Defund the Police to Fund Public Schools – Education Article

 Back in the pre-Coronavirus days when we still had in-person classes I used to come to school in a suit.   Every day, suit and tie.   I didn’t have to – the dress code allowed me to wear pretty much whatever I wanted and most teachers dressed much more casually.   Now let me be clear – I’m not saying my way was the only way. Each teacher has his or her own way of doing things that work…

Read More

Why High Stakes Testing Was Cancelled This Year (and Probably Will Be Next Year, Too) – Education Article

 There are at least two silver linings to the current Coronavirus catastrophe for education.   One – with nearly all public schools closed, March was the first month since 2002 without a school shooting.   Two – districts nationwide cancelled high stakes standardized tests in April and May.   Taken together, these are two victories that no one could have predicted before November.   Gun safety restrictions remain laughably lax in the US compared to the rest of the world.…

Read More

Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Every Right to Be Furious – Education Article

 Dear non-Bernie Sanders supporters,   Shut up.   Seriously.   Sit down, and shut the fuck up.   You’ve been doing an awful lot of talking lately, and there’s a few things you need to hear.   We, the Bernie supports, are sick and tired of the never-ending flow of bullshit coming out of your mouths.   For the past five years you’ve called us Bernie Bros, Bernie’s Internet army, Russian bots, naive, sexist, racist, privileged, pigs.   Yet women,…

Read More

Free resources for middle and high school. – Education Article

Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s environmental youth leadership organization EarthEcho International offers its free environmental education resources to teachers, students, and families affected by school closings due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Resources are available immediately via the EarthEcho Website: www.EarthEcho.org The resources, many of which are designed to satisfy national and state education standards, are a collection of live virtual events, recorded videos and short activities designed by teachers and EarthEcho’s education team to support high-quality experiential learning. Most of the videos…

Read More

The First Taste is Free: Ed Tech Follows Drug Dealer Sales Techniques with Schools During Coronavirus Crisis – Education Article

  “Pst! Hey, Kid! Come here!”   Educational technologies are a multi-billion dollar industry.   “Who? Me?”   The coronavirus pandemic has closed schools across the globe, and districts have tried to solve this problem by putting their classes online.   “Yeah, you. I’ve got some… candy I want to give you.”   Nearly every ed tech company has offered help with this processes.  “Oh boy! I sure love candy… Wait a minute! How much does it cost?”   Teachers,…

Read More

Public School Teacher Questions for 2020 Dem Presidential Candidates – Education Article

      What happens when you give a microphone to a public school teacher?     That’s not a rhetorical question. I really want to know, because we so rarely let educators speak in any context other than the classroom.     Maybe that’s why it’s so refreshing that MSNBC is hosting “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Justice for All”on Saturday, Dec. 14, in my hometown of Pittsburgh.     Public policy is usually made by billionaires who…

Read More

Are Teachers Allowed to Think for Themselves? – Education Article

 As a public school teacher, I am often told what to do and how to do it.   Go teach this class.   Report to lunch duty at this time.   Monitor this student’s progress in this way, that student’s progress in another way, differentiate the following, document this medical condition, write up this behavior, check for that kind of hall pass, post and teach these academic standards, etc., etc., etc.   Some of these directives I agree with and…

Read More

The Absurdity of Standardized Testing: Caught Between Prediction and Assessment – Education Article

 Standardized testing is truly absurd.  It’s both a prediction and an assessment.   You take a test to determine what you’ve learned and that will in turn predict what you will be able to learn in the future.   We hardly ever do this anywhere else in life.   We don’t measure babies’ leg muscles to predict whether they’re ready to walk. We let them do what they do, possibly with some encouragement and positive models of locomotion, and they…

Read More

Inside Bill Gates’ Hubris: Propaganda to Make America Neoliberal Again – Education Article

 Once upon a time, the world was run by rich men.   And all was good.   But then the world was conquered by other rich men.   And that is something the first group of rich men could not allow.   That is the reason behind Netflix’s new film “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates.”   The three-part documentary goes live on Sept. 20. But the film’s aims are clear from the trailer.   It’s a vanity project about…

Read More

Project-based learning boosts student engagement at this middle school – Education Article

Seventh grade students offer feedback on projects by sixth graders at Stony Brook School, where about 40 students in each grade get interdisciplinary, project-based learning. Photo: Tara García Mathewson/The Hechinger Report Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Future of Learning newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every Wednesday with trends and top stories about education innovation. Subscribe today! WESTFORD, Mass. – A group of about 40 sixth graders at Stony Brook School here has been trying…

Read More

NAEP Must Get Its Standards Right This Time – Top Performers – Education Article

Forgive me if I am a little cynical about the eternal dance between measurement and accountability when it comes to reporting on the progress and achievement of American school children.  From the beginning, the leaders of our state education systems have invited testing experts to help them set the cut points for passing or not passing the state tests.  They listen gravely to the advice of the experts, then ask them how many students will fail at the recommended cut…

Read More

Setting NAEP Performance Standards: How We Got Here – Top Performers – Education Article

Last week, I wrote a blog commenting on the draft policy on performance standards recently issued by the National Assessment Governing Board.  In it, I called for performance standards based not on people’s opinions about what constitutes basic, proficient and advanced performance at three grade levels but on what the evidence shows it takes to succeed in the first-year program of a typical community college, on the grounds that, for at least half of our high school graduates, our community…

Read More

Compassion Is Our Standard – The Teacher And The Admin – Education Article

Compassion is not weakness.  Compassion is not lowering standards.  Compassion is not about giving kids passes without giving consequences.  Compassion is not some desperate attempt by teachers to become popular with the students.  There are still relics in our profession who see their rules, their numbers, their order; they cling to what they perceived to be good teaching two decades ago. But, they are even wrong about that: it wasn’t good teaching 20 years ago. Compassion was always the number…

Read More

Yellow Vest Protests Include Resistance to School Corporatization – Education Article

  If you want to know what the French Yellow Vest Protests are all about, just refer to the arrest of 153 teenage students this month near Paris.     The kids at a high school in Mantes-La-Jolie were forced to kneel down, hands on their heads or secured behind their backs with zip ties as riot police circled them with assault weapons.     Why did law enforcement take such extreme measures? The students had been protesting their government’s…

Read More