Saturday, March 18, 2017




The Lost Years
After years of hearing how kindergarten has been turned into the new first grade, you'd think at the other end of the K-12 pipeline we would find highly advanced students. And yet-- not so much. I am not going to report a ton of research on this, because the available research is bogus and part of the actual test-centric problem. What I can tell you is what I, as an actual real live classroom teac


Food Is Overrated
Well, we've all seen it by now: Mulvaney on after-school programs: They're supposed to help kids get fed so they do better in school, but no evidence they're helping. — BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 16, 2017 There is no evidence that food helps raise test scores. One more snowflake wants to eat. Mind you, this is from the administration that wants us to believe tha

MAR 16

The Basic Unit of Writing
If you are of a Certain Age, this how you were taught writing-- 1) Learn the parts of speech, sentence parts, and the rest of grammar. 2) Learn how to construct a sentence. 3) Learn how to write several sentences to make a paragraph. 4) Learn how to write several paragraphs to make an essay. That's how we were taught to write. Mind you, it is not how anybody actually learned to write-- okay, I can

MAR 15

Littles-- More Than a Score (A Film You Should See)
Of all the issues swirling around education, this is the one that keeps me up nights. What about the littles? There are plenty of terrible things happening in the world of education, but nothing is more heartbreaking than the transformation of kindergarten into first grade, the sudden "need" for four year olds to start learning letters and numbers and colors because now these children "need" to ge

MAR 14

Alternative Pathways
You will not find me among the staunch defenders of traditional teacher education programs. I'm not the product of one myself ( you can read more about that here ), but I have sent many students into such programs, as well as hosting a bevy of student teachers from such places. There can be no doubt-- some teacher preparation programs should be completely overhauled. Slavish attention to unimporta

MAR 13

MI: A Blueprint for Education?
First announced in Governor Rick Snyder's January 2016 State of the State address, the 21st Century Commission has been working diligently at an educational blueprint for Michigan. The final report on charting the edu-journey for Betsy Devos's home state is a hefty 146 pages. I've read it so that you don't have to. Buckle up, boys and girls. Who Created This Thing? The commission was headed up by

MAR 12

FL: Court Rules in Favor of Stupid
Florida, land of more stupid education rules than you can shake a dead alligator at, embarked on a new level of stupid last year when it fought to keep some third graders from moving on to fourth grade. As you may recall, Florida is one of the states with a third grader retention law, declaring that third graders cannot move on unless they pass the Big Standardized Test for reading. This is a dumb
Frontline: Your Large Brotherly Data Service
I recently covered the launching of The Line , a new website helmed by Disgraced LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and dedicated to the proposition that Chiefs for Change should have an avenue to keep pumping out warmed-over education reform baloney. As soon as I started digging, I realized I already knew about Frontline, the company behind the website. That familiar logo had started popping up on o
ICYMI: Endless Winter Edition (3/12)
As always, I encourage you to share and boost the signal of anything you read here. It's Testing Season. Ethics, Anyone? Sarah Lahm highlights just two of the jaw-dropping abuses done in the name of the Big Standardized Test this year (so far). Out There Annie Tan with a short, simple, powerful meditation on putting yourself out there. Dismantling Public Education: Turning Ideology into Gold Alex

MAR 11

Can You Afford To Become a Teacher?
For the past few years, there's been regular conversation about the sad discovery that many professions are only accessible to the wealthy. If you want to enter the world of Hollywood, Wall Street or many writing gigs, the path is through an unpaid internship which is, you know, unpaid. Other areas may 

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