Wednesday, April 22, 2015

TBT Thursday 1984 - The Test



TBT Thursday 1984 - The Test 
BY N. P. Education




Can't Make it to the

NPE Conference In Chicago this Weekend?

You Can "Virtually" Be There!!!




I know not everyone can make it to Chicago this weekend -- but you can still be part of the action via the Livestream that will broadcast on as many as three channels. All the keynotes and many of the workshops will be available live, starting Saturday at 8:30 am central time at   www.schoolhouselive.org
 Please tweet with the hashtag ‪#‎NPEChicago‬ and help us trend #1 again like we did twice last year.

LIVE FROM CHICAGO, APRIL 25-26
CHECK OUT ALL THREE CHANNELS!


BustED Pencils: Education Activism's Punk Rockers | The Progressive

BustED Pencils: Education Activism's Punk Rockers | The Progressive:

BustED Pencils: Education Activism's Punk Rockers



Randy Hurley and Tim Slekar in their studio




 It was education and punk rock that brought Randy Hurley and Tim Slekar together, as college freshmen with a mutual love for Husker Du and The Sex Pistols. Thirty years later, they’re finding punk rock is a surprisingly great tool in the fight to save public education, and they’ve taken this fight on the air.

Slekar and Hurley stayed in touch via social media as their lives diverged after college. Hurley settled in Madison and went into radio production. Slekar became a teacher in his native Pennsylvania. But when Scott Walker attacked public employee unions in Wisconsin in 2011, sparking massive protests, they reconnected––over a Facebook argument.
“Randy would write things on Facebook about his kids having to stay home because of the damn teachers off protesting, and I would say, ‘Take it easy on the teachers, they’re trying to do what’s best for your kids,’” Slekar recalls. “We started a dialogue.”
Hurley invited Slekar to come on the radio to cover education and explain the teachers’ perspective.
As the public school activism movement grew, so did the duo’s momentum. Hurley flew Slekar to Madison to make a podcast demo, Slekar moved to Madison and took a job as Dean of Education at Edgewood College, and the rest is social studies.
“We wanted to come up with a great radio product and website,” Hurley recalls. But the work took a personal note for Hurley as his kids entered middle school. Things that Slekar had been saying about corporate education reform and overtesting began to hit home.
“The effect of the things he had talked about doesn’t kick in till almost third grade, so in those couple years when I started casually working with Tim I was still the radio person, helping him formulate what he wanted to do,” he recalls. “But as I became the parent asking, ‘What’s going on?’, I became more passionate about it.”
In this spirit, BustED Pencils, as the team named their project, was born as a website, radio show, and podcast focused on the war against public education, framing the concerns of two parents within a national-level perspective on education reform, standardized testing, and activism.
BustED Pencils features an activist of the week (past activists have included musician and music education advocate Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls and college-level special education advocate Barbara Hong) as well as trending news coverage and a weekly feature from Nancy Carlson-Paige––the mother of actor Matt Damon and a passionate education activist. (The feature is appropriately titled "What Would Matt Damon's Mom Say?")
Hurley’s favorite show so far? The interview with punk rocker-turned-teacher Martin Atkins, which ran in The Progressive’s special issue on saving public schools. “[Atkins] says education is the new punk rock,” says Hurley.
That philosophy reflects the BustED Pencils approach, he adds. “Our vision is to try to present the subject matter in a way that will get people interested. I’ll say, ‘Tim, you’re talking like a professor; as a dad I don’t understand that. I just have a nine year old and I want to know why the computer lab has been turned into a standardized testing facility for a month.’
“We make the show palatable for everybody, but it is kind of punk rock––who knew you’d have to be rebellious to fight for children to get a quality education in the public school system? Who knew you’d have to fight to keep Wall Street interests out of the schools?”
Asked his advice on how to get progressives to rally behind public education, Slekar explains that it’s been a hard sell due to misunderstandings about the achievement gap. “Progressives are kind of stuck on this question of, if you don’t have accountability, who’s going to focus on those kids that aren’t getting what they need? People say if we stop testing we’ll never know what kids we’re leaving behind,” he says.
“That assumes we didn’t know before. I knew which kids needed what without a test––I was a trained teacher doing my job.”
Hurley adds that as a dad, not an educator, he finds much of the current public education discussion too jargon-heavy. “A lot of the people talking about it are using in-group vocabulary. Educators, teachers union, school systems are talking to each other in their own language.”
The goal of BustED Pencils is to eliminate that culture gap. “Having the drummer from Nine Inch Nails or a fourth grader that can understand that a test isn’t good for her [on the show] takes the conversation out of
- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/04/188094/busted-pencils-education-activisms-punk-rockers#sthash.TbpDooil.dpuf

Big Education Ape: Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 4/22/15

Special Nite Cap - Catch Up on Today's Post 4/22/15


Special Nite Cap 

CORPORATE ED REFORM








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Can't Make it to the

NPE Conference In Chicago this Weekend?

You Can "Virtually" Be There!!!




I know not everyone can make it to Chicago this weekend -- but you can still be part of the action via the Livestream that will broadcast on as many as three channels. All the keynotes and many of the workshops will be available live, starting Saturday at 8:30 am central time at   www.schoolhouselive.org
 Please tweet with the hashtag ‪#‎NPEChicago‬ and help us trend #1 again like we did twice last year.

LIVE FROM CHICAGO, APRIL 25-26
CHECK OUT ALL THREE CHANNELS!



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