Admission

I am driving to Texas, where I will be for a couple of weeks. Tonight I read an article in the New York Times entitled College Panel Call for Less Focus on SATs. In an earlier post, I suggested that high school high-stakes examinations be eliminated.  Today’s article only reaffirmed my conviction that high school […]

Should High-Stakes (Science) Tests Be Eliminated?

There is very little criticism in the science education literature about the science standards, and the use of high-stakes tests.  An issue I raise here is should the use of high-stakes tests not only in science, but other content areas be continued? I am being motivated to discuss this issue, as I did the decentralization […]

Promotion to the Next Grade: The Luck of Getting One Extra Question Correct

Can you believe that statement?  A researcher at the University of Arkansas, who feels that teachers and administrators (mere public employees) who make a decision to pass a student on to the next grade who didn’t “pass the end of year test” says: “If public employees cannot do what the public has asked them to […]

Georgia Department of Education: Infinitely far from Understanding Students, Schools & Teachers

The testing debacle in Georgia covered many pages of today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On the editorial page there were two essays; High Standards Help Students by Kathy Cox, Georgia Superintendent of Schools and Wrong Approach Setup for Failure by Rick Breault, associate professor of elementary and early childhood education, Kennesaw State University. Schools were given an […]

Georgia Department of Education: Infinitely far from Understanding Students, Schools & Teachers

The testing debacle in Georgia covered many pages of today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On the editorial page there were two essays; High Standards Help Students by Kathy Cox, Georgia Superintendent of Schools and Wrong Approach Setup for Failure by Rick Breault, associate professor of elementary and early childhood education, Kennesaw State University. Schools were given an […]

Testing in Georgia: Students Miss the Mark or Did the State Officials

In today’s Atlanta Journal there was an article that reported that Georgia Department of Education officials were shocked by the state math and social studies tests. You see on the end-of-year CRCT only 20 to 30 percent of the students passed the social studies test, and about 40 percent of the Georgia’s could be held […]

Backwards—Trying to Make the Cows Fatter

Have you ever given serious thought to the obsession this country has for state-wide and national testing. In previous posts I’ve discussed the dilemma that state departments of education have created in their outright commitment to testing the brains out of students grades 1 through 12. I recall a good friend of mine telling me […]

State-Wide Testing: A Recent Trend?

I wrote in the last two posts I openned a discussion about the phenomenon of state-wide testing that determines whether students are retained or passed (out) on to the next grade. The results, as I pointed out in Georgia, are not exactly “world-class” although Governor and Superintendent of Schools have that as one of their […]

We'll Make Them World Class Students, By George!

So says Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Cox, and Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue. We’ll make the bar higher; make the curriculum tougher; and test them till the sun goes down. Not a quote, but that’s their idea. According to Cox, “we could not wait any longer.” “The world is going to have high expectations for […]

We’ll Make Them World Class Students, By George!

So says Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Cox, and Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue. We’ll make the bar higher; make the curriculum tougher; and test them till the sun goes down. Not a quote, but that’s their idea. According to Cox, “we could not wait any longer.” “The world is going to have high expectations for […]