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Race to the Top

Arne Duncan's Legacy: Growing Influence of a Network of Private Actors on Public Education

The Conversation US | Posted 10.08.2015 | Education
The Conversation US

Arne Duncan did not invent political networks. And yet, to use a term of education professors Janelle Scott and Catherine DiMartino, he has acted as a "gatekeeper" by bringing a private network to the fore in education, and further opening public education to privatized influences.

Evaluating Pope Francis Using APPR*

Alan Singer | Posted 10.08.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

Let's start with Pope Francis' pedagogical strengths: Communicating with students and families, creating an environment of respect and rapport, and demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness.

OMG Barack, How Could You Pick John King?

Alan Singer | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Alan Singer

Arne Duncan is leaving as Barack Obama's Secretary of Education. Unbelievably, President Obama found someone just as bad to replace him, Deputy Secretary of Education John King who in his previous job was New York State Education Commissioner.

A Brief History of Education in the United States (Part 2)

Alan Singer | Posted 09.16.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

Education is never either an independent force in American society or a principle agent for social change. It is a reflection of the basic debates talking place in the broader society.

Obama Made A Lot Of Promises On This Day In 2008. Here's How They're Holding Up.

The Huffington Post | Jacob Kerr | Posted 08.28.2015 | Politics

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Carly Fiorina for Secretary of Education

Stanley Fish | Posted 08.24.2015 | Politics
Stanley Fish

Carly Fiorina recognizes the danger that a technology-dominated classroom -- a classroom focused on programmable skills rather than on messy and ever-changing ideas -- will become the location of job training rather than intellectual exploration. Education's great task, she said at a recent New Hampshire education summit, is not to prepare people for jobs, but to "fill children's souls," to make of them the kinds of citizens who can contribute to a participatory democracy. And that task, she insisted, requires exposure to music, literature, art and philosophy -- the very subjects that are currently falling by the wayside in the rush to elevate the STEM subjects to the be all and end all. From where I sit, this is just common sense, but it is not the common sense coming from the Obama administration (or the Bush administration before it).

Another Big Win for Opt-Out

Alan Singer | Posted 08.23.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

After months of threatening that high student opt-out rates on high-stakes Common Core-aligned standardized tests would cause school districts to lose federal and state aid, the threats have evaporated.

Big Win for Opt-Out

Alan Singer | Posted 08.16.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

In 2015 it moved from the political margins and emerged as a full-scale social movement committed to the idea that education should be about children, not testing. States have not yet abandoned Common Core and Race to the Top mandated high-stakes testing, but as the Opt-Out movement continues to grow and its pace of growth continues to accelerate, I believe they will.

Want to Reform Education? Let Teachers Teach.

Steve Nelson | Posted 08.03.2015 | Education
Steve Nelson

Real education reform will come when, and only when, we address poverty, fund schools properly and honor the teaching profession with good pay and the respect teachers deserve. America's teachers will do the rest - if we leave them alone to love and teach their children.

Pearson Takes Big Hit in Continuing War Over Common Core

Alan Singer | Posted 07.14.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

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.

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.

Educating for Democracy: What Makes a 'Great Student'?

Joel Shatzky | Posted 05.03.2015 | Education
Joel Shatzky

Many more "great students" could be developed and supported if only their schools allowed their teachers to discover who they really are and nurture their passions. At present we are moving in the opposite direction.

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.

Race to the Top: A Metaphor Reconsidered

Arnold Dodge | Posted 06.06.2015 | Education
Arnold Dodge

Note to presidential candidates: Come up with a more appropriate metaphor for the next federal educational initiative. The current one is ridiculous at best. Just what were the planners and handlers thinking when they came up with the name for the largest national education initiative in history?

Homage to My Teachers

Joel Shatzky | Posted 05.15.2015 | Education
Joel Shatzky

It is ironic that the Women's Rights Movement which has opened up the doors of opportunity for talented women to have a greater choice of vocation has had a negative effect on recruiting the most gifted among them for careers in education. The future course of education must be to make the profession as attractive as it has become in Finland.

Demand More of The Core

Tom Caramanno | Posted 04.29.2015 | Education
Tom Caramanno

As someone who works in the field of education, I witness daily the impact of the Common Core on children. Many students are indeed struggling to adapt to the standards and there are inherent flaws to them.

Arne and Barack Target Schools of Education

Alan Singer | Posted 03.30.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

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 a pick-up basketball game.

Common Core: It Really Is All About the Tests (and Corporate Profits)

Alan Singer | Posted 01.17.2015 | Education
Alan Singer

There may be aspects of the Common Core Standards that are useful to students and teachers. The problem is that student learning is just collateral damage. From the start, Common Core has always been primarily about corporate profits and high-stakes testing.

A New Paradigm for Accountability: The Joy of Learning

Diane Ravitch | Posted 01.12.2015 | Education
Diane Ravitch

Whatever you call it, Race to the Top has hurt children, demoralized teachers, closed community schools, fragmented communities, increased privatization, and doubled down on testing. But I have an idea for a new accountability system that relies on different metrics.

Common Core and the End of History

Alan Singer | Posted 12.27.2014 | Education
Alan Singer

As part of their effort to promote new national Common Core standards and mystically prepare students for non-existing 21st century technological careers, the New York State Board of Regents voted unanimously that students did not have to pass history exams to graduate from high school.

Arne Duncan Blows Standardized Smoke

Peter Greene | Posted 12.27.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

There was a time when Duncan could be counted on to at least say the right thing before he went ahead and did the wrong thing.

Why Many Inner City Schools Function Like Prisons

Alan Singer | Posted 12.15.2014 | Education
Alan Singer

I've come to realize that Common Core and its high-stakes assessments are just another piece in the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Global Search for Education: China -- To Follow or Not to Follow?

C. M. Rubin | Posted 11.26.2014 | Education
C. M. Rubin

The Western legacy of educational virtue has been called into question by the better PISA test score results coming out of other countries, especially China. Should we in the US be following Shanghai's lead and focusing on improving our students' test scores in this international exam?

Education Reform: Adding Insult to Injury

Peter Greene | Posted 11.11.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

It's not just the injuries that No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and Waiverism (RttT Lite) have inflicted on education. It's the insults that have gone with them.

Arne Duncan Declares Victory in War on Schools and Teachers

Alan Singer | Posted 10.25.2014 | Education
Alan Singer

I found three of Duncan's statements particularly ironic. He wrote about his continuing commitment to a "spirit of flexibility," flexibility that is completely lacking in Race to the Top mandates.