Education is not a game. It should be a rich, cooperative, loving process. Holleran and Worrell-Breeden are just two vivid, painful examples of the consequences of seeing education as a data-driven, competitive enterprise.
No other advanced nation in the world evaluates its teachers on test scores or subjects it children to relentless testing and calls it "education"! Why, then, does America? The answer is simple -- there's money in it!
Through the union, educators are raising our collective voice. Together with parents and students, educators are turning the tide. Teaching is our heart. Our students are our soul. And the union is our spine. When educators raise their voice and their power, we can reclaim the promise of public education.
Teachers, of course, can lead the way, not toward some false utopia embodied in the privatizing, anti-union, agenda of the testing moguls but in education's humanistic roots -- providing young people with multiple pathways to success.
With the reauthorization of the absurd and dysfunctional NCLB, we have a chance to once again let teachers teach and let students learn. We have a chance to ignite their imaginations, encourage them to reach their full potential, and expand their world view beyond filling in bubble tests with a #2 pencil.
The new SAT is not a bad test, but it is not yet polished. Given its numerous similarities to the ACT, therefore, students currently heading into their junior years will find the ACT a more reliable option for prep work.
By refusing to take into account several factors which impede student learning and over which teachers have no control, this policy is, in essence, a punitive measure, a political weapon, a pre-emptive strike against teachers, intended to demoralize and drive them out of the teaching profession.
Schools need to reframe failure. School should be the safe place where students learn to fail. Where they learn to ask questions, search for answers, make mistakes, course correct and try again. If you don't learn to fail in school, where will you learn.
NYC's Department of Education (DOE) has been working hard under this new administration to encourage family engagement and to help build stronger bonds between families and schools.
After hearing the "good news" of the high school graduation rate nationally -- over 81 percent -- I recalled a blog I wrote for Huffington Post four years ago.
The creative teacher cannot easily be defined, as they change, evolve, and adapt to the needs of their students and to their environment. The creative teacher may not remain stagnate as they go on a journey with their students to explore, understand, and develop creative thought.
Before you can compile the test answers, before you can crunch the numbers and sift the data and build your house of test-driven cards -- before you can do all that, you have a first hurdle to fling yourself over. The students taking the test have to care.
It is hard to answer the question: "What advice would you give a new teacher?" The problem is that all teachers, even those of us who are most passionate about teaching, have a love-hate relationship with our jobs.
"Proficient" is having a moment right now in the education world, so perhaps this is an opportune moment to stop and reflect, to sit and think about how the term, like "all natural" and "college and career ready," doesn't actually mean a thing.
Please know I am not devaluing foundational knowledge or the need to teach our children rudimentary functions of grammar, math, science or other academic studies. But what I am saying is that we are completely missing the boat when it comes to encouraging students to take risks, make mistakes or explore the unknown.
Diane Ravitch, in her recent post about international math tests, raises concerns that standardized tests damage the quality of education and constrain young people's intellectual growth. What I worry about is the way they can unfairly deny opportunities to students.