The Weekly Update for the news and views you might have missed. From the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Facebook page: Today AFT President Randi Weingarten sent a message of support to the teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School who are standing up against the fixation on high-stakes testing by refusing to administer the state’s high-stakes test. The school’s student government and PTSA both voted to support the teachers. Dear Garfield High School Teachers: Thank you. Thank you for taking a courageous stand against the fixation on high-stakes testing and its harmful impact on our ability to give our students … Continue reading The Weekly Update: AFT supports the Garfield High School teachers, armed janitors in Ohio (?) and the rich get richer off of charter schools.
High Stakes Testing: The Consequences There is the narrowing of focus to math and reading and less focus on history, social studies, the arts, foreign languages, writing, physical education, or developing research and critical thinking skills. The emphasis on test scores precludes looking more carefully at the cause of low test scores which include poverty, health and family issues as well as the effect of the economic downturn on children and their families. Teachers who consider themselves professionals will begin to drop out of public schools. These individuals who have invested time and money on preparing for a career in … Continue reading Part 4: High Stakes Testing: The Consequences
Save Our Schools is hosting a webinar on Friday, June 1st at 6:00 PM PST with Deborah Meier and Nancy Carlsson-Paige on young children and the new regiment of testing as well as the emphasis on standardized curriculum that is being pushed by Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education for the Obama administration. To follow is an introduction of the speakers as provided on the SOS website. Deborah Meier is a senior scholar at NYU’s Steinhardt School, and Board member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, FairTest, SOS, Dissent and The Nation magazines. She spent 45 years working in K-12th grade … Continue reading A webinar with Deborah Meier and Nancy Carlsson-Paige : Early Childhood Educators Say “No!” to Standards and Tests
Rethinking Schools has just come out with its latest publication Pencils Down edited by Wayne Au and Melissa Bollow Tempel. To follow is the introduction to the book. In 2000, Rethinking Schools published Failing Our Kids: Why the Testing Craze Won’t Fix Our Schools. In that volume, editors Kathy Williams (then Swope) and Barbara Miner pulled together a groundbreaking collection of essays, letters, articles, and analyses that challenged the juggernaut of high-stakes testing and accountability in public education policy. And we thought things were bad then… We now live in a world after the bipartisan passage of NCLB. The … Continue reading Pencils Down: Introduction: Why We Need to Rethink High-Stakes Assessment and Accountability
When I was about 19, I worked as a cook at a fast-food restaurant chain. Their roast beef sandwiches were advertised as having four ounces of roast beef in them. Did they? Well, the loaves of raw beef that were sent to our restaurant were 10 pounds each. Now, 10 pounds divided by four ounces equals 40 roast-beef sandwiches, right? Not so fast. They actually weighed less when they came out of the oven, due to water loss. The central office was apparently concerned by this loss of “meat,” because they put pressure on all the restaurants to keep their … Continue reading Cheating on Roast Beef Sandwiches, Cheating on Standardized Tests: Lessons from D.C. under Michelle Rhee