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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 Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach: A Handbook for Secondary School Teachers (LEA, 2003), Social Studies For Secondary Schools, 3nd Edition (Routledge, 2008), New York and Slavery, Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY, 2008), and Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011).

Entries by Alan Singer

Road Bumps, Drama and Noise: Officials Dismiss Complaints about Common Core

(5) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:29 PM

Memo to John King, New York State Commissioner of Education, and Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education:

Dismissing deeply felt parent and teacher upset with the Common Core Standards and the accompanying high-stakes regime that turn public schools into test prep academies as bumps on the "road...

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Big Profits in Not-for-Profit Charter Schools

(211) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 2:48 PM

On Sunday, March 23, 2014 in a speech at Riverside Church in Manhattan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, faced with declining public opinion poll numbers, made nice to charter school companies and their wealthy backers. He told congregants that his administration and the charter movement have...

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Racially Segregated Schools in America: The Bloomberg, Gates, Bush and Obama Legacies

(34) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 9:32 AM

The just released UCLA Civil Rights Project report on increasing racial segregation in American schools identified schools in New York City and State as the most racially segregated in the United States. The report highlights the numbers, but unfortunately the Civil Rights Project shies away from drawing the...

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Common Core, Capitalism and New York State's Social Studies Framework

(60) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 11:13 AM

On Monday, March 10, 2014, the New York State Board of Regents, the group that sets policy for New York State schools, met with members of an advisory panel that helped write a new Common Core-aligned outline of the social studies skills and information that students should learn in each...

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Common Core and the Holocaust

(89) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 4:48 PM

The reading list for the New York State Common Core English/Language Arts curriculum looks like someone took a handful of darts and threw them at a wall with boxes labeled with different grade levels. There are no discernible themes and at a first glance no patterns at all.

...
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Uncommon Core Heightens Race and Class Math Divide

(118) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 10:30 AM

The uproar over high-stakes testing associated with Common Core in New York State and complaints that children are being tested on things they were not taught, has obscured the deepening of racial, ethnic and class divisions in education in New York and the United States. Not only are...

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A New Deal for New York City

(29) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 7:22 PM

"I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people," Franklin D. Roosevelt announced while accepting the Democratic Party nomination for President in 1932. Less than a year later, after being elected President of the United States, Roosevelt launched the New Deal. With his...

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Only Aggressive Action Will Save the American Labor Movement

(47) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 11:06 AM

In a previous post I offer strong views on the need to reorganize and redirect the American Federation of Teachers and the National Educational Association if these unions are to survive as a meaningful force for and ally of public education. But teachers' unions are not the only...

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Pearson for Profit: You Do the Math

(13) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 8:37 AM

I received an email from a kindergarten teacher who wrote, "the Pearson-designed assessments for the enVisionMATH curriculum are confusing to children. Teachers have to reformat all of the graphics . . . I find it unconscionable that we pay Pearson to put out shoddy material which assumes too much symbolic...

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De Blasio v. Cuomo I: The Altercation in Albany

(4) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 3:54 PM

Muhammad Ali had a great knack for using rhyme to name battles between heavyweight titans. Ali-Foreman fought in Zaire (now the Congo), was the "Rumble in the Jungle." Ali-Frazier 3, fought in the Philippines was the "Thilla in Manila." We could use Ali's talents now to describe the battle brewing...

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Christie Changes His Story, Again

(33) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 8:46 AM

David Wildstein, an old high school buddy and political ally, was appointed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a senior official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Wildstein resigned after he was accused of ordering traffic blocked on an access road to the...

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Questions About Common Core -- NYS Education Officials Do Not Want to Hear About It

(25) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 8:28 AM

In December 2013, the New York Regents, the policy making body for education in the state, formed a sub-committee to evaluate implementation of the national Common Core Standards. Merryl Tisch the chair of the Board of Regents and John King, the state's educational commissioner, are both strong advocates...

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Teachers Evaluate Their Evaluations and Evaluators

(27) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 9:26 AM

By a unanimous vote, the governing board of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the umbrella organization of local unions that represents teachers in New York State, called on the state Board of Regents to remove the Education Commissioner. In a statement issued by NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi,...

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Beware! Pearson's Plan for Education Is Coming to a Country Near You

(12) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 11:48 AM

In the United States school districts are traditionally organized and funded locally. Parents, teachers, and school and district administrators usually only think about state and national issues when they feel pressed from above by state imposed budget cuts or federal demands for curriculum change and new assessments. Much of the...

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The Other Martin Luther King

(84) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 11:40 AM

Since 1986, the United States has celebrated the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King Day. King, who was assassinate in 1968, was born January 15, 1929. A federal law establishing the holiday was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. King is honored because of his...

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Goodbye Mayor Mike, Hello Bill and Carmen

(22) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 9:28 AM

Goodbye Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As you can probably guess from my very critical Huffington Posts during the past four years, I am not sorry to see you go.

Hello Bill de Blasio and Carmen Fariña. A lot of my friends in public education have high hopes for your tenure...

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Advice to the New Mayor: Ignore The New York Times

(4) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 9:44 AM

This is probably my last Huffington Post before the new year. I want to wish a Happy New Year to incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and congratulate him on taking office - although I am not sure how happy he will be once he settles into the...

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Pearson Caught Cheating, Says Sorry, But Will Pay

(19) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 4:53 PM

According to The New York Times, the New York State Attorney General has exposed the supposedly non-profit Pearson Foundation for what it really is, a partner with the for-profit wing of the global Pearson publishing mega-giant. The Pearson Foundation agreed to pay a penalty of...

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Hijacking the Mandela Legacy

(17) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 1:49 PM

In the mid-1980s, students in my Participation in Government class at Franklin K. Lane High School in New York City decided to become anti-Apartheid activists. They were motivated by the inherent injustice of the Apartheid regime in South Africa where Black Africans, 85% of the population, were governed by a...

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New York's Secret Educational Policy Makers

(31) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 11:22 AM

The Albany Times Union calls it a "shadow government" within the New York State Education Department. It is supported by $19 million in donations from wealthy individuals and foundations. The "Regents Research Fund" fellows are a private think tank embedded in the public education department that...

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