Saturday, October 19, 2013

All Week 10-19-13 @ THE CHALK FACE


WHOA! Major aggregation of anti-#commoncore sentiment from NY
Check it, via Charlene Myers (Thanks). Very retro looking to boot.
A small anecdotal tidbit on how charter schools select out students
Some charter school chains enact a form of educational Darwinism. Case in point. Let’s say that a certain public school classroom received a new student the other day.  The teacher learned that the student came from a local charter school very close by, definitely within the same district. Largely serving the same student population. When […]
From Wayne Au on Facebook: MI teachers’ union encourages boycott of student teachers #highered
What an interesting idea: refuse student teachers from a university that supports a certain reform initiative. As a humble graduate student, like a lot of graduate students everywhere in teacher education, I/we did all of the dirty work. We were the ones low enough on the old totem pole to actually do the field work […]

Scarcity: A Few Thoughts While Reading
Scarcity: A Few Thoughts While Reading. via Scarcity: A Few Thoughts While Reading.

Who Should Listen to Melinda Gates about Education?
I have asked repeatedly a key question about Bill Gates and his hobby of education reform: If Bill Gates had no money, who would listen to him about education reform? No one–the same as who should listen to him now. Now we have an EdWeak interview with Melinda Gates, which forces an additional question: If […]

OCT 17

Albuquerque High School Students Speak Out
Here is a letter that originated with the Cibola High School student body, and is being copied and personalized and distributed by a growing number of New Mexico high schools, accompanied by a petition for Stand4KidsNM.  Hey, Hanna Skandera said she wanted to hear more from the students.  I don’t think this is what she […]
Ignoring the New Majority: Education Reform behind Blinders
Ignoring the New Majority: Education Reform behind Blinders. via Ignoring the New Majority: Education Reform behind Blinders.
First In-School Reform? Teacher Autonomy
The reform agenda has focused almost entirely on in-school only so-called reforms. That paradigm is essentially flawed since the greatest barriers to in-school learning by students and effective teaching by teachers are out-of-school poverty and inequity. However, once we address social reform, in-school reform must begin with teacher autonomy; consider this about Finland: Teachers in […]
Neil Gaiman Should Be U.S. Secretary of Education: “Things can be different”
Neil Gaiman Should Be U.S. Secretary of Education: \”Things can be different\”. via Neil Gaiman Should Be U.S. Secretary of Education: “Things can be different”.

OCT 16

Understanding ALEC: How ALEC’S Duplicity Undermines the American Public Education Project
Can’t ALEC Make Up Its Mind? Or….Has It? Just three years ago I had never heard of The American Legislative Exchange Council, the uber right wing neoconservative think tank that forges pro corporate policies in secret with their legislative buddies. But for those of us studied in the ways and means of education reform, we […]
Tip of the Iceberg: Why Beating the Common Core State Standards Might Be The Booby Prize for Progressive Education
The “plot” to take over public education predates both Bill Gates as a major player and the birth of the Common Core Standards. His presence and money, and organizations that are closely affiliated with him, his foundation, etc., in the development and political promulgation of this particular set of standards is hard to ignore. As […]
Rethinking “Rethinking Schools”: An Open Letter to Chester Finn
Mr. Finn– I noticed in your blog entry, Rethinking High School, you are concerned about issues in America’s (public?) high schools, including flat ACT and SAT scores and America’s no longer having “…the world’s highest graduation (and college going) rate.” You note that other countries (the examples you provide include Finland, South Korea, and Poland) […]
More Common Core in the Real World
I have already explored how the real-world consequences of Common Core are guaranteed to do far more harm than good; we have decades of how standards and testing fail even their most nuanced advocates’ claims. Sarah Carr (excellent journalist and author of Hope Against Hope) offers an often disturbing window into the good intensions of […]

OCT 15

Pleas for civility. Please! #edreform
Hither and thither on Twitter today, and perhaps from a post by Education Week, I’ve seen folks from the education deform camp plea for civility. That is, educators and parents and students are not affording folks like NY state education official John King enough respect. That we can indeed engage in civil debate. Civility? I […]
Aren’t All Children Equally Deserving?
Aren\’t All Children Equally Deserving?. via Aren’t All Children Equally Deserving?.
Teacher Education for schools as they are OR for schools as they should be? That is the question.
A mentor once told me that “our goal” in teacher education is not to prepare preservice teachers to teach in schools as they are but to prepare them “to teach in schools as they should be.” What does that actually mean?  If enacted how would teacher education look?  What would we do and/or not do? […]
Hess, Please Begin the Moratorium
I recently called for a moratorium on white men pontificating on race, class, and gender—prompted by a series of blogs by Michael Petrilli. So when I read Rick Hess’s “Teachers Deserve (But Have to Earn) Their Seat at the Table,” I immediately asked myself a few things: (1) Is this April 1?, (2) Has Hess finally become the […]

OCT 14

The Common Core Memorandum of Understanding: What a Story
The question of who, exactly, is truly responsible for writing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been a matter for debate. Here is how the CCSS website describes CCSS development: Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people […]
The Kinder Chronicles, Part Two #DCPS
I was somewhat recently a guest on the new Al Jazeera America show The Stream to discuss the common core. When hearing about my appearance, my grandfather asked, “Well, what did they introduce him as?” I think my grandfather, who’s been a dominant fixture in my life, comes from a time, a generation, maybe a […]
Our show with the inescapable Mercedes Schneider.
Here it is. VAM. Teacher preparation. CCR. Tagged: teacher preparation, vam
Some click bait on @huffingtonpost, insight into #TFA
I suppose many think TFA’ers are blindingly insufferable. Clicked some random piece on Huffington Post about the most insufferable people on Facebook, or perhaps the seven insufferable sins, something like that. I can’t remember where I put the link. But I did catch a screenshot of the most interesting part. So, as an example of […]

OCT 13

The Common Core Public License: Guess Who Wins?
On October 10, 2013, I published a post, The Fight to Save Common Core: Count Me Out, in which I briefly discuss the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) public license. In this post, I more closely examine the CCSS license in order to offer a more detailed account of both its contents and the implications of those […]
Solidarity to the Parents
This morning I sat in front of my computer determined – determined to answer every opt out question in my inbox – this is hard to accomplish because they just keep coming. But today I did it. At least until tomorrow morning or until I check my email again. I answered questions from distraught parents, […]
Sharing pears
Reblogged from Talking Math with Your Kids: I took the kids camping this weekend. Jay Cooke State Park is lovely. I recommend a visit if you have never been. We had the following conversation at the campsite on Saturday evening. Me: Griff, we have two pears and three people. What should we do about that? […]
Teaching Reading and Children: Reading Programs as “Costume Parties”
Teaching Reading and Children: Reading Programs as \”Costume Parties\”. via Teaching Reading and Children: Reading Programs as “Costume Parties”.

OCT 12

PresidentTruman’s Letter to Sen.Joseph McCarthy
PresidentTruman’s Letter to Sen.Joseph McCarthy.   HST did not fuck about or suffer fools gladly. We could use him or his like again.
Parents: Time to Dethrone King.
As Commissioner John B. King and the New York State PTA have “suspended” the last four of the five planned Common Core town halls across the Empire State parents have becoming more enraged, calling for King’s resignation or firing.  King’s actions and answers at two recent meetings concerning show he is clearly out of touch […]

OCT 11

Reformy NY Education Commish gets taken to the woodshed by parents.
From a PTA Town Hall in Poughkeepsie. This event is one of several that the New York State PTA is sponsoring to spread Common Core propaganda across the Empire State. The NYS PTA’s plan looks to be backfiring as parents see the Common Core as damaging their children’s education.  Families are seeing their children’s creativity, […]
Two Hours and Two Days: I Chat With Bill McCallum and Reflect
  Some followers of my writing may recall that one of my first contributions to @the Chalk Face in early September was a piece in response to a blog entry by Bill McCallum, one of the lead writers for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics, in which he was harshly critical of many of those […]