Twas the night before testing…

Originally posted on Critical Classrooms, Critical Kids:

images-1

photograph courtesy of Common Dreams  

and I’m too exhausted to be clever.

Tomorrow, April 1, 2014, marks opening day of year two of the New York State Common Core assessments in English-language arts (ELA) and math. Like last year, I will be administering the tests to 5th grade English-language learners (ELLs) and to former English-language learners who are entitled to extended time (time and a half).

But I do so grudgingly – with a heavy heart – as I strongly oppose these invalid tests.  They are meaningless, exploitative and cruel.  As a proud member of MORE UFT, I stand in support of NYS parents and educators who are doing the right thing by refusing the 2014 tests, thereby starving the beast.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting testimonials of the administration of this year’s tests.  Parents, educators and students across New York State – please share with me your…

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Robert Shepherd: The Remarkable But True Tale of the Birth of Common Core

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Robert Shepherd, a frequent commenter on the blog, is an experienced veteran in the world of education publishing, having developed curriculum, textbooks, and assessments.

He writes:

The New York legislature just voted to dump inBloom. But Diane Ravitch’s first post about that subjected noted, wisely, that inBloom was dead “for Now.”

Don’t think for a moment that Big Data has been beaten. I am going to explain why. I hope that you will take the time and effort to follow what I am going to say below. It’s a little complicated, but it’s a great story. It’s a birth narrative–the astonishing but, I think, undeniably true story of the birth of the Common Core.

The emergence of the Internet presented a challenge to the business model of the big educational publishers. It presented the very real possibility that they might go the way of the Dodo and the Passenger Pigeon…

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Good Advice for Duncan and King from a Graduate Student at NYU

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and State Commissioner of Education John King spoke at the Wagner School at New York University. This comment came from a graduate student at that institution. Her insight was so on target that I thought I would share it.

She writes:

“I am an NYU Wagner graduate and a public school parent. I was unable to attend Commissioner King’s speech and Secretary Duncan’s appearance. I hope a bright Wagner student asked how two men entrusted with our children’s education could miss so many of the fundamentals taught at the Wagner School. A Wagner education includes the analysis of case studies. If they are not already doing so, I hope Wagner students will soon be studying the Common Core as an overwhelming failure and as an example of what not to do in order to create change. The Federal Government and New York State have set…

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