Reforms like test-based accountability give us the feeling of doing something--of demanding excellence--without providing the capacity to achieve our goals. Continuing down that path will continue to leave us disappointed. But, opt-out or no opt-out, that's where we're still headed.
Among standardized tests required for admission into various higher educational institutions, the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) measures verbal ability, quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking ability and analytical writing skills and is used for admission into graduate school.
In September, I offered a HuffPost blog entitled, "Help for the 6 Most Confusing Parts of the New 2014-15 Common App." Since that time, a lot of other questions have come up from students and parents. Here are some of the more frequently asked.
I'll leave it up to others to debate the reasons behind this apparent contradiction. My own opinion is that ballot initiatives more accurately take the ideological pulse of the people because debates over issues must focus on issues, not personality, temperament or looks.
Your grades and who you are as a person makes all the difference; so there's no need to focus and panic about the test portion, just take it as it comes and do your best. I wish all of you who, like myself, are taking tests this year the best of luck.
We should stop obsessing about test scores and start obsessing about the health and well-being of children and their families. The gains would be far more valuable than a few points on a standardized test.
Acknowledging the myriad ways in which school districts can undermine curiosity and academic exploration by over-stressing test scores and technical training, one can emphasize the importance of structured explorations that can expand a child's imagination.
This month has been declared New Conversation Month by reformsters. Teachers are being offered (in vaguely non-specific ways) some sort of seats at various tables. Unfortunately, this largesse underlines just how much teachers have not been included in conversations about public education.
We are doing a huge disservice to the education of our nation's children, when the focus must be placed on how to take tests and how to score well on them, rather than on developing skills and deep content knowledge in a variety of subjects.
It has come to our attention that your older brothers and sisters have been showing up to Kindergarten completely unprepared for the requirements of a rigorous education. It is time to nip this indolent behavior in the bud.
In short, if you're a tenured teacher, you are an impediment to Excellence. The only way you can help children is by getting rid of your tenure, standing up straight and walking to Arne Duncan in Washington DC and saying, "Please sir, I want to be fired for any reason."
Over my 28 years living inside urban school systems, I have come to understand and believe that there are two things that we must do and/or keep in mind: respect the complexity of this challenge and relentlessly execute against clear goals.
We believe that an informed public will not give away its public schools to amateurs, hedge fund managers, rock stars, for-profit corporations, athletes, fly-by-night entrepreneurs, and religious groups.
If present trends continue, the U.S. will have a dual system of education in another decade. What is at stake is the great tradition of public schools, open to all, supported by all, controlled by the public, not corporations.
I would not have been able to sustain and increase my interest for learning and thinking had I been only concentrating on the end result. The "process" and the "enjoyment of the process" is the key to success.
Common Core testing will turn out to be the money pit that consumed American education. The sooner it dies, the sooner schools and teachers will be freed of the Giant Federal Accountability Plan hatched in secret and foisted upon our nation's schools.
Change is hard and change is scary. So, it's all the more important that when we're making big changes -- especially to essential public services like education -- we take more care to focus on the goal and bring all the stakeholders together.