Since the beginning of bubble-in mania, also known as corporate reform, learning has typically stagnated during the winter test-prep season and halted for the school year with the April testing season. With Common Core, however, children have already taken their seats in front of computer screens and started their seemingly endless high-stakes assessments.
Peer pressure, poverty, violence, and drugs at home and in the schools is too much torment for a young mind to accomplish the necessary grades to graduate and live a fulfilling life, not to mention the cultural and economic challenges. There is however, an organization called in ENACT that is doing exciting, innovative work.
Just as Jeb Bush and others in his party seem to be recognizing that research and development are among the few education-related activities that should remain at the federal level, the Republican-controlled Congress is proposing to eliminate the Investing in Innovation (i3) program and cut back other federal investments in research and development.
Adult learners are neither lazy nor incapable of learning. They are desperate for work and want to take good care of their families by becoming productive members of society.
No doubt you have many questions about the pro bono-ists' civil-rights-based challenge to the state's cap on the number of charter schools. As always, I am happy to shed light.
Television scenes of nonviolent demonstrators beaten by police shocked the nation. As the movie Selma details, the March played a critical role in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Colleges close and merge, but that this happened so quickly to a school of such standing was a disturbance of a different dimension. If Sweet Briar was a glimpse of one future for higher education, I got a look at an alternate future in Oakland.
The political debate about charters is not likely to wane anytime soon. But parents can't wait for that to play out. It is past time to end our patchwork system of financing school facilities and make it easier for high-performing charter schools to give more kids a chance to succeed.
Clearly we need to improve the education received by all of "our" children. And unlike the Governor, I actually have two children in NYS public schools.
Democracy, opportunity, and shared responsibility are core, if sometimes contested, and not yet realized, aspirational American values. We need a society in which there is not just more equal opportunity, but more lived equity.
Education will never make progress until we can educate the public to tolerate a little bit of explanation. Otherwise, we'll be eating our pets until the cows come home.
To all of my precious students: My guess is that all of you will wonder why I am making you take these tests. And the answer is simple. I have to. Our state and federal government say that I have to give these tests to you. That you must take them. And I need you to know how very sorry I am about that.
If grade-span testing were to take the place of annual assessments, educators like myself would lose a critical source of data to help us identify the needs of students and make use of every learning moment.
Even as the study of children's response to trauma pointed to the need to focus on the socioemotional needs of students, the test-driven school reform movement drew a line in the sand; the mention of adverse childhood experiences was dismissed as an "excuse." Top-down school reformers imposed an educational version of faith healing on schools.
Parents and students talked about the dramatic changes in curriculum and a flood of test prep in classes and homework. Some spoke about the massive expenditures for technology and testing materials, as hands-on instructional time declined.
My message is to everyone who has and continues to bash teachers by implementing accountability structures that will do nothing to help our students succeed in life and follow their dreams.