The Common Core Kool-Aid – Rick Hess Straight Up – Education Week

The Common Core Kool-Aid – Rick Hess Straight Up – Education Week.

 

In a number of conversations this week over at Jeb Bush’s annual edu-fest, at AEI, and around DC, I was struck by the degree to which the Common Core seems to have become Dr. Pendergast’s miracle cure for everything that ails you (seemingly including heat blisters). The exchanges were eerily reminiscent of the run-up to Waiting for Superman, when smart, enthusiastic people kept telling me how everything was about to change–how suburban voters would wake up and leap on the reform bandwagon. And it reminds me more than a little of conversations had earlier this decade or back in the ’90s about how NCLB, school choice, or site-based management were going to change everything as well.

As best I can tell, none of those previous predictions came true. Now, I don’t mean to come across as a tedious, “nothing works” naysayer. The Common Core is a different exercise from those earlier cure-alls, and it might play out differently. I honestly don’t know where the truth lies. For one thing, as I’ve noted previously: I personally don’t feel qualified to judge the quality of the Common Core standards; I don’t think standards themselves matter all that much–all the action is in the stuff that follows; and I’ve seen a remarkable dearth of attention to how the Common Core will complement or clash with other key elements of the “reform” agenda (like charter schooling, new teacher evaluation systems, and school accountability).

Every time I ask about these things, I get watery, vague reassurances. Meanwhile, when I ask how exactly the Common Core is going to change teaching and learning, I’m mostly told that it’s going to finally shine a harsh light on the quality of suburban schools, shocking those families and voters into action. This will apparently entail three steps:

First, politicians will actually embrace the Common Core assessments and then will use them to set cut scores that suggest huge numbers of suburban schools are failing. Then, parents and community members who previously liked their schools are going to believe the assessment results rather than their own lying eyes. (In the case of NCLB, these same folks believed their eyes rather than the state tests, and questioned the validity of the latter–but the presumption is that things will be different this time.) Finally, newly convinced that their schools stink, parents and voters will embrace “reform.” However, most of today’s proffered remedies–including test-based teacher evaluation, efforts to move “effective” teachers to low-income schools, charter schooling, and school turnarounds–don’t have a lot of fans in the suburbs or speak to the things that suburban parents are most concerned about.

And this brings us to the crux of the matter. After failing miserably to convince suburban and middle-class voters that reforms designed for dysfunctional urban systems and at-risk kids are good for their children and their schools, Common Core advocates now evince an eerie confidence that they can scare these voters into embracing the “reform” agenda. And this conviction has become the happy Kool-Aid that allows would-be reformers to ignore the fact that they’re not actually offering to tackle the things (like access to exam-style schools, world language mastery, music and arts instruction, and so on) that suburban parents are passionate about.

More to the point, the confidence that the Common Core will wake folks up in 2015, “changing everything,” is an easy way to avoid unpleasant conversations about what it would actually take for the Common Core to connect with suburban voters or deliver on its promise (like, for instance, it might require the policy recommendations that have flowed from our “achievement gap mania” in the course of the past decade). The Kool-Aid allows would-be reformers to postpone facing up to hard truths. And it encourages proponents to regard their primary challenge as “messaging” the Common Core to parents and teachers, rather than grappling with these more substantive issues.

John Young:

No worries, no fix in this at all.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

From NYC Parent blog (by Leonie Haimson):

Wireless Generation, owned by Murdoch/run by Joel Klein, Wins the $4.9M Contract to develop the software that will be used to report & analyze results for the new #CommonCore Assessments – both the interim and “summative” exams being developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for 25 states (blue states in map below.)

Wireless is also developing the software/ infrastructure for the Gates-funded Shared Learning Collaborative, which is collecting confidential student & teacher data in states throughout the country, including NYS, & planning to turn this information over to for-profit commercial ventures, without parental consent, to help companies develop and market their “learning products.” The information will include among other things, names, addresses, grades, test scores, disciplinary and attendance records, and learning disability status.

The SLC has now named a new CEO, Iwan Streichenberger, who is going to direct SLC’s transition from a…

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Originally posted on the seventh type:

Two different groups of movers and shakers have been meeting in secret for months now to make major changes in Delaware’s public education landscape. The lever they will pull to move and shake the landscape will be charter schools. This spring we will likely get our first chance for public comment, but by then it will be too late to reverse the changes or even to make more than trivial revisions.

If charter schools are public schools, why is all the planning and decision-making private?

1. Secret meeting number one: the “donated” Bank Of America building
The Longwood Foundation has engaged a national organization CEE-Trust to select the charter schools it will accept as tenants into the Community Education Building (CEB). That’s the Wilmington building that Bank of America donated to the schools Longwood Foundation in February. Applications were due August 31, and final decisions are to be made…

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Originally posted on kavips:

This issues has recently boiled over thanks to this article in the News Journal that showed a huge wedge being forced into the education of our little ones.

Simply put, the Bain Capitals type investors, who have destroyed our economy, are now interested in acquiring the $1 Trillion spent on education across this great country.

They pinpoint areas not working. Create plans (for a cost, mind you, for a cost) which they will implement and do it cheaper, pocketing the difference….

Delaware is one of those areas.

Here is the conundrum. When things are broken, any repairman who stops by is seen as a hero. So I’m not marshaling blame. This is just a work in progress. Like a city in Assassin’s Creed, we must travel down alleys and across rooftops, looking for the object of our quest. We should expect some blind turns.

The bottom line: WHAT IS BEST…

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Breaking news! 5 Delaware school districts narrowly escape more damaging federal control!

Congratulations to the following 5 districts: Seaford, Brandywine, Indian River, Colonial, New Castle County VoTech for avoiding more damaging, paralytic federal intrusion.

I know each of these districts applied in what can only be described as a foolish grab of tenuous yet extremely prescriptive federal grant money from the THIRD round of Race to the Top and while each of them likely feels disappointed and unlucky, I am here to cheer them up by letting them know how truly lucky they are to have not “won” the grant. In fact, only in federal grant incentive situations is the following statement the most true it can be: not winning IS winning!

Again, Congrats on today’s BIG win!

Point Person:Q&A with John Kuhn. #DallasMorningNews

Point Person: Our Q&A with John Kuhn on school’s over-reliance on testing.

You’ve said some very pointed things about education reformers, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and their impact on schools. What worries you the most?

What worries me most as both a dad and an educator is the outsized influence of test-makers, statisticians, and economists on modern educational decision-making. Unfortunately, our wizards of data are not wizards of humanity, and they have foolishly elevated impersonal forces as the drivers of education.

The education of children is above all a human endeavor. We aren’t programming answers into computers; we are inspiring and encouraging and challenging and coaxing and pushing and pulling and hoping and praying and hugging and wiping tears and watching ballgames and telling them how nice they look in their prom dresses. The value of the factory model touted by today’s educational Taylorists is quickly disproved by its absence of the holistic and humane methods employed in the best private schools. Middle class kids need and deserve more art in their lives than the arrays of bubbles they pencil in. Elite reformers want what’s best for their kids, but they often only want what’s most efficient for yours and mine.

Ultimately, I want for my kids what caring parents, like our president, want for theirs: a thorough, non-standardized education of the whole child. Today we are so busy raising test scores that we are forgetting to raise children. The little red schoolhouse is fast becoming a little red widget factory, and that’s wrong for kids and detrimental for our future well-being as a people.

To what extent are your concerns shared by other local educators?

We are nearing critical mass.  I only speak for myself, but there are hundreds of Texas schools suing the state in a lawsuit that has been called “the granddaddy of school finance lawsuits.” They aren’t suing for more money but rather for sensible policies and an honest accounting by the state of the costs of its mandates. Reduced education funding sometimes happens during hard times, but reduced regulation? Our recent $5.4 billion school funding reduction came with a brand new $500 million dollar contract with the London test-shop Pearson.

There are also hundreds of school boards in Texas that have signed a resolution that says standardized tests are strangling education and draining it of its vibrancy and excitement for learners. The resolution—started in Texas—has spread to several other states. Then there are Texas parents forming groups like Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment, Texas Parents Opt Out of State Tests, and Kids Can’t Wait. School board members have organized initiatives like last session’s “Make Education a Priority” movement. Over 20 school districts are participating in the Texas High Performance Schools consortium; they will pilot a new way of holding teachers and students accountable for learning that embraces modern technology instead of tools inspired by 19{+t}{+h} century scientific management theory. They will hopefully develop a new, less punitive and misleading accountability methodology that reduces the onslaught of bubble tests that our kids face today.

Are my concerns widely shared by local educators? I would guess yes, but I can’t prove it. Many educators prefer to keep quiet and keep their jobs (which aren’t as secure as they used to be) so you won’t hear too many speak out publicly about the burdensome and sometimes near-impossible demands they face. In fact, an educator who speaks up is usually condemned fairly quickly as an apologist for the status quo. Meanwhile, the real status quo is the expensive and ineffective testing-and-labeling we’ve been doing for 30 years in Texas.

Put it in human terms. What’s not happening in the classroom today because of focus on standardized testing?

High schoolers must pass five EOC tests per year; they’re often placed in remedial classes if they don’t pass. Sophomores may be losing one or two periods for a remedial class. That’s one or two electives gone. As time passes, some will stack up tests they failed two years ago, last year, and tests they face this year. A struggler who might flourish because of a trade won’t get his hands dirty. This is one size fits all; all kids are going to college whether they want to or not.

Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken notes that Texas has a shortage of welders and plumbers, but our system is built so that students most likely to benefit from technical training won’t get it. We’re channeling would-be highly-paid technicians not into available industry-recognized certification programs but rather into schedules that feature a paucity of hands-on experiences, so they can focus on their tests.

In elementary school, strugglers lose art, recess, music, or PE. We tell at-risk students to stay in school; then we take away classes they most enjoy. When we reduced education to a competition, we condemned exploration and discovery and settled for rote proficiency.

How does this affect how a teacher teaches?

Teachers face a perverse incentive to drill and kill in the classroom and focus intensely on the narrow curriculum that is tested. Principals face the temptation to enforce scripted approaches that overemphasize test prep. Marketers are pitching materials keyed to STAAR with great zeal; districts face an onslaught of big promises: “Raise STAAR Scores Now!” Some teachers and schools resist a test-centered approach in favor of a child-centered approach; but with livelihoods on the line if scores don’t rise, it’s as if teachers are being asked to teach under hanging anvils.

Teachers and administrators agree with the need for accountability and want to be held accountable for our results. What we ask for are honest measures that take into account all factors that contribute to our success or failure. Educational outcomes do not solely hinge on teacher quality. There are home and community and funding factors in play, but accountability gurus are happy to leave those variables out of their formulas. No one but the teachers are up for criticism in their world of selective accountability.

 

The U.S. Department of Education has chosen to set a 100 percent standardized testing pass rate as the goal, with constant classroom duress as the main motivator for teachers and students and absolutely no pressure on legislators to provide equitable resources from school district to school district. We shouldn’t be surprised to see unintended consequences as schools struggle to attain the impossible: getting 100 percent of their kids to pass the almighty bubble test by 2014. What’s good for test scores isn’t always what’s good for kids, but our punitive accountability fetish has established test scores as the measurably more important of the two.

But aren’t there poor teachers who fail to prepare their students, and don’t test scores help establish that?

Yes, poor teachers exist. No, a poor test score doesn’t establish poor teaching. It’s not that simple. A terrible teacher in an $8,000-per-pupil school may obtain higher scores than a wonderful teacher in a $4,000-per-pupil school. Those extra funds impact outcomes by providing smaller classes, fewer leaks in the roof, more and newer instructional materials, and various supports that aren’t available at the other school.

Our current system dissuades the best teachers from teaching in our toughest schools because they will be facilely scapegoated for things outside their control. Pinning everything on the classroom teacher lets policymakers and budget writers off the hook pretty easily. Accountability only falls on teachers, and politicians laugh all the way to re-election.

What does your “child-centered approach” look like, and how does the state make sure that all students learn the fundamentals?

Tom Pauken’s approach is child-centered, with multiple paths to graduation: a math/science path, humanities/fine arts path, and a technical/vocational path. Students get ownership of their education and focus on their strengths instead of adhering to one-size-fits-all mandates from outsiders. Elementaries need a well-rounded curriculum including core classes, arts, physical education, and recess for unstructured play.

Test advocates pretend a $500 million plan to test every student every year is the only way to monitor learning and that everyone who opposes this bamboozle opposes accountability. But many of us who wish to reform reform support smart testing using sampling techniques at certain grades to save limited instructional time and education dollars.

There are many additional ways to monitor outcomes if Texans will think outside the testing contract straightjacket. Online portfolios, NAEP scores, ACT-PLAN and PSAT scores, grades and passing rates, graduation rates, college-acceptance rates, dropout rates, and student surveys are just a few that come to mind. We can also require all graduates to show they are college-ready by means of college acceptance and/or ACT/SAT scores, or show they’re career-ready by obtaining an industry-recognized vocational certification prior to graduation. This isn’t hard; it just isn’t what lobbyists want to hear.

I admit that I am not sold on STAAR. I do not agree with the allegation that I therefore oppose accountability. In fact, I want accountability even for the accountability merchants.

More than 850 Texas school boards have passed resolutions objecting to the over-reliance on standardized testing. What impact do you expect that to have in next year’s lawmaking session?

I don’t know. I suspect that voting parents calling their representatives will have more impact than school board resolutions. It was telling months ago how quickly and publicly some Texas moms rebuked a prominent testing advocate when he accused superintendents of “scaring mom” over the testing issue. Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock said in a hearing last session that officials were getting lots of phone calls from parents about overtesting. At the same time, I understand that lobbyists representing the testing firms won’t go down without a fight.

I would like to note that these resolutions were adopted by elected local trustees. In Texas schools, school board members are often parents and involved community members; they are regular folks. This is representative democracy in action—local citizens are using the resolution to let their voices be heard alongside the lobbyists in Austin. If our leaders truly want to represent their constituents, the resolution will indeed influence their actions.

Why fight? Don’t you have a lot of common ground with advocates of standardized testing — high school graduates who are prepared to go into the workforce, onto more training or onto college?

I don’t think I have much common ground with folks who set impossible targets (100 percent of students must pass their standardized tests in 2014, under No Child Left Behind) and ignore the effects of funding injustices (Academically Unacceptable districts get funded an average of $1,000 less per student than Exemplary districts). These policies don’t help kids; they help to torpedo public schools.

Texas leaders have worshipped test-and-punish technocrats for over 20 years, and yet a testing advocate recently wrote “Wake Up – Schools Are Failing.” He says the solution is to “stay the course,” i.e., more of the same. But why are schools failing after two decades with accountability hawks in charge? When will their prescriptions work? It’s telling that Texas private schools are allowed to utilize the state’s testing system but politely say, “No thanks.”

Meanwhile, the universal failure of Texas public schools is preordained for 2014 — guaranteed by those who came up with the federal accountability targets — and news of their failure will be music to the ears of some. But to many of us, the school is still the heart of the community.

Our sons and daughters still grow up in the glow of Friday night lights, just as they have for generations. We still put their pictures in the paper when they do well at the spelling bee or win an essay contest; we still burn a bonfire and crown our small-town royalty. My son and I recently looked at my dad’s yearbook photo from 1951. Dad was a Pirate, and now, 60 years later, my sons and my daughter are all Pirates, too.

Some people may want a charter school or a virtual online school for their kids, and that’s fine — but many of us simply want Texas to stop undermining our humble community schools by carpet-bombing them with tests, paperwork, and inane targets … and maybe pat our hard-working teachers on the back once in awhile, too. To me, these things are worth fighting for.

These are the same public schools that educated the greatest generation and taught the Americans who won the space race. News of their demise is greatly exaggerated.

Originally posted on Failing Schools:

Quality in early education and childcare is indisputably important. Some regulation of these facilities is essential in order to ensure safe and enriching environments for young children, whether they are based in a home, community-based site, or school setting.  However, there is a point where regulation can become a mishmash of silly mandates and hoops to jump through, if not an outright intrusion on educator practices.  Colorado’s Early Childcare Division in its Department of Human Services has proposed changes in its Rules and Regulations to enable providers to obtain a license.  This 98 page document, still in draft form, is definitely drawing attention.  However, it has some people questioning the apparent fussiness of some of its parameters, and certain others worried about practicalities and costs of the proposals.  Cost of compliance with new regulations may force some smaller care-providers out of business, as well as raise fees for parents…

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Katie Osgood reviews Chris Hayes’ new book “Twilight of the Elites” and ponders how the elites–the so-called best and the brightest–are now running education policy. Their ideas fail and fail but they boldly push ahead, utterly unfixed by the damage they inflict on others. They enjoy money, power, prestige, unlike those poor teachers and children whose lives they mess up with their hapless schemes.

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Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Joanne Barkan has written an excellent summary of how public education fared in the recent elections.

Barkan knows how to follow the money. Her article “Got Dough?” showed the influence of the billionaires on education policy.

She begins her analysis of the 2012 elections with this overview of Barack Obama’s embrace of GOP education dogma:

“Barack Obama’s K-12 “reform” policies have brought misery to public schools across the country: more standardized testing, faulty evaluations for teachers based on student test scores, more public schools shut down rather than improved, more privately managed and for-profit charter schools soaking up tax dollars but providing little improvement, more money wasted on unproven computer-based instruction, and more opportunities for private foundations to steer public policy. Obama’s agenda has also fortified a crazy-quilt political coalition on education that stretches from centrist ed-reform functionaries to conservatives aiming to undermine unions and privatize public schools…

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John Young:

We’d sure be better off than the awful policy DC and Dover offer us now!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

A reader sent this comment in response to an earlier post about Mr. Rogers, the kind and gentle man who had his own television show for children for many years:

I have to believe if Mr. Rogers were in charge of education, Race To The Top would work like this:

“There was a story going around about the Special Olympics. For the hundred-yard dash, there were nine contestants, all of them so-called physically or mentally disabled. All nine of them assembled at the starting line and, at the sound of the gun, they took off. But one little boy didn’t get very far. He stumbled and fell and hurt his knee and began to cry. The other eight children heard the boy crying. They slowed down, turned around, and ran back to him–every one of them ran back to him. The little boy got up, and he and the…

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Originally posted on GFBrandenburg's Blog:

This is from Richard Hake, who apparently is paraphrasing what David Denby at <http://nyr.kr/RPfOkF> wrote (paraphrasing; supplemented by references to Ravitch’s critiques in “The New York Review of Books”:

Diane Ravitch has emerged as one of the leading opponents of the education-reform movement. She has:

1. Written a series of scathing rebuttals of reform measures in “The New York Review of Books”:
a. “The Myth of Charter Schools” <http://bit.ly/h0Lx8Q&gt;;
b. “School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade”<http://bit.ly/TclFCY&gt;;
c. “Schools We Can Envy” <http://bit.ly/QqtdTi&gt;;
d. “How, and How Not, to Improve the Schools” <http://bit.ly/RPBDAO&gt;;
e.  “Do Our Public Schools Threaten National Security?” <http://bit.ly/10hxmth&gt;;
f. “In Mitt Romney’s Schoolroom” <http://bit.ly/TcmHxS&gt;; and
g. “Two Visions for Chicago’s Schools” <http://bit.ly/SKjkeA&gt;.

2.  Written some two thousand posts on a blog <http://dianeravitch.net/ > she started in April, which has received almost a million and a half page views.

3. Published “The Death and Life of…

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“Invitation” to participate in the DOE teacher “incentive” program. #netDE

Here’s CSD’s invite:

Here’s the RE-invitation after we rejected this terrible program:

Here’s the press release:

State Names Eligible Schools for Talent Retention/Attraction Initiative

Release Date: May 11, 2012 8:00 AM  ShareThis

The Delaware Department of Education today announced 30 schools whose educators may be eligible to participate in the state’s Talent Retention/Attraction Initiative that seeks to reward and retain educators serving the highest-need buildings.

District and charter school leadership will have the opportunity to decide whether their eligible buildings participate. If they opt to do so for Year 1 of the program, select top-performing highly-effective principals, assistant principals and teachers in the schools would be eligible for a financial incentive of $10,000, funded by part of the state’s federal Race to the Top grant. Selected educators commit to remain in their respective schools for at least two additional years as part of the program.  The financial reward will be linked to that commitment.

“Our top educators are our most important asset, and we need to ensure we are attracting and keeping our best teachers and leaders in the schools where students need their talents the most,” Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery said. “This is an incredible opportunity to reward and incentivize the great teaching that leads to great learning.”

Sally Maldonado, head of school at Kuumba Academy Charter School in Wilmington, said the program is a great opportunity for teachers.

“As a charter we are always looking for ways to do more for our teachers with less.  This is finally a way to reward some of our very hard-working, results-oriented staff,” she said. “Our teachers certainly do not do what they do for the money, but this bonus is a great way to give them just a piece of what they deserve.”

For the first year of this three-year pilot program, only those teachers who teach English Language Arts and mathematics tested by the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System in grades 3-10 of the select schools will have the opportunity to qualify.

The eligible schools are:

  • Brandywine School District’s Harlan Elementary
  • Christina School District’s Bancroft, Elbert-Palmer, Oberle, Pulaski and Stubbs elementary schools; Bayard Middle; and Glasgow High.
  • Capital School District’s Dover High
  • Indian River School District’s John Clayton Elementary
  • Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Highlands, Lewis Dual Language, Marbrook, Mote, Shortlidge and Warner elementary schools; and Stanton and A.I. duPont middle schools.
  • New Castle County Vo-Tech School District’s Howard High School of Technology
  • Laurel School District’s Laurel Middle.
  • Seaford School District’s West Seaford Elementary
  • Charter schools: Academy of Dover, Delaware College Prepatory, EastSide, Edison, Family Foundations, Kuumba, Moyer, Positive Outcomes and Prestige Academy.

The Delaware Department of Education chose the small subset of schools, with more than 100 students and DCAS-tested grade levels, to participate in Year 1 of the initiative based upon:

  • A school’s inclusion in the state’s Partnership Zone
  • A school’s appearance in the “Top 15″ on at least two of the following three statewide categories, excluding Partnership Zone schools: highest percentages of minority students, highest percentages of students on free- and reduced-price lunches, and highest percentages of English language learners.
  • A school with 85 percent of students in any one of those three categories that has not already been selected.

The Talent Retention/Attraction Initiative is an important component in the state’s top-ranked federal Race to the Top plan. The state received $119 million over four years to implement aggressive and innovative reforms to improve student learning across the state.

“Research has shown that the most important in-school factor for student success is an excellent teacher,” Lowery said. “Reward programs such as this one have helped retain top-performing teachers and principals in high-needs schools nationally. This initiative will help our buildings in need of top educators to attract and retain them in the months and years to come.”

Today’s news story with awful headline du jour: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20121124/NEWS03/311240052/Teachers-welcome-mission-incentive
Parsing to be done tomorrow, likely after News Journal Editorial Board breaks their arms high fiving themselves over an equally awful editorial on the subject that will doubtlessly ignore research.

John Young:

Add your thoughts here… (optional)

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

A local school board in Florida rejected the application of a for-profit charter operator.

The board said they had had a bad experience with the last charter school, which closed for low performance.

They also knew that this applicant had some problems, financially and academically.

When the Metro Nashville school board rejected the Great Hearts charter because of its inadequate plans to serve the diverse students of the city, the TFA state commissioner went berserk and withheld $3.4 million in state aid from the district.

Corporate reformers hate local school boards because they can’t control them.

In the last election, they spent millions to try to buy seats on some local boards but there are so many of them. They bought the Indianapolis school board; they previously bought the Denver board. But they suffered setbacks in Austin, Santa Clara County (where they spent $250,000 to defeat Anna Song, yet she…

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John Young:

Add your thoughts here… (optional)

Originally posted on GFBrandenburg's Blog:

I am reposting this entire email from Bob Schaeffer. People should read these:

==========================

From : Bob Schaeffer

Another incredibly visible week for assessment reformers.  Lots of media coverage documenting the damage from high-stakes testing as well as better alternatives.  Here are some of the best editorials, stories, columns and blogs.

Putting the SAT in Its Place
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-sat-college-20120926,0,2884825.story

Outdated SAT Needs to be Retired
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/outdated-sat-needs-to-be-retired/2012/09/26/0d0f60da-07a9-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_story.html

California Reduces Role of Student Test Scores in School Ratings
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-brown-bills-20120927,0,6744403.story

Graduation Test Requirements: Inequitable, Punitive or Just Plain Dumb
http://www.golocalprov.com/news/graduation-requirements-inequitable-punitive-or-just-plain-dumb/

More Cheating Scandals Inevitable: National Education Policy Built on Test Scores is Undermined
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/more-cheating-scandals-inevitable-as-states-cant-e/nSPqj/

Outside of School Factors Dominate Test-Score Differences
http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/09/study_outside_of_school_factor.html

New Teacher Evaluations Start to Hurt Students
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/new-teacher-evaluations-start-to-hurt-students/2012/09/29/f6d1b038-0aa6-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_blog.html

Teacher of the Year Criticizes Focus on Test Scores
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec12/2012teacher_09-26.html

New Book — One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of Schools
http://www.antonnews.com/syossetjerichotribune/news/25229-nikhil-goyal-leading-a-learning-revolution.html

Do Parents Really Want More than 200 State-Mandated Assessments…

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John Young:

Add your thoughts here… (optional)

Originally posted on GFBrandenburg's Blog:

Bob Schaeffer of FairTest has been compiling weekly lists of good articles that give a view from ordinary schools and households on what it’s been like under NCLB and its successor, RTTT. Here’s Schaeffer’s latest list.   — gfb

=====================================================

Assessment reform pressure continued to escalate even as Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore.  Best wishes to our friends and allies in the mid-Atlantic states as they recover from the storm.

Arne Duncan’s Legacy: Doubling Down on High Stakes Testing Failures
http://education.nationaljournal.com/2012/10/what-has-arne-done-for-us.php#2258005

Texas Tests Breed Schools for Scandal
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/guest-column-tests-breed-schools-scandal/

Testing in Kindergarten — Whatever Happened to Story Time?
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/testing-consumes-kindergarten-class-time-in-chicago/Content?oid=7740293

Hudson Valley Parents Rip Excess Testing
http://newyork.newsday.com/westchester/westchester-now-1.3784383/hudson-valley-parents-rip-excess-school-testing-1.4152170

Data Missing for School Improvement Grant Claims
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/10/transparency_watch_obama_has_t.html

The MLK Imperative in an Era of “No Excuses”
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/27/1149535/-The-MLK-Imperative-in-an-Era-of-No-Excuses

Researchers Urge “Caution” in Use of Value-Added Scores
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/10/25/10valueadd.h32.html

Measuring the Worth of a Teacher
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-evals-20121029,0,592261,full.story

The Naked Emporer: What Test Scores Don’t Tell Us
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/young-minds/201210/what-test-scores-dont-tell-us-the-naked-emperor

Superintendent Dissects…

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