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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

Another Pearson Test Fiasco in the Making

(3) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 7:26 AM

New York State and Pearson are on the verge of another testing fiasco. I expect lawsuits to fly as testing rules on edTPA portfolios for teacher certification are changed ex post facto, or after the fact.

The New York State teacher certification exam, known as

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Mess in Montclair, Attacks Get Personal, and 'Reformers' Place Kids Last

(11) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 10:11 AM

The battle over education in Montclair, New Jersey took a very nasty turn as self-proclaimed school "reform" advocates launched personal attacks on their opponents. The ad hominem attacks on their opponents, including Professor Michelle Fine of the City University of New York, are not part of any discussion of issues...

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Pearson Takes Big Hit in Continuing War Over Common Core

(14) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 7:52 AM

Last week Pearson lost its 40 to 50 million dollar contract to provide 3rd through 8th grade Common Core aligned high-stakes tests in New York State. A headline and article in Newsday, a major daily published on Long Island in New York, described the decision to drop...

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International Movement to STOP the Pearson Octopus

(11) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 3:10 AM

I am posting from Madrid, Spain where I am presenting a paper, Hacking Away at the Pearson Octopus, at the International Conference on Learning. The movement to stop the Pearson octopus' stranglehold on education is global.

In April, protesters from teacher unions and global justice groups stormed...

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Recovering New York City's Black History

(2) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 9:13 AM

On Saturday, June 27, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dedicated a marker on Wall and Water Streets near the site of an 18th century slave market. It was established by the city's Common Council and operated from 1711 until at least 1762. Speakers included Chirlane...

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President Obama Leads the Nation in "Amazing Grace"

(2) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 9:41 AM

President Barack Obama concluded a powerful eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney in Charleston, South Carolina by leading congregants in the song Amazing Grace. Reverend Pinckney was one of nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church murdered in a racist assault on Wednesday June 17.

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Treating Kids Like Hamburgers, Pearson Exec 'Fesses' Up

(12) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 10:27 AM

You can't make this stuff up. On June 23, 2015 the New York Times reported on Pearson mass Common Core grading centers where a college degree but no special knowledge is required to grade tests and temporary employees make between $12 and $14 an hour plus small bonuses...

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What's Happening to America's Black Working Class?

(10) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 10:55 AM

The killings in Charleston, South Carolina has produced a lot of talk about healing and forgiveness, some important discussion of racism in the United States, and not enough attention to gun control. But there has been virtually no examination of the structural...

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Teacher Certification SNAFU: Judge Rules NYS Exams are Racially Biased

(5) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 10:05 AM

SNAFU: An acronym dating from World War II. Situation Normal, All F*cked Up.

I have been a teacher and teacher educator for over forty years. One of the things I learned is that some people should not be teachers. They may lack empathy for young people, be impatient,...

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Why Andy Cuomo Attacks the "Wall of Separation"

(8) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 10:21 AM

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association where he argued that the "act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" had established a...

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Racism in America: What Will Be Your Deal?

(8) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 6:14 AM

In December I participated in a forum at Uniondale High School in Uniondale, New York on "Policing in America: Should Uniondale Care about Ferguson?" It was organized by social studies teacher Adeola Tella-Williams and students in her Participation in Government class. The student population at Uniondale...

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An Imagined Interview With the New New York State Education Commissioner

(7) 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

(9) 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

(11) 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

(13) 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

(13) 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

(11) 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

(10) 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

(23) 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

(17) 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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