Why Bill Gates Defends the Common Core & Other Top 2014 Posts

In 2014, there were 100 new posts added to the Art of Teaching Science blog, as shown in the graphic below. I’ve made links to the top five posts for 2014.  As you can see, our examination of the how the Gates Foundation has used its billions to influence the Common Core State Standards was […]

The Absurdity of Teacher Evaluation Systems

  There was an article today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that really got my gander up.  The article, written by AJC blogger Maureen Downey, was entitled Grading on a curve.  The article was about teacher evaluation systems.  Downey’s article focused on classroom observation systems, indicating that only 22% of teachers will be evaluated with student […]

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 […]

Two Strikes Against Teacher Evaluation Schemes

Two curve balls were thrown at the movement to evaluate teachers using student tests scores and classroom observations.  Both were strikes! Attempts to evaluate teachers have focused on classroom observations of teacher performance, and the contributions (value added) teachers make to student test score gains. Two studies were published recently, casting doubt on the use […]

Will Georgia Follow Florida and Release Teacher VAM-Like Scores?

  Will Georgia follow Florida by releasing teacher VAM-like scores?  In Florida’s case, the Florida Times-Union released links to all 116,723 teachers’ VAM scores in an extraordinary unethical move that has happened other locations, including New York, and California. The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) will have two or more sets of data on every […]

How Much Does It Cost to Find Great Teachers in Georgia? Answer: $60 Million

We’re spending a lot of money to find great teachers in Georgia.  Admittedly, Georgia isn’t the only state where this is happening.   Thanks to the Race to the Top Fund, the race is on to implement a system to score teachers based on pre-post test scores. The $4 billion Race the Top Fund, which […]

Georgia Teacher Evaluations: All Trick, No Treat

EmpowerED Georgia published an “infomercial” on teacher evaluations just in time for Halloween, and on the heels of a report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). NCTQ is a Washington-based group funded in large part by The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. NCTQ is also a purveyor of “junk […]

A Heads Up for Georgia Teachers: The Problem with VAM Scores

Guest post by John Spencer John Spencer, who I met online after reading his blog, is a middle school computers and journalism teacher, passionate about authentic learning, social justice and critical thinking in a digital world.  Follow him at his blog. Reblogged from John Spencer’s blog on Arizona Stories from School. Arizona is one of […]

In Marietta, GA, Teachers Might Be Scammed by the Use of VAM

Latest Story In 2010, Georgia was one of the winners of the Race to the Top competition.  The prize was half a billion dollars from the Federal government to among other things, adopt the common core standards and base teacher evaluation on student test scores. Some more facts: In 2012 the Georgia Department of Education applied […]

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 […]

A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it […]

Georgia Department of Education Says Evaluation Plan Won't Work But Will Implement it Anyway?

The Georgia Department of Education claims that the evaluation system they developed along Federal guidelines needs to be modified. . They  think one part will not work because it will put the state at risk from lawsuits by teachers. When I first saw the headline in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, I thought that maybe […]

Georgia Department of Education Says Evaluation Plan Won’t Work But Will Implement it Anyway?

The Georgia Department of Education claims that the evaluation system they developed along Federal guidelines needs to be modified. . They  think one part will not work because it will put the state at risk from lawsuits by teachers. When I first saw the headline in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, I thought that maybe […]

I dare you to measure the “value” I add

Guest Post by Donna McKenna This was first published on March 8 on Donna McKenna’s blog, No Sleep ’til Summer.  She is an elementary ESL teacher passionate about language learners and language learning.  Published with permission. Note: This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post entitled Quality Teaching: We’re Looking in the Wrong Place.  Evaluating […]

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 […]

Teacher Evaluation: Should We Look at Evidence of Learning?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody This post was originally published on Anthony Cody’s blog at Living in Dialog, on March 10. 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 […]

Anthony Cody Writes: At the Department of Education, Warm Snow Falls Up

Guest Post by Anthony Cody As the Simpson family prepared to travel south of the equator to Brazil, Homer revealed some misconceptions. In opposite land, according to Bart’s father, “warm snow falls up.” Reading the latest press releases and speeches from the Department of Education, sometimes I feel as if this is where we have arrived. For […]