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Alan Singer
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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

Common Core Means No Child Left Untested

(3) 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

(13) 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

(58) 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

(13) 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

(28) 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

(55) 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

(10) 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

(13) 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 Change.org: 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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Why Teens Become Terrorists and What Schools Can Do

(20) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 10:47 AM

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was nineteen years old when he and his older brother set off the bombs killing three people and injuring over 250 at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Tsarnaev was born in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan in a...

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In Gentrified Brooklyn, Where Will Ordinary People Live?

(17) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 12:56 PM

Gentrification may bring Starbucks to a formerly underserved community, but it also brings devastation for people who are displaced when rents skyrocket and they can no longer afford to live in old neighborhoods. There are now ten Starbucks in Brooklyn and counting.

Sometimes gentrification comes with new luxury housing construction....

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Pearson and Testing Buddies Try to Shut the Barn Door (But the Info Is Already Out)

(20) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 9:12 AM

In response to one of my recent posts on Common Core and high-stakes assessments, I received an email asking, "Why are Pearson tests so bad?"

The short answer to this question is actually provided by the now defunct Pearson Foundation on their "Five Things I've Learned" website. Pearson Foundation...

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Let's Rank Everybody

(30) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 7:55 AM

Because of the miracle of data collection and computer algorithms (don't ask me what an algorithm is but your computer knows) we can now track everyone's performance and take appropriate action to get rid of incompetence. Politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Arne Duncan are very excited about doing this for...

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Arne and Barack Target Schools of Education

(22) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 1:02 PM

Congress is Republican. ISIS is on the march. Common Core and high-stakes testing are under attack. The Affordable Health Care Act may be torpedoed by the Supreme Court. Arne Duncan and Barack Obama evidently need a softer opponent to pad their legacy. The hapless Knicks were probably not available for...

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Cuomo's War Against Teachers Is an Attack on Women

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

"He [Cuomo] has declared war on the public schools." - Karen Magee, President of New York State United Teachers

On most issues New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo just can't seem to remember the position he took the previous week. In 2013 he thought $8.75 an...

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What Happened in Selma?

(69) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 12:22 PM

This is not a movie review, although I do discuss the movie Selma. It is also not just a discussion of history. When I ask, "What happened in Selma?," I am really asking what has happened since the events portrayed in the movie and what happened to the...

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Andrew Cuomo Has the "Chutzpah" to Blame Teachers and a Veteran Teacher Responds

(50) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 3:54 PM

There are probably words to describe shameless audacity in many languages. In Yiddish, the language of Eastern European Jews, we call it "chutzpah." Somehow, when they invented this word, they must have been looking to the future and thinking about New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. The man...

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