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.
This is just so stunningly, awesomely dumb, it's hard to take in. Are they that enamored of the magical power of tests? Do they imagine that disabled students are just all faking, or that the specialists who diagnose these various problems are just making stuff up for giggles?
The type of reading we demand students do on reading tests is a type of reading that isn't done anywhere except on reading tests. Well, and of course now, also, in all the classrooms that are trying to get students ready for these inauthentic reading tests.
California Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled in Vergara v. California that the solution to the long-standing, complex challenge of ensuring all children, particularly underserved children, have access to high-quality public education is to strip teachers of their rights. Period. End of story.
Someday, maybe 12 years from now, they think, all children will be college-ready, even if they live in squalor or have no home, even if they attend overcrowded classes with inexperienced teachers. Are they gullible? Or do they believe the public can be easily deceived?
Decoupling? Not going to happen. You can't have a data system without tagging, and you can't have a tagging system with nothing to tag. Education and teaching are just collateral damage in all this, and not really the main thing at all.