Graphics of The Bush Foundation’s Influence on State Education Laws

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) agenda has seven “reform” priorities, and its work centers on influencing state governments to pass laws that are directly related to these reform priorities.  The seven reform categories (shown in Box 1) are elements of the corporate and foundation led privatization of public schools, as well as the accountability […]

Will the Atlanta Schools Be Run by an Authoritarian Regime?

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 […]

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 […]

Why No Mention of the Effect of Poverty on Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index?

Georgia released a lot of data about every school in the state which is summarized by a score attained through the College and Career Ready Performance Index. When the results were released this week by John Barge, State Superintendent of Education, the focus was on the new calculation system used to generate a score for […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Predicted Effects of the Common Core: Implications for Next Generation Science Standards

According to Achieve, the U.S. system of science and mathematics education is performing  below par, and if something isn’t done, then millions of students will not be prepared to compete in the global economy.  Achieve cites achievement data from PISA and NAEP to make its case that American science and mathematics teaching is in horrible […]

Next Generation Science Standards: Old School?

Sometime ago, we argued that there is little evidence that the National Science Education Standards published in 1996 and the Next Generation Science Standards released for public view by Achieve are any different than the content oriented projects of the 1960s.  The disciplines and content areas of science were seen as fundamental in those earlier […]

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 […]

K-12 Education Viewed Through the Lens of Conservative Values & World-View

Note: this is the second in a series of posts on the effect of conservative & progressive values on K-12 education. Progressive values should set the ideals of teaching, and learning in American society.  Unfortunately, the “cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it very difficult to design instruction around progressive values.  We’ll refer to […]

K-12 Education Viewed Through the Lens of Conservative Values & World-View

Note: this is the second in a series of posts on the effect of conservative & progressive values on K-12 education. Progressive values should set the ideals of teaching, and learning in American society.  Unfortunately, the “cloud of authoritarianism looms over education, making it very difficult to design instruction around progressive values.  We’ll refer to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Spinning the Numbers on Turnarounds: School Improvement Grant Controversy Brews

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Anthony Cody 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

We Have Low Expectations for American Students in Math & Science!

Who the #@!% would make such a statement? Why would such a statement be made about America’s youth? If you go the Broad Foundation Education page you will find the answer to the first question.  This is the first of four statements about American youth, followed by “stark” statistics.  The Broad Foundation says: We have low expectations […]

We Have Low Expectations for American Students in Math & Science!

Who the #@!% would make such a statement? Why would such a statement be made about America’s youth? If you go the Broad Foundation Education page you will find the answer to the first question.  This is the first of four statements about American youth, followed by “stark” statistics.  The Broad Foundation says: We have low expectations […]

Quality 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 […]

Obama Says: Stop Teaching to the Test; Teach With Creativity and Passion

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama included a section of his speech that focused on education, not only K-12, but he also challenged colleges and universities to be more creative about how they work with students, and as well as the hundreds of thousands of young students who are not yet […]

NCLB Waivers: The Details in the Devil's Bargain

This post was also published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialog at Education Week, January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants to insure that every teacher in the U.S. is evaluated on the basis on student progress on high-stakes achievement tests.  To achieve this, the DOE will issues waivers on some […]

NCLB Waivers: The Details in the Devil’s Bargain

This post was also published on Anthony Cody’s blog, Living in Dialog at Education Week, January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants to insure that every teacher in the U.S. is evaluated on the basis on student progress on high-stakes achievement tests.  To achieve this, the DOE will issues waivers on some […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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’ […]