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Alan Singer
Alan Singer is a social studies educator in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies). He taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. He is the author of Education Flashpoints: Fighting for America's Schools (Routledge, 2014) which is based on his award winning Huffington Post blogs, Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach: A Handbook for Secondary School Teachers (Routledge, 2013), Social Studies For Secondary Schools, 3rd Edition (Routledge, 2008), New York and Slavery, Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY, 2008), and Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011). All opinions expressed in these blogs are my own.

Entries by Alan Singer

An Imagined Interview With the New New York State Education Commissioner

(2) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 9:10 AM

The New York State Board of Regents, the governing body for the state's schools, voted unanimously to appoint MaryEllen Elia as state education commissioner. This has to be an imagined interview. There were no open meetings with candidates where they were required to lay out their...

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The Fallacy Behind High-Stakes Testing

(5) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 12:06 PM

In earlier posts I highlighted John Oliver's brilliant HBO broadcast poking holes in arguments for high-stakes standardized testing and focused on twisted efforts my the New York State Board of Regents and Governor Andrew Cuomo to justify high-stakes standardized tests that appear to have...
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New Challenges to Pearson Teacher Certification Exams

(10) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 9:08 AM

The New York State Board of Regents, the governing body for schools in the state, met Monday May 18 to discuss proposed changes in teacher evaluations and teacher certification requirements. United University Professions (UUP) and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), which represent teacher educators in the State...

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Jewish Soldiers Battled Nazi Germany, Another Way to Teach about the European Holocaust

(12) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 9:09 AM

As a young Jewish boy in the Bronx during the 1950s I grew up in the shadow of the European Holocaust. The extermination of six million Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II was in the background but not discussed. It was never mentioned at home,...

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"Funky Monkey" and Pearson Fail the Test

(11) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 12:16 PM

John Oliver nailed Pearson on his HBO Last Week Tonight show on Standardized Testing. If you have not seen it yet, clink the link and watch it. I laughed a lot but can't really say I enjoyed the show; it was too disturbing. It won't be funny until...

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On Same-Sex Marriage, Supreme Court Needs to Go Back to High School

(9) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 8:25 AM

In recent hearings on efforts by state governments to ban same-sex marriages, Supreme Court justices peppered representatives of both sides with questions. Questioning is generally a good thing, but in this case many of the questions had little to do with the law or the United States Constitution, issues the...

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Prison-to-Prison Pipeline Keeps Black Men and Their Families Behind Bars

(9) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 8:44 AM

The New York Times has finally noticed. Something is seriously wrong with American society. Black men are missing. They are dying young. They are going to jail. According to a Times report, in New York City alone, "almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54...

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High School Student Vigilance Committees

(22) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 3:21 PM

On Friday March 27, high school students from a number of schools gathered outside the John Jay Educational Complex in Brooklyn, New York. They were protesting because the day before a student at the Park Slope Collegiate school was handcuffed twice and nearly arrested because school safety officers...

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Common Core Means No Child Left Untested

(16) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 2:33 PM

After the first day of New York State's high-stakes Common Core aligned standardized testing, Newsday reported, "Thousands of Long Island elementary and middle school students -- in record numbers in some districts -- refused to take the state's English Language Arts exam." According to the Rochester Democrat and...

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Seven More Reasons to Opt-Out of High-Stakes Testing

(21) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 1:20 PM

In case you need more reasons to oppose high-stakes Common Core tests, here are seven more reasons to opt-out.

1. The opt-out campaign may have already won! A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support if passed into law will radically revise No Child Left...

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Join the Obamas and "Opt-Out" of High-Stakes Testing

(73) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 4:29 PM

It was easy for Barack and Michelle Obama to opt-out. They send Sasha and Malia to the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC where tuition is about $35,000 a year and students do not take high-stakes Common Core aligned tests. Michelle and Barack chose this school because...

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Teaching About Policing and Race in America

(19) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 9:11 AM

Oceanside High School is located in a suburban, overwhelming White and middle class community on Long Island in New York. The school sponsors an annual Human Relations Day that brings in speakers and sponsor panels on a range of topics including HIV/AIDS awareness, drunk driving, military families, fire...

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People Are Pissed at Pearson

(38) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 3:54 PM

Sir Michael Barber, Pearson's chief educational officer, actually became a British knight in 2005 for his role in leading marketplace "educational reform" in Great Britain. I suspect if he were good in math they would have made him a count. Barber apparently can't decide whether Pearson is leading...

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Teaching History the Pearson Way

(61) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 10:17 AM

I reviewed a copy of the teacher guide to Pearson My World Social Studies: The Growth of Our Country at the New York State Council for the Social Studies annual conference. Curiously (a word I will use throughout this post) the hard-copy teacher guide does not identify a grade level,...

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P 154 Brooklyn Students, Parents and Teachers Join Citywide Opposition to Common Core Testing

(10) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 1:24 PM

On Thursday March 12, my grandchildren Sadia and Gideon and I rushed to their school early. We joined hands with over two hundred parents, teachers, and kids at P 154 in Windsor-Terrace Brooklyn to protest against Governor Andrew Cuomo's push for high stakes testing and assessing teachers based...

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"(Ya Got) Trouble" at Pearson

(11) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 10:33 AM

Inexcusable Irresponsibility - On Tuesday, March 2, 2015, the following memo was posted on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations website by Pearson Education:

"Important Announcement about Score Reporting for Redeveloped NYSTCE Content Specialty Tests: Reporting of scores for the redeveloped Content Specialty Tests (CSTs) listed...

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New York Parents and Teachers Challenge Cuomo's Mis-Education Plan

(14) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 9:52 AM

New York Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) and New York City Public School Parents are organizing statewide to protest against attacks by Governor Andrew Cuomo on teachers and public schools. Cuomo is threatening to block a badly needed increase in state aid to public schools unless the State...

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Cuomo and New York State Continue to Fail Minority Youth

(22) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 8:12 AM

Politicians whine. Politicians bluster. Politicians blame. New York State Governor Andy Cuomo does it with the worst of them, especially when it comes to education. It is easy to blame teachers; but it is much harder to take responsibility for your own failures and the failure of state...

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NJ Parents and Teachers Say "NO!" to PARCC Common Core Tests

(18) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 1:51 PM

New Jersey parents and teachers are up in arms in a campaign against new state Pearson designed PARCC exams supposedly aligned with the national Common Core standards. NJ Kids and Families, a coalition that includes NJEA, the New Jersey Education Association, is sponsoring a...

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Students Tell Mayor de Blasio, Turn Off the Metal Detectors!

(52) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 1:25 PM

Petition on Put an end to metal detectors in public schools

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

You ordered the police to stop "stop and frisk". Now we want you to end the use of metal detectors to scan students entering public schools.

The majority of students in...

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