Yes, To Be Clear, I Am Anti-Testing, Anti-Grading

radical eyes for equity

Since the early to mid-1990s, I have actively practiced and preached de-testing and de-grading as an educator.

So, to be clear and not as some ploy to be provocative or to slip into hyperbole, I am solidly anti-testing as well as anti-grading.

That stance is based on a very simple point of logic: Tests and grades have been central to formal education for over a century, and the stakes of those tests and grades have dramatically increased over the last three decades; yet, virtually no one is satisfied with our system or so-called “student achievement.”

In the colloquial parlance of my South, we cannot admit that weighing a pig doesn’t make it fatter.

However, virtually every time I speak publicly, write a public piece, or am interviewed by the media about testing and grades, I come against something like this from Jordan Shapiro:

If we consider standardized testing in schools, it…

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EPA banned child testing —but not until after it sprayed diesel exhaust up the noses of 10-year olds

JunkScience.com

And the agency still defends the tests as useful for public policy — yet another illegal rationale.

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The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

Americas Education Watch

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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Better not be an insomniac

Long time policeman, former military has his guns confiscated for insomnia.

JunkScience.com

So a long time policeman, former military has his guns confiscated for insomnia.

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Uncovering Lies and Damn Lies in Arne Duncan’s Graduation Rates

Cloaking Inequity

Has your state experienced a meteoric rise in its graduation rate since Arne Duncan’s new graduation standards went into effect? Do you think it too good to be true? Nobody likes to be lied to. The latest Arne Duncan sleight of hand is the reporting and trumpeting of graduation rates. The Washington Post related:

Calling it “a profound milestone,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that the country has reached its highest graduation rate in history, with 80 percent of students receiving a diploma in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Fusion.net (ABC News-Univision joint venture) reported:

Texas is one of the exceptional performers; the state boasts a graduation rate in the upper 80s.

The fact that Texas is in that list is remarkable, given some of the unique challenges it faces in educating young people. More than half of the state’s students receive…

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Not with my child you won’t: Psychological Damages of Common Core Analyzed by Joan Landes

COMMON CORE

NOT WITH MY CHILD YOU WON’T

Guest Post by Joan Landes

joan landes

Joan Landes, a Utah mental health therapist, has spoken out in opposition to Common Core.  The speech posted below comes from a recent conference where she spoke.  She has given permission to post her findings here, and they are also posted on her blog here:  Not with my child you won’t!

Thank you, Joan Landes.

National Educational Standards are Based on Myths and False Premises

Myth 1: International standardized tests are important indicators of international competitiveness

Fact: The U.S. has never scored well on these tests, but still led the world in all economic indicators.

  • The international tests began in the mid-sixties and the most important test, PISA began more recently. Since the 1960s, the U.S. has led the world in every significant prosperity indicator including patents, research and development funding, business formation, growth in productivity (Baker, 2007). During this time, the…

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Teachers, be silent no more! TLtBG will be signed, sealed, delivered to Bill and Melinda Gates at #EducatingGates June 26th!

Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates

Dear Teachers,

Katie and I have formally endorsed the Washington Badass Teachers Association’s Educating the Gates Foundation Rally to be held on June 26th.  We would like to join hands in coalition building with the Wa BATs by asking our readers to write letters to Bill and Melinda Gates over the next 7 weeks prior to the rally.

It just so happens that our blog will be one year old  on June 9th and we thought we would coordinate our anniversary celebration with the Wa BATs rally (June 26th) by inviting all of you to join in both events!

All year long, teachers across the world have been writing and sharing their personal stories about how the Gates Foundation’s policy decisions — through Bill and Melinda’s corporate education reforms — have impacted the lives of their students, their classrooms, their schools, their communities, and their own profession.

Here’s how we…

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