Standardized Testing

Tying Kids’ Lunch Money to Test Scores? It’s No Crueler Than High Stakes Testing – Education Article

  Most people agree that the best way to get kids to read isn’t by threatening to take away their lunch.  But this proposal from an Arkansas state Representative is really no crueler than our nationwide federal policy of test and punish.   Rep. Alan Clark, a West Memphis Republican, proposed a bill that would cut lunch funding for impoverished children in state schools where students struggle with standardized reading tests.   If passed, the bill would reduce a district’s…

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Rahm Emanuel’s Non-Apology Apology for Being a School Privatization Cheerleader – Education Article

    Rahm Emanuel’s recent op-ed in The Atlantic may be one of the dumbest things I have ever read.   The title “I Used to Preach the Gospel of Education Reform. Then I Became the Mayor” seems to imply Emanuel has finally seen the light.   The outgoing Chicago Mayor USED TO subscribe to the radical right view that public schools should be privatized, student success should be defined almost entirely by standardized testing, teachers should be stripped of…

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The Trouble with Test-Obsessed Principals – Education Article

    When I was a child, I couldn’t spell the word “principal.”   I kept getting confused with its homonym “principle.”   I remember Mr. Vay, the friendly head of our middle school, set me straight. He said, “You want to end the word with P-A-L because I’m not just your principal, I’m your pal!”   And somehow that corny little mnemonic device did the trick.   Today’s principals have come a long way since Mr. Vay.   Many…

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Ten of 15 Cyber Charter Schools in PA Are Operating Without a Charter – Close Them All – Education Article

    Cyber charter schools are an experiment that failed.     It’s time to pull the plug and recoup our losses.     First, let’s get straight exactly what we’re talking about here.     Like all charter schools, these are contracted institutions. In fact, that’s what charter means – they’re independent businesses that sign a deal with the state to teach kids.     So they’re publicly financed but privately run. And in the case of cyber charters,…

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Teaching Through Lockdown | gadflyonthewallblog – Education Article

    “Excuse the interruption. We are under a lockdown.”   That was it.   Not an explanation of what caused it.   Not any idea of how much danger we were in.   Not any idea of how long it would last.   Just a vague warning that teachers knew meant to keep all their students in class until further notice.   As an educator, you’re expected to teach.   It doesn’t matter what’s happening around you. There can…

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As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally – Education Article

  What a slap in the face!     In California, 30,000 Los Angeles teachers are on strike because charter schools are gobbling up their funding without providing the same level of quality services or accountability.     Meanwhile in New Orleans, Sen. Cory Booker is giving the keynote address at a charter school rally.     That wouldn’t be surprising if Booker was a Republican.     Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a big time champion of…

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Billionaire Heiress Lashes Out at Unions Because Her Fortune Didn’t Buy Election – Education Article

  Betsy DeVos is furious!   She and her family spent boatloads of money this election cycle and few of their candidates won.   Instead, lawmakers were largely selected by these things called… ew… voters.   She was so enraged that she used her platform as Secretary of Education – another prudent purchase by her family – to lash out at teachers unions for – get this – having too much influence!!!!!   She told Fox Business Network:   “The…

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There Are Few Things As Reprehensible as a Scab – Education Article

  There is a special place in Hell for strikebreakers.   Some people kill. Some steal.   But only a filthy, disgusting scab can do all of that in one.   When you take someone else’s job, you’re stealing their bargaining power and killing the community’s chances for their kids.   This week as 30,000 teachers at Los Angeles Unified School District walked out demanding support for their students and their professions, a few slimy worms have crossed the picket…

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Charter School Lobby Silent as Charter Teachers Continue Strike – Education Article

  Charter school teachers in Chicago are in their fourth day of a strike.   Yet I wonder why the leaders of the charter movement are quiet.   Where is Peter Cunningham of the Education Post?   Where is Shaver Jeffries of Democrats for Education Reform?   Not a word from Campbell Brown or Michelle Rhee?   Nothing from Bill Gates, Cory Booker, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?   Not a peep from Betsy DeVos or Donald Trump?   This…

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What Happened to 2018 As The Year of the Teacher? – Education Article

  This year teachers took their mission way beyond the classroom.   Starting in West Virginia, we staged half-a-dozen walkouts in red states across the country demanding a better investment in children’s educations and often getting it.   Then we took that momentum and stormed our state capitals and Washington, DC, with thousands of grassroots campaigns that translated into seats in government.   It was so effective and unprecedented that the story began circulating that 2018 would be known as…

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LA Teachers Strike is About Charter Schools and High Stakes Testing – Education Article

  On Monday more than 30,000 teachers at 900 schools in Los Angeles, California, will be on strike.   And unlike the wave of teachers strikes last year in red states like West Virginia, this time educators are taking to the streets due to the policies of Democrats.   At issue are things like lowering class sizes and providing more nurses, librarians and counselors.   But behind these issues lies one of the most important facts about our country.   When you…

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Yellow Vest Protests Include Resistance to School Corporatization – Education Article

  If you want to know what the French Yellow Vest Protests are all about, just refer to the arrest of 153 teenage students this month near Paris.     The kids at a high school in Mantes-La-Jolie were forced to kneel down, hands on their heads or secured behind their backs with zip ties as riot police circled them with assault weapons.     Why did law enforcement take such extreme measures? The students had been protesting their government’s…

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A Gadfly’s Dozen: Top 13 Education Articles of 2018 (By Me) – Education Article

    I’m not going to mince words.   This year, 2018, has been a monster.   We’ve been fighting the dumbest and most corrupt President of our lives – Donald Trump. And we’ve been making progress.   Thanks to the midterm election blue wave in the U.S. House, Trump will finally have a check on his power.   We have more black and brown representatives, more women, more nationalities, ethnicities and faiths in the halls of power than ever…

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How Many Decisions Do Teachers Make Every Day? – Education Article

  Teaching is an exhausting job.   If you’re a parent, you know how tiring it is with just one or two kids.   Imagine having a room full of them — Twenty to thirty children, each demanding your attention, each requiring your urgent help – every minute, every day, for hours at a time.     Back in the late 1980s, before education became totally absorbed by standardized testing and school privatization, we used to wonder about the effects…

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