Archives for category: Testing

Teacher Philip Kaplan left the following comment on the blog:

 

The plight of Our Children, our schools and our nation

 

 

The ranks of special education students are swelling, and as the breakdown of society continues to impact the ability of public schools to deliver resources and services, the crisis deepens. Teaching today’s students is difficult by any definition, and as educators are blamed for the consequences of society’s collective abandonment and subsequent surrender of their young people to technological marvels, enter the government with their ridiculous plans to hold us, and only us, accountable. Enter the right wing politicians, desperate to discredit teachers to ensure funding for their political campaigns. They have blindsided us, stabbed us in the back, and have squarely pinned the blame for America’s problems on America’s teachers

 

 

There are dozens of variables in a child’s education, and to choose one variable, the teachers, and to choose two arbitrary points during the school year to measure that variable, is statistically speaking, unsupportable by any stretch of any imagination.

 

 

As I watched my ten and eleven year old children sit before their computer screens, as springtime weather called to them from outside the windows, as dozens of tests collected into one big massive distaste in their minds, I thought how absurd this whole picture looked. For two hours of silence, a highly unnatural condition for them to endure, I watched them struggle to do their best.

 

 

Two measuring points on a 180 day continuum was going to translate into my measurement as a teacher. Two arbitrarily chosen points on a wildly fluctuating line that changed as quickly as a child’s mood and their willingness and ability to focus and discipline their minds.

 

 

Now I fully understand the need to ensure effective educators. I fully understand that bad teachers exist and that the right wing agenda is to kill all the apples in the basket because of the one or two rotten ones. I fully understand that most teachers, most of the time, work hard to create a small oasis of hope and happiness if many of our most troubled areas. But most importantly, I understand, from the moment a child is born, that single event of lottery predicts and creates (perhaps a self-perpetuating lesson) an environment that leads one way or another. To believe otherwise is pure hypocrisy or self-delusion.

 

 

I even support the idea of accountability, but only when calibrated properly against the other variables that impact a child’s future just as deeply as we do. Start with the school’s ability or willingness to enforce a behavioral code, making the students accountable for their behavior. We will call that the Coefficient of School Effectiveness (COSE) Does the school itself create a calm and safe environment in which both students and staff feel that effective learning can take place. Then widen the circle and look at the school district’s willingness and ability to provide the necessary curriculum and resources that should lead to good learning outcomes (Assuming the district has the school’s “back” when it comes to behavioral accountability). Does the district provide enough adults in each school? We will call that the Coefficient of District Effectiveness (CODE)

 
Looking at the next layer of accountability, the school funding formulas that the states and districts use to purchase all the resource’s necessary to lead to good learning outcomes. Look at the average per student expenditure. Is that funding stream secure, or is it open to the vagaries of a whimsical legislature, intent on securing the necessary votes to remain in office? Is there flexibility built in to ensure that the five year old who enters school reading already at a first grade level is properly challenged? Is there flexibility built in to ensure that the five year old who barely recognizes letters and colors has the necessary interventions to quickly bring him or her up to an equal footing as their peers? Let’s call that the Coefficient of Funding (COF). Let’s not forget to mention the state’s scrutiny on a district’s suspension rates or dropout rates, and whether or not those numbers impact present or future funding. Oh, and the various organizations who sue districts for suspension rates or special ed rates for minorities that are out of line with what they believe they should be.

 

 

Of course, the home environment itself, out of fashion with the fantastic number crunchers and ivory tower academicians running education, has no impact on how well the young lady or man performs on those two arbitrarily chosen measuring points. Ask anyone making policy, and there will be a collective sigh and then the inevitable answer that goes something like this, “We have no control over the home environment and we can only control the school’s environment (Keep in mind the COSE, CODE and COF), so we have to have something to measure the success of our teachers.

 

 

Let’s take a collective pause in our discussion. Perhaps we need to clear our throats to rid ourselves of the collective crap collecting in our craws. The successful education of any community’s young people is the lynchpin for that community’s future success, but as anyone with more than a sliver of common sense can attest to, we are what we choose to immerse ourselves in. We are what we eat, and our most chronic sicknesses, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, have direct links to the choices individual people make on a daily basis. While the big companies that push GMO’s and sugar laced foods are doing what they are designed to do, create and market products, they are only as successful when we choose to buy their products.

 

 

Ok. back to education. Schools market a product. It’s called education. It’s called reading and writing and math and social studies and science. It is called college and career readiness. But most importantly, it’s called hope and dreams. It is the future we market. Or at least we used to. Nowadays, we’re forced to market high test scores and low suspension rates.

 
But if we are true to our convictions as educators (and not pyramid scheme salesmen) our product requires more than just a passive recipient mentality, the same mentality that laps up technology and sugar laced foods with impunity. Our product requires a mutuality of expectations and a relationship based on trust, responsibility and accountability. Successful schools mirror homes in which the people in that home are more involved with each other than they are with their own individual pursuits.

 

 

Let’s take another pause from education and examine oncology. Yes, oncology. An oncologist diagnoses, treats and hopefully rids the body of cancerous cells. If the oncologist is good, the average life span and quality of life of his or her clients improves, clearly a measurable outcome. Let’s take two randomly chosen days in the nine months that the patient is undergoing treatment and then create a test that measures that person’s quality of life. Should that person be throwing up or weak that day, that’s too bad, as the test was scheduled for that particular day, and to reschedule impacts other tests. Oh, and let’s make sure we only select patients for this test who follow all the doctors’ recommendations. That would make the numbers look really good, but in education, most caregivers do not follow our basic recommendations.

 

 

Returning to our nation’s classrooms, where education happens, relationships dictate outcomes. Good bad or indifferent, relationships build results, In a healthy environment, there are relationships with shared expectations between home and school adults within which a child benefits. It is that simple. In an unhealthy environment, the adults at home and at school have different expectations, little or no communication, and the child’s future suffers. It is that simple. If a child respects the adults in his personal environment, it is more likely they will respect the adults in the school environment. If a child is left to his or her own devices without adult supervision, it is more likely their behavior will challenge the structure within which a school must operate to be successful.

 

 

Let’s take another side trip, a corollary to this education essay, to look at the latest results from a test given every four years at the fourth, eight and tenth grade levels, a test that measures math and reading proficiency, as calibrated against the rest of the world’s industrialized nations. At all levels, across all demographics and grade levels, we are on the lower rungs, but digging more deeply, we are competitive at the elementary level, less so in middle school and by high school, are so far out in left field, that we are for all intent and purposes, not even part of the game any longer.

 

 

Again, the reason for this is simple. In elementary, children benefit from the village approach to education, where several people get to know and work with the students, where parent teacher conferences are more common, and where the home school connection is at its peak.

 

 

Suppose we all take a step into the kindergarten room, on the first day of school, where everyone is filled with excitement and where parents and guardians are the most involved. That enthusiasm and energy should be the norm as children move through the grades, so that by the time they reach middle and high school, home and school are irrevocably and positively committed to working together as a team. But something (or everything) runs amok of the goal and the goal of raising a child is bastardized until it resembles, of all things, a goddamn number. What’s the test score, what’s the numbers say, the numbers dictate everything but tell us nothing we do not already know.

 

 

But two things go wrong on the way to this ideal world. First of all, increasing numbers of our young people arrive at schools unprepared to learn in the school settings. So accustomed are they to the fleeting and momentary focus that screen time creates, their minds are literally wired contrary to what real world learning demands. So accustomed are they to a sense of behavioral entitlement that altering their behaviors to the currency of conversation and cooperation is difficult.

 

 

I recall a survey I gave students at my school several years ago, and of the 300 or so that replied, over 90% have a TV and computer in their bedroom. Over 80% have dinner with their good friend, Mr. Screen, a inanimate but strangely comforting friend who offers nothing but what the user desires.

 

 

What can we expect from a society that delivers their collective offspring to us with their minds already wired to expect instant gratification and immediate satisfaction and attention to their needs? Should there be any surprise that increasing numbers of our young people have no regard for behavioral norms.

 

 

The real surprise is that we, in public education, have managed to hold this crumbling infrastructure together for so long. As custodians for fifty million young people, we are the only institution with the ability to transform a nation and deliver it from its own nightmarish future. But there are some basic transformations that must take place, or we will become just another appendage to the unrelenting appetite of politicians, bureaucrats and business people whose credibility is dependent upon their ability to mislead, misdirect and otherwise confuse the vast majority of consumers that education’s maladies have nothing to do with them but everything to do with us.

 

 

Making a shift in education means a shift in checkbook policy. Take a look at a person’s checkbook and you understand more about that person than you can gather in conversations. It also means fundamentally altering the infrastructure that underlies most secondary scheduling. But most importantly, it means redefining and molding the home school partnership, so that as our young people move through the years, parents and caregivers are in constant communication with us, the educational experts.

 

 

At the end of the day, public schools can be the saviors of a nation. As the only institution in America that routinely sees 50 million young people a day, we have a chance to redefine our future. But instead of leading the way, we have lost our way and our mission, once clear as a bright sunny day, has become muddied and incoherent. Business and politics have so polluted our ranks that it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish among educational, political and business leaders.

 

 

Our leaders in education, at the district, state and national levels, have permitted the discussion to steer away from what is best for kids to what is best for funding, or what is best to avoid lawsuits, or what is best to hold onto jobs, or what is best to satisfy the incompetent meddlers. In other words, we have lost the voice of reason we once had, and we have lost the respect we once had and we have lost power to truly educate. Instead, we have become pawns in someone else’s game.

 

 

We give lip service to what is best for kids, but operationally, we don’t follow through. We are not allowed to. If we did what was best for kids, we would enforce behavioral codes uniformly, restructure our secondary schools to create a relationship rich culture, reform funding structures to ensure equality in opportunity, build strong home school partnerships and reestablish the teaching profession as the expert in all matters educational.

 

 

Until we regain our leadership role, public education will continue to be bullied and dragged into the mud. Teachers’ unions at all levels must reinvent themselves as leaders in best practices, and until that occurs, they will continue to loose footing with both the public and legal infrastructures of our country. Education leaders have embraced the conversation about single data point testing, instead of fighting against the flawed logic driving it. In backroom conversations, we all talk about the absurdity of it, but in public view, we refuse to take the lead, instead ignoring common sense and the legions of evidence that undermine its credibility.

 

 

Somehow, somewhere between common sense and now, yellow journalism in its most sinister form, has managed to shape our nation’s educational policy.

 

 

There over three million teachers in America, but somehow the shameful cases of a few scattered situations has been parlayed into a national image of incompetence, laziness and general indifference.

 

 

Real education requires an involved and active relationship between the teachers and students, and that active relationship in turn, requires ongoing conversations that mirror mutual respect and most importantly, a shared behavioral code. No one ever talks about the role students’ behaviors play in the education world, but that is the most important variable over which we pretend does not exist. Until behavioral codes are enforced across all demographics, in the busses that carry our students, in the cafeterias that feed our students, at the sports arenas that hold our students, in the hallways through which our students pass, and of course, in the classrooms in which learning must occur, nothing of lasting worth can occur. And until we, as public educators, take the lead in all things relating to a learning, and education, we will continue to lose those daily battles of attrition with which we are all familiar. And in the end, we will lose the war that profit hungry corporate America, aided and abetted by irresponsible members of the political establishment, is waging on all of us in public education. The children of America deserve better. They deserve our leadership, not our blind allegiance to an educational hierarchy intent on bartering with the enemy.

Please put March 9 on your calendar if you live in or near Long Island, Néw York. There will be a major event at C.W. Post University to discuss current trends in education and how to set them right. The event was originally set for Hofstra but the auditorium had only 1,000 seats, and the organizers quickly ran out of tickets. The event has been moved to the Tilles Center, which holds 2,200 people. Tickets are free. Reserve a seat here.

Long Island is the epicenter of test rebellion. Most of Néw York’s 60,000 plus students who opted out were in Long Island. Principals and superintendents have been outspoken against high-stakes testing.

I will speak, so will Carol Burris as well as parents and others who object to the plague of high-stakes testing.

Thousands of students refused the PARCC test in Néw Jersey, including 1,000 students at Governor Christie’s alma mater, Livingston High School.

In one district, 30% of the students refused to take the test.

Hundreds of high school students walked out of Common Core tests in New Mexico, despite administrators’ threats that they may not be able to graduate. Many carried hand-lettered signs with statements like “We are not a test score.” U.S. News reports on the walkout here. 

 

State Commissioner of Education Hanna Skandera, who previously worked for then-Governor Jeb Bush in Florida, is an avid supporter of Common Core and the PARCC tests. She is a member of Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change and previously worked for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. The Senate in New Mexico delayed her confirmation because she has never been a teacher, which is a requirement for her post.

FLORIDA COMPUTER EXAM FIASCO
SHOWS NEW ASSESSMENTS “NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME;”
COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT REFORM NEEDED TO REPLACE POLITICALLY DRIVEN TESTING SYSTEM

Problems with the new, computer-administered Florida Standards Assessments are widespread. At least a dozen school districts, including Broward, Hillsborough, Miami- Dade, Orange, Oskaloosa, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia reported total breakdowns or significant testing delays.
According to Bob Schaeffer, a Florida resident who is Public Education Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, which monitors standardized exams across the country, “Florida computerized tests are clearly not ready for prime time. The reason is that they were rushed into place based on a Tallahasee-mandated schedule not technical competence or educational readiness.”
Schaeffer continued, “Parents, teachers, superintendents and computer experts all warned that such breakdowns were inevitable. Yet, policy-makers ignored the warnings as well as evidence of similar problems last year in Florida and a dozen other states.”
“Today’s fiasco once again demonstrates that Florida testing policy is being driven by politicians and ideologues, not educators,” Schaeffer concluded. ”Florida schools and the children they serve need a pause in testing insanity and a thorough overhaul of the state’s assessment system. Enough is enough”
FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer has lived full-time in southwest Florida for fifteen years. He works closely with assessment reform groups in Lee County and across the state.

Fox News reported that an eighth grade student was suspended in New Mexico for telling her classmates about their right to opt out. She found the forms for opting out on her own school’s website. The Santa Fe school district reiterated that students have the right to opt out. Yet she was suspended for doing what everyone seemed to agree was legal and right. For her common sense and courage, I place Adelina Silva on the blog’s honor roll. Not only did she do the right thing, she said she would do it again.

 

 

12-year-old Adelina Silva printed out the forms from her own school’s website and was rewarded with a trip to the principal’s office.

 

Adelina and her mother, Jacqueline Ellvinger, appeared on “Fox and Friends” this morning to explain what happened and why Adelina was punished.

 

“I wanted the parents to know that they had the option to let the student either take the test or not,” Adelina said.

 

“I was sent to the principal’s office for an hour and 20 minutes and then at the end of the day she ended up suspending me.”

 

The school district released a statement, saying, “Santa Fe Public Schools supports a parent’s right to opt his or her child out of state-mandated standardized testing … no students in the district have been disciplined for supporting or promoting this district policy of a parent’s right to opt their child out of testing.”

 

Ellvinger said her daughter’s rights were violated even though she didn’t do anything wrong.

 

“She did absolutely nothing wrong and yet they are making her feel like she did,” Ellvinger said, adding that she’s “furious” and has spoken to the state’s senators.

 

Despite the negative reaction from the school, Adelina said she would do the same thing again.

Earlier, Chicago Superintendent Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the city schools were not ready to give the PARCC test. She planned to give the test to only 10% of students. Federal and state pressure was applied, and the city caved to threats. It’s not about what’s best for children. It is power politics, and Arne Duncan’s demand that no child go untested.

NEWS RELEASE
IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Stephanie Gadlin
March 2, 2015 312-329-6250

CTU Statement on Chicago Public Schools’ Decision to Cower to Federal Threats and Administer PARCC Assessment

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union is extremely disappointed in the decision of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Chicago Board of Education to administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) throughout the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district in the wake of intimidation by the Illinois State Board of Education and U.S. Department of Education. The district’s choice to back down from state and federal threats to withhold education funding if the PARCC was not administered throughout CPS allows for continued policy measures to disrupt the lives of students, handcuffs classroom educators and holds the sword of disinvestment over children and communities who need resources the most.

“This has the potential to blow up and be a tremendous failure, because CPS itself has said the district may not be able to handle a proper rollout at this time due to technical issues and frustration among students, teachers and administration over administering the test properly,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “But instead of understanding those issues, the state and the feds decided to threaten to withhold resources from a district that’s one of the most poorly resourced in the nation.”

By changing course on a previous decision to limit the PARCC to just 10 percent of CPS schools students, the district will continue to burden elementary school students with the inhumane pressure of over-testing, valuable time away from classroom instruction. A number of CPS teachers who have taken the sample PARCC test have stated that the assessment is inappropriate for the target 3rd through 8th grades, and is coyly designed for students to fail.

The district’s decision to administer the PARCC test comes nearly a year to the day after the boycott of the now-defunct Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) by teachers at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy on March 3, 2014.

###

Bob Braun posts an eloquent letter written by 35 teachers at Science Park High School in Newark, one of the top schools in New Jersey.

 

The teachers write:

 

To Whoever Will Listen:

 

We are teachers at Science Park High School in Newark, New Jersey, and we are deeply disturbed by the thirty days of disruption being forced on our school. In the coming weeks, like the rest of New Jersey, we will be forced to administer the PARCC exam. A few weeks ago we saw the schedule: three weeks of testing in March, followed by three weeks of testing in May. This total does not include the additional week of make-up testing following each of the three-week periods. This total does not include the days of mandatory test preparation to familiarize students with the exam’s very specific computer interface. This total does not include the thousands of hours of training of teachers and administrators to plan, schedule, and execute this exam. We honestly believe that The State of New Jersey, by forcing us to administer this time-devouring test, is engaged in behavior destructive to the educational well being of our students.

 

We believe that the thirty days of disruption could just as easily be called the thirty days of destruction. Science Park High School is a Blue Ribbon school. We, like many teachers in Newark and throughout New Jersey, have dedicated huge parts of our lives to making certain that our students receive an excellent education. We come in early. We stay late. We give up our weekends. We wouldn’t change our dedication because we love what we do. We love the students we teach. Our love forces us to say something.

 

We do not believe that parents and administrators who work for the State of New Jersey understand the destructive impact this testing will have on our ability to teach students. Some teachers will be removed from their classes for a week. The second week that same teacher may not have any students because they are being tested. In the third week they may have only partially filled classes. The disruption will continue with some students still absent from class during the fourth week of make-up exams. Then we have spring break, three weeks of teaching in April, and in May we test for a second three-to-four week period. We say again, in May we test for a second three- to four-week period!

 

We value our time in the classroom with our students. Teachers are important to the educational process. It is wrong to stop the educational process for close to 17 percent of the year to administer an exam. We could talk about further objections, like the use of a confusing computer interface, or the use of an exam that many highly educated and successful people have difficulty completing. But thirty days of testing is sufficiently outrageous and — we believe — indefensible.

 

There are three questions this schedule raises that demand answers:

 

1. Why is 30 days of testing disruption more beneficial than 30 days of classroom instruction? We have never heard a pedagogical justification for this and could not imagine what one would be. Explain to us how this is about the education of our children.

 

2. How much are the State of New Jersey and private foundations spending on the creation, training, execution, and grading of this exam, and who is financially benefitting from this? There is so much in education that we cannot afford, that we must fund out of our own pockets. There are so many teachers and clerks and drug counselors and attendance counselors who have been laid off, in our own building, in our district, in our state. What is the financial bottom line?

 

3. If this PARCC exam is so valuable and good, how many of New Jersey’s top private schools have adopted it? Is Delbarton or Newark Academy or Pingry subjecting their students to the “educational benefits” of this exam?

 

Although we, the undersigned education workers, do not represent the entire faculty at Science Park High School, we are confident that every member of our faculty shares our critique of this exam. We are even confident that many principals and superintendents not brought in by the current regime share our critique. Yet many are afraid to speak out because they fear retaliation against themselves, their principal, or even the entire staff or school if they dare voice their honest, professional opinion.

 

We who have signed this letter cannot live in fear. We are offended by the situation in which we find ourselves, in which education policy is dictated by billionaires who never taught a day in their lives, while our patiently gained professional expertise is ignored. Even worse, we are offended by a situation where many honest, hard-working education workers feel afraid to voice their professional opinion for fear of backlash.

 

What type of teachers would we be if we taught our students about the First Amendment, yet did not voice our professional opinion? What type of teachers would we be if we taught our students about civil rights movements, yet neglected to defend them from this exam? With these questions in our conscience, we are not afraid to issue this clear statement.

 

We love teaching. We love our students. Our collective educational opinion is that PARCC’s thirty days of disruption is bad for our schools and bad for our children.

 

[Bob Braun’s note: Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to reproduce the signature pages of this statement. However, these are the names appended to the statement. Because the names were hand-written, I may not spell some correctly. Corrections are requested and will be made ASAP. My apologies for any mistakes. Here is the list of names in the order they appear on the statement:]

 

 

Branden Rippey

Hubert McQueen

Filip Spirovski

Kim Schmidt

Jose Gomez-Rivera

Anthony Moreno

Luan Goxhaj

Patrick Farley

Ana Serro

Cheryl Bell

Jonathan Alston

Randy Mitchell

Claudia Amanda Pecor

Justin Mohren

Cristiano Liborio

Carolina Parasiti

Doretta Sockwell

Aziz Kenz

Marta Ilewska

Veronica Naegele

Richard R. Selander

Chaunte’ Killingsworth

Jim McMahon

Marcellus D. Green

Michelle Benjamin

Peter Wang

Mario McMiller

Ben Patiak

Lisa Bento

Lorenzo Cruz

Jeanina Perez

Pamela Cole

Ana Aranda

Joseph Okil

Philip Yip

Peter Greene read Arne Duncan’s speech carefully on the future of NCLB and boils down his vision of the federal role in education to one word: testing.

“First, Duncan positions assessment in the center of his education universe. He starts out by describing a large vision of education, one that is filled with innovation, meets the needs of every child, promotes equity, provides opportunity, values all subject areas, and provides every school with sufficient support and resources. And somehow considering all those aspects of a grand vision of education leads him to a Big Standardized Test. That’s it.

“It’s like someone who describes the awesome heights and sensations of a gourmet dinner, teasing you with visions of tastes and textures, savory combinations and a palate immersed in gustatorial ecstasy and then, after all that description and anticipation, at the moment of the Big Reveal, draws back the curtain on— a can opener.

“Testing is Chef Duncan’s can opener.”

Despite the universal failure of Duncan’s test-based teacher evaluation, despite its debunking by the Anerican Statistical Association, Duncan stubbornly clings to it. He is certain that parents want to know how their child compares to children in other states. I don’t understand that. I always had many questions about how my children were doing in school but I never wondered how they compared to children their age in other states. I wanted to know if they worked well with others, if they were respectful to their teachers, if they were good citizens, if they completed their school work in time. I counted on their teachers to bring any problems to my attention, and they did.

 

Greene writes:

 

“Parents are morons

 

“It wouldn’t be a Duncan speech about testing without the presumption that schools are liars and parents are dopes.

 

“Will we work together to ensure every parent’s right to know every year how much progress her child is making in school?

 

“Because only with the intervention and oversight of the federal government can parents have a clue about how their children are doing in school. And only a federally-mandated BS Test can give them a picture of their child’s education.

 

“Irony overload

 

“Later in the speech, Duncan suggests that “maybe our only hope is absolute honesty and transparency.” It is a great line, and one that I absolutely agree with.

 

“And yet, like most of Duncan’s prettiest rhetoric, it’s not reflected in any policy that he actually pursues. Doubling down on testing without considering its damaging effects and its utter failure to measure anything it claims to measure– this is not honest or transparent. The continued investing of BS Tests with powers they don’t have and effects they cannot achieve is neither honest nor transparent. The absolute refusal to hear opposing viewpoints is neither honest nor transparent.

 

“Duncan makes much noise about the need to supply quality education to the poor, to minorities, to students anywhere in the country who are not getting the full benefit of public education. He hears the cries for education and equity and justice and having heard them, he is sending… standardized tests (well, and charter schools, for some of those students, anyway).

 

“Regardless of your diagnosis of US educational ills, I don’t know how you arrive at the prescription, “We need more Big Standardized Tests driving all major decisions from the federal level.” Particularly after we’ve had a few years to see just how poorly how that actually works. Duncan’s speech includes an impassioned plea not to turn back the clock, not to return to a failed past. What he either can’t or won’t see is that his devotion to a failed test-based education policy is just such a retrograde response to education concerns.

 

“The Big Standardized Test can now takes its place in the gallery of failed educational policies of the past. If Duncan really wanted to move forward, he would leave BS Testing in the past where it belongs.”

Florida has a bigger problem than opt outs: early this morning many districts experienced major technological problems with the state exams.

 

Miami-Dade (the largest district in the state), Palm Beach County, Pasco County, and Okaloosa County have suspended testing due to computer failures.

 

Look for updates here on the Facebook page of Parents Across Florida.

https://www.facebook.com/ParentsAcrossFlorida?ref=hl

 

Jeb Bush, the father of Florida’s punitive testing and accountability system, was expecting to get a big boost for his campaign from the Common Core testing. He is the leading proponent of computer-driven everything; his Foundation for Educational Excellence (now headed by Condaleeza Rice) is funded by major tech corporations who are heavily invested in educational software and hardware.

 

Here is the first story about the breakdown of state testing in major school districts.

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125,040 other followers