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High Stakes Testing

Treating Kids Like Hamburgers, Pearson Exec 'Fesses' Up

Alan Singer | Posted 06.25.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

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 if they "hit daily quality and volume targets."

A Celebration of Civil Disobedience

Vicki Cobb | Posted 06.10.2015 | Education
Vicki Cobb

This year the awards went to the leaders of the "opt out" movement in the metropolitan New York City area where parents are taking a stand by opting out of having their children take the high stakes tests.

The Fallacy Behind High-Stakes Testing

Alan Singer | Posted 06.01.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

Whether you call it Valued-Added (VAM), Accountability, or Assessment, testing is not about learning. It is about sorting kids out, punishing teachers, schools, and communities, and denying deeper social inequality and injustice.

Why Kids May Actually Need More Testing, Not Less

Michael Lombardo | Posted 05.17.2015 | Education
Michael Lombardo

The education world has been buzzing after a segment on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight (warning - adult language) that viciously lampooned standardized testing. It's a funny piece about a serious issue that has polarized parents and lawmakers across the country. Are we testing kids too much?

How Testing Is Driving More Oklahoma Teachers, and Other Educators Across the Nation, Out of the Classroom

John Thompson | Posted 05.13.2015 | Education
John Thompson

No Child Left Behind was awful, but it imposed high-stakes testing on only about one fifth of teachers. The worst harm was inflicted as Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind waivers extended bubble-in accountability to every educator.

12 Civil Rights Groups Oppose Opting Out. It Could Have Been 28.

Mercedes Schneider | Posted 05.11.2015 | Education
Mercedes Schneider

28 civil rights groups wishing for greater federal enforcement must now reckon with both lesser enforcement and federal acknowledgement that the anti-testing movement is gaining strength.

"Funky Monkey" and Pearson Fail the Test

Alan Singer | Posted 05.07.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

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 companies like Pearson are brought down.

Managing Test Anxiety in Today's High Stakes Testing Era

Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D. | Posted 06.30.2015 | Parents
Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D.

School worry and test worry are common. There has become an increased focus on grades, GPAs, and a fear-based mentality that kids will not get into a good college unless they have a 4.6 GPA. Sadly, this fearful mentality has trickled down all the way to elementary school today! What is going on? And what should parents do?

Should We Hold Arne Duncan and Every Other Reformer Accountable for Every Child They Hurt?

John Thompson | Posted 06.30.2015 | Education
John Thompson

If reformers want to hold us accountable for each child, wouldn't we have to hold them accountable for every child damaged by their policies? Wouldn't we end up in an even greater education civil war? Or maybe we should...

Around The World In 30 Days - April 2015

C. M. Rubin | Posted 06.28.2015 | Education
C. M. Rubin

C. M. Rubin's global education report In April, I continued my conversations with thought leaders around the world on many topics including the ro...

Set Up to Fail: High Stakes Testing in Public Schools

Stacey Steinberg | Posted 06.28.2015 | Education
Stacey Steinberg

Imagine being a nine-year-old child. Picture yourself studying for a test, walking into class, feeling confident you prepared the best you could. How would you feel if after finishing the test you only understood half the questions? Would your confidence be shaken?

The Global Search for Education: Our Top 12 Global Teacher Blogs - How do you balance preparation for high stakes assessments with teaching and learning in your classroom?

C. M. Rubin | Posted 06.27.2015 | Education
C. M. Rubin

The use of high-stakes achievement tests around the world have created controversy among teachers, parents, students, administrators, policy maker...

Re-Claiming a Moral Profession in Unethical Times

Colin Schumacher | Posted 06.26.2015 | Education
Colin Schumacher

In these dire times of unethical decision-making by policy makers, it's important that teachers remain grounded in moral principles that have proven timeless in preserving the promise of public education. It has been painfully evident that union leadership has settled for political maneuvering rather than unwavering principle.

Common Core Means No Child Left Untested

Alan Singer | Posted 06.16.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

The more I look at the Common Core approach to reading, the more it seems to be a shill for publishers like Pearson to sell new "Common Core" aligned textbooks, workbooks, and online packaged learning programs.

Accountability for Whom?

Pedro Noguera | Posted 06.15.2015 | Education
Pedro Noguera

It is sad and ironic that in this era when the mantra about accountability in education is mouthed repeatedly by policymakers, those who have the most authority accept no accountability for the system they have managed and created.

Why the 'Opt-Out' Movement for High Stakes Testing Is Bad for Students in Urban Public Schools

Stuart Rhoden | Posted 06.12.2015 | Education
Stuart Rhoden

Can these diagnostics be improved? Absolutely. But we are fooling ourselves if we think that students should not have any quantitative measures of identifying academic growth -- even flawed ones such as the current iterations of high-stakes testing.

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

Alan Singer | Posted 06.10.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

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

Parker J. Palmer on Racial Injustice and the Standard of Faithfulness

Ryan Thomas Neace | Posted 06.09.2015 | Religion
Ryan Thomas Neace

Parker J. Palmer is an author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change, with nearly 10 books and countless articles to his credit.

Former DC Whistleblower Principal, Adell Cothorne, on the Atlanta Cheating Verdict

Mercedes Schneider | Posted 06.06.2015 | Education
Mercedes Schneider

It may have happened in April Fools Day, but it was certainly no joke. On April 1, 2015, 11 Atlanta educators were convicted of racketeering related to their roles in what has come to be widely known as "the Atlanta cheating scandal."

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

Alan Singer | Posted 06.06.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

Sasha and Malia Obama attend 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 it offers children an enriched curriculum, not constant test prep.

Cheating All Around

Susan D. Blum | Posted 06.02.2015 | Education
Susan D. Blum

If this system of widespread and coordinated cheating has a positive outcome, it is to cast a bright light on the desperation of people trying to survive a system that punishes rather than supports struggling.

Hey, Hey, Cuomo, Your Education Plan Has Got to Go

Ian Reifowitz | Posted 05.17.2015 | Education
Ian Reifowitz

What is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan? He offers increased funding, but only if his reforms on teacher evaluation and so-called merit pay are also adopted. But the reality is that using students' results on standardized tests to measure the effectiveness of teachers -- also known as Value Added Assessment (VAM) -- is simply not supported by research on the matter.

It's Just the Start of the Winter/Spring Testing Season, and Already...

John Thompson | Posted 05.13.2015 | Education
John Thompson

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.

Understanding Test Anxiety and What We Can Do to Help Children

Rebecca Jackson | Posted 05.10.2015 | Education
Rebecca Jackson

A staggering 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, making it the most frequent academic impairment in our schools today Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety. These students actually draw a "blank" or "freeze-up" during tests.

U.S. Dept. of Ed Wanted Much More Testing From PARCC and Smarter Balanced

Mercedes Schneider | Posted 05.04.2015 | Education
Mercedes Schneider

That said, I have also looked at the background on the CCSS and federal funding for PARCC and SBAC tests. USDE had a test-funding plan for the CCSS in April 2010, before the CCSS were published in June. By September 2010, grants were awarded to the PARCC and SBAC groups to begin test development at roughly $300 million total.