Saturday, May 3, 2014

All Week 5-3-14 @ THE CHALK FACE


Oh the games teachers are forced to play for evaluation
Just a little insight on teacher evaluation. Many of the new teacher evaluation schemes are just that, schemes, scams, and games. I have to learn to play this. I have to learn to mislead, dissemble, and lie. That’s a skill that takes time. I’ve never been good at it. Never. Modern teacher evaluations are largely […]
The Ranking of My Book: Thank you!
I want to thank all who have purchased my newly-released book, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education. On April 27, 2014, my book became available on on That was a Sunday night. As soon as I found out, I posted this announcement. The next day, I found out through a […]

Join us this Sunday at 6PM with NJ journo Bob Braun of @BobBraunsLedger
Join us this Sunday at 6PM with NJ journo Bob Braun of @BobBraunsLedger Listen to At the Chalk Face this Sunday at 6PM EST. Join the conversation with Bob Braun, and Tim and Shaun of course, by calling (805) 727-7111.
Edweek blogger heads to guess where? College Board.
Education Weak and corporate reform journalist  mouthpiece Michele McNeil is leaving Politics K-12: Starting in mid-May, I’ll be the director of assessment and accountability policy at the College Board   Seriously. A non-educator as director of assessment policy? Who’s in charge of hiring, anyway?  

Incompetent Pearson “Wins” PARCC Contract. Big Surprise.
In his six-minute videoed speech on the necessity of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), billionaire Bill Gates patiently explains that it is not enough for individual states to implement their own standards because “scale is good for free market competition.” Here is the reality of “free market competition” in this time of unprecedented education profiteering: A […]
Randi W. Blows An Easy One (For A Change)
RANDI WEINGARTEN, LOOKING . . . CONFUSED.   I love unions, but I have a hard time fathoming the leadership of contemporary American teachers’ unions. With so many glaring idiocies afloat from the world of education deform (aka GERM - as Pasi Sahlberg calls it), you’d think it would be impossible not to find incisive things […]
Welcome to SC: A Heaping Stumbling-Bumbling Mess of Ineptitude
Welcome to SC: A Heaping Stumbling-Bumbling Mess of Ineptitude. via Welcome to SC: A Heaping Stumbling-Bumbling Mess of Ineptitude.Filed under: PAUL THOMAS: Becoming Radical

MAY 01

The 2008 Common Core Sales Job: Part One
In 2008, the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc., released a report, Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-class Education. The Gates and GE foundations funded the report. The content of this report begs for careful examination. Thus, I plan to examine it closely in […]
Revisiting James Baldwin’s “Black English”
Revisiting James Baldwin’s “Black English”. via Revisiting James Baldwin’s “Black English”.Filed under: PAUL THOMAS: Becoming Radical
Discussing Research Methodology with the Gates Foundation
Rick Hess, in “A Small Request for My Friends at Gates,” was kind enough to urge the Gates Foundation to consider three of my research proposals. Rick Cantrell, the Senior Program Officer for Research and Data, responded to Rick’s post. Dr. Cantrell and I talked for nearly 1-1/2 hours. I would again like to thank […]

APR 30

What if the standardized tests were wrong? (A thought experiment)
Prologue: What if, following the end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation, formerly enslaved black and brown people created an amazing resurgence of economic, educational and political successes? (They did). Would the elite in power squelch that budding success with New Jim Crow laws? And, what if to counter the gross systemic and violent inequities created […]
More on Two Americas
More on Two Americas. via More on Two Americas.Filed under: PAUL THOMAS: Becoming Radical

APR 29

So, @theNation questions the “whiteness” of the Left, and…
… and brings up the recent Network for Public Education conference in Austin, TX, many of whom in attendance I know and I consider friends. The lede: At a panel titled “Grassroots Organizing” at the Network for Public Education conference in Austin in March, an audience member asked the all-white panel for its definition of […]
The Table of Contents to My Book
On April 27, 2014, I announced publication of my book, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education. I realize that the listing of my book currently lacks the interactive component allowing shoppers the opportunity to “look inside” the book. So, I have decided to offer some “peeks.” In my post entitled, Bush […]
NYSED, @EngageNY, and the Module Money Pit.
As part of its rushed implementation of the Common Core, the New York State Education department contracted with three entities to create scripted module lessons for schools across the Empire State at a cost of $12.9 million.  Some schools trusted their educators to create their own lessons that would best suit their classrooms.  Other schools, possibly out of […]
Where Is Outrage for Systemic Racism?
Where Is Outrage for Systemic Racism?. via Where Is Outrage for Systemic Racism?.Filed under: PAUL THOMAS: Becoming Radical
Joanne Barkan’s Three Types of Criticism of Edu-Philanthropy
Diane Ravitch recently praised Joanne Barkan’s “How to Criticize ‘Big Philanthropy’ Effectively.” Barkan’s excellent analysis was first presented at the March 2014 Network for Public Education (NEP) Conference in Austin, Texas. It is now published in Dissent Magazine. Barkan began with the oft-repeated question, “You’re going after Bill Gates?” She frequently hears the argument, “Leave […]

APR 28

Bush and Rhee Endorse a Book– Fortunately, Not Mine
As I announced on April 27, 2014, my book on key individuals and organizations exploiting public education is now published: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education. Harvard professor and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute Paul Peterson and two others also have a book coming out; it entitled, Teachers versus the […]
Humanities and LSAT reflect Critical Thinking versus Core Knowledge debate
“In short, the real literacy crisis occurs whenever we deploy a pedagogy that asks our students only to consume texts and not to produce them as well.” — Richard E. Miller The ABA Journal recently posted a piece entitled “Students with these college majors had the highest LSAT scores” that discusses the findings of Pepperdine University […]

APR 27

My Book Is Published!
To all who have been asking and waiting: I am pleased to report that my book, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education, is now available on! At the moment, has the paperback version, listed at $23.35. I hear that the Amazon e-book takes about 30 days until it is […]
Acknowledgement of the optout movement from @John_Merrow
This from John Merrow at Learning Matters. The opt-out movement may become a force to be reckoned with, if and when it organizes effectively. What has to happen, it seems to me, is that the movement must also be FOR something. I suggest a straight trade: two weeks of project-based learning for every day of testing […]
On the value of teacher preparation, from a former teacher educator
Allow me to make some very direct assertions at the outset. The President plans to roll out this summer new criteria for evaluating teacher preparation programs, all with which I thoroughly disagree. No other major course of study at the university must put up with such scrutiny. The National Council of Teacher Quality, as indicated in […]

APR 26

Video: Bill Gates “Explains” Common Core
In the following six-minute video at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in March 2014, Bill Gates demonstrates his privileged view of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Gates has contributed over $4.3 million to AEI, with over $1 million in 2012 for “exploring the challenges of Common Core,” among other issues, so it is only fitting that AEI should […]
California LOVES Common Core!
I’ve heard the title of this article proclaimed no fewer than five times in the past two weeks.  I hear it in response to those questions I ask about the validity, efficacy, and usefulness of the Common Core State Standards.  “Where’s the evidence?” I ask. You want evidence? CALIFORNIA LOVES COMMON CORE! There’s your evidence! […]