Saturday, April 12, 2014

All Week 4-12-14 @ THE CHALK FACE


Funny anecdote on the edTPA
I see a few folks here and there starting to talk more about the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), or the Pearson product that will now be used to score and certify student teachers. I scored some of these things. Painfully mediocre stuff. Here’s a quick note about my experience that I shared with some others […]
Blowback question of the day: Are teachers also ceding control of their profession to parents?
I may get blowback for this one, so here goes: is the relative apathy of teachers, and the myopic ignorance of the larger political realities affecting education, forcing them to cede control of the activist narrative to parents? I am part of many activist groups, passively and otherwise. Many of these groups are led by […]

Exiting the Common Core Memorandum of Understanding
In October 2013, I wrote a post examining the details of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) memorandum of understanding (MOU), the agreement that state governors and state education superintendents signed with the US Department of Education (USDOE) in which “states” agreed to be “state led” in developing “common standards” according to the criteria set forth in […]

Interesting thought: Are the corporate reformers lamenting Colbert’s move to the Late Show?
From that Russo guy: For years now, Colbert has been riffing off of education issues, bringing education-related guests on the show, and generally making us all feel like we’re involved in something interesting and important. Fewer “heavy-hitting” and “wonkish” interviews with corporate education reform dilettantes, and intellectual geniuses, like Michelle Rhee and Wendy Kopp, in […]

I am conflicted over teacher resignation letters
The latest from a CO high school teacher, Pauline Hawkins, that has achieved “viral” status. Is this heroic? I think that’s a complicated question. It certainly adds some drama to the destructive potential of corporate education reform. That is, veteran educators are willing to sacrifice their chosen professions in the face of being compelled to […]

Georgia Moms Stand Firm Against Testing
Guest post by Meg Norris It was my fourth or fifth speech about Common Core and why I had left my teaching position to fight against it. By the time I was finished, I noticed a beautiful, young couple in the second row. He looked okay, but she looked like I had just punched her […]

APR 10

In Defense of Poetry: “Oh My Heart”
In Defense of Poetry: “Oh My Heart”. via In Defense of Poetry: “Oh My Heart”.Filed under: PAUL THOMAS: Becoming Radical

APR 09

The Three La. Common Core Development “Teachers” Work for LDOE
This is the story of two press releases and three Louisiana “mystery” teachers involved in “developing” CCSS. The first is the July 2009 National Governors Association (NGA) press release for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics work groups– the “inner circle” that is the only group identified as “developing” CCSS based […]
@NPR @WHYY does #optout story. Cuts United Opt Out’s voice of truth, ME!
On Monday morning when I got to my desk I noticed that the voice mail light was blinking on my phone.  I picked up the receiver and went through the steps to retrieve my messages.  There was only one and it was a producer from NPR the WHYY affiliate (Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware) inquiring about my […]
Jeb Bush’s Fact-Challenged Visit to Oklahoma City’s KIPP Charter School
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush joined Republican Governor Mary Fallin at Oklahoma City’s KIPP Academy. They chanted the same old magical incantations and repeated the standard slander about teachers in schools serving every child who comes into their building. Given the way that Bush and Fallin are caught in the Common Core bind, it was […]
Behind the CCSS Corporate Curtain: Gates, TURN, and the AFT Innovation Fund
I know it doesn’t seem healthy to continue to speak of the roles that national teacher union groups are playing in our current corporate education reform takeover, but this is kind of important, for three big reasons: (1) Most teachers have never heard of what I’ll be writing about here, because it’s not advertised. (2) The organizers who are a […]
K12NN: American Statistical Association has just released a very important document on Value Added Methodologies
First published April 9, 2014 on K-12 News Network “The President of the United States and his Secretary of Education are violating one of the most fundamental principles concerning test use: Tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were developed. If they are to be used for some other purpose, then […]

APR 08

Arne Duncan Plays the Common Core Distancing Game
On April 2, 2014, Louisiana has witnessed the lame demonstration of “Common Core distancing” from the governor (Bobby Jindal) who signed the state onto “the standards” (CCSS) in 2009– before they were written. In 2010, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan accepted Louisiana’s CCSS MOU (memorandum of understanding) despite the majority of Louisiana school districts rejecting the idea. Like Jindal,
Video: Which Louisiana Teachers Wrote Common Core?
When I debated Stephanie Deselle of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) in November 2013, she mentioned “three Louisiana teachers” who were involved in writing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Never mind that “three” is an embarrassingly low number. Deselle provided no names. During April 2014 testimony on the writing of CCSS and […]
If Economists Studied Education Research, Would They Still Promote Value-Added Evaluations?
  Vergara versus California seeks to strike down the due process rights of that state’s teachers. The case is based on the opinions of the plaintiffs that legal protections for teachers damage the civil rights of poor children of color. The evidence for this extraordinary argument is largely based on the opinions of a few […]

APR 07

New York’s Secret Test
Guest post from Bianca Tanis, New York State Parent and Educator.   In recent days the 2014 New York ELA tests have been the subject of  much attention. It did not come as a surprise to most educators that the tests were more difficult than last year. After all, NYSED had informed teachers that this year, even 3rd […]

APR 06

Sol Stern Thinks Common Core Is About “Rich Curriculum”
If one is going to entitle a post, A Sorry Attack on the Common Core, which is what Sol Stern did on March 2, 2014, one should really be certain that one’s logic is flawless. Otherwise, someone might come along and write a post that rips through those weaknesses in logic and, well, show just how “sorry” a rebuttal […]

APR 05

Teachers. Remember #optout is for you.
Now that the opt out season is in full swing and the Testing Resistance has spread across the country, we should take a minute to reflect and remember the purpose of opt out. Despite what the “chancellor” Rhee has to say, opt out is the only movement that can save the idea of public education […]
Fordham’s Mike Petrilli: Selling Common Core in States with Better Standards
  This post is about the for-profit “reform”-promoting think tank, the Fordham Institute. The Fordham Institute likes to grade. Mind you, Fordham doesn’t bother to grade itself. But it does promote the grading of teacher training programs via an entity it birthed in 2001, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), and it also promotes the grading of teachers […]
Remember the musicians who changed their tune
As organizations jumble and revise their official positions, remember those who tried to stifle you in the past. Forgive, cooperate, but never forget those who told you that, for instance, opting out was a great and radical evil. Remember those who called you crazy, passionate with no sense, and tried to tease you into submission, […]
Use caution with those attempting to write books on the backs of your labors @testingtalk @Skrashen
I viewed a passing mention of some new phenomenon called “Testing Talk,” which is a website devoted to soliciting feedback on the slate of Common Core tests being implemented nationwide. I have one very simple question: who is sponsoring this? Another simple question: why the lack of overall diversity on the “committee.” And, what does […]
What an anti-test activist can do in a school during testing
For me, nothing, just stand aside. That’s all I can do, unless I’m prepared to jeopardize my employment and, selfishly, the employment of others in my school. I’m a Kindergarten teacher, so thankfully we are insulated from most of testing’s ill effects. But I can report on how the administration of testing during the specific […]