Sunday, June 8, 2014

How Bill Gates' money influenced passage of the Common Core.

Amazing front page piece from the Washington Post on how David Coleman convinced Bill Gates to spend a small fortune to convince politicians and educational leaders to support the Common Core.

Share this widely!

Key Quotes from this important piece to share:


Money influences.  Embed your people into government positions, and this is reflected in the "Regents Fellows" and the inner circle of Governor Cuomo's education team.
"found a big booster in Obama, whose new administration was populated by former Gates staffers"


Standards do not raise achievement.  Small class sizes, diverse program offerings, and student support systems help students.
Tom Loveless, a former Harvard professor who is an education policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said the Common Core was “built on a shaky theory.” He said he has found no correlation between quality standards and higher student achievement.
“Everyone who developed standards in the past has had a theory that standards will raise achievement, and that’s not happened,” Loveless said.

Common Core is for "other people's children". If the big-time supporters of Common Core do not have their own children attend schools that must implement the Common Core, should we question their motives? This should also include NYSED Commissioner John King, whose two children attend a private Montessori school.
"Bill and Melinda Gates, Obama and Arne Duncan are parents of school-age children, although none of those children attend schools that use the Common Core standards. "

The major players behind Common Core. (notice the lack of educators)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brave teachers are standing up for their students in Suburban Rochester:
"More than 60 teachers at Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport signed a petition today calling for action from NYS Commissioner of Education John King, Chancellor Meryl Tisch and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The petition specifically takes aim at this year's ELA and math tests for grades 3-8. It characterizes the tests as "poorly written, developmentally inappropriate, deliberately confusing, and ambiguous."
http://www.rochesterhomepage.net/story/d/story/spencerports-cosgrove-middle-school-teachers-call/17521/SlIu8kH3DE2y9G0u8Qaa9A#.U07lpVezq9Y.twitter


 Support the Spencerport teachers by signing their letter to state officials

http://standwithspencerport.wordpress.com/

Monday, April 21, 2014

More testing resistance stories

More stories from around New York State as "testing season" continues:


Third Grade teacher:  Why state exams fail my test http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/state-exams-fail-test-article-1.1757467

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Several critical letters about the state assessments and the need for reform and transparency.

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The ELA test was so poorly designed that teachers should have opted out!

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Hey Commish King: "If you don't walk the walk; It's probably best not to talk the talk"  https://t.co/P1YxWeyQco

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Ironically CCLS reading strategies call for finding "evidence", yet CC supporters do not have evidence or research the standards will work.

Another piece tying Common Core to test prep and high-stakes testing. No evidence CC works.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/road-bumps-drama-and-nois_b_5143574.html

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Opt-out movement in standardized tests gains traction across WNY:
http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/schools/opt-out-movement-gains-traction-across-the-region-20140415

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Where are the 2013 Technical Reports?: A Call for Transparency at John King's NYSED:

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Syracuse teachers join Rochester in suing over APPR:
http://www.nysut.org/news/2014/april/syracuse-teachers-association-files-lawsuit-over-unfair-evaluations

NYS grade 3-8 Field Tests - Spring 2014

Here is another important boycott:  Do not allow your children to do labor for NYSED and Pearson.  More lost instruction time.  Is your child's school on this list?

Schools have a range of dates to give the field tests: Contact your school to find out the specific dates.  Advocate to your school administration that your school should send back the field tests without completing them.  If not, organize a boycott!

What is a field test? A "field test" is an exam that Pearson uses to help create the "regular" exams for our children.  So basically our students are being used as "test subjects" to create future tests.  This is another huge waste of valuable education time trying out test questions for the "real" tests, both of which do nothing to improve our children's education.

Parents- Contact your school board, superintendent, principal and teachers.  Ask the school to refuse to give the "fake" tests.  Our children are already inundated with enough mandated testing.  Inform your school that your child will not be taking the field tests.

These tests have no bearing on your child's academic progress and are not used to evaluate our schools or teachers.  Because the field tests have no educational use for our children or schools, this is an easy decision to opt out your child. 

Sadly our children see these tests as a regular part of their school day.  Unlike the state testing in the spring, parents are not informed of this testing that dominates our children's educational experiences.



(Information and list of PARCC Field Tests and High School Level Field tests)

2014 Spring 3-8 Field Tests:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/219489171/2014-NYS-3-8-Field-Test-Assignments

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rabbit season, Duck season, Testing season?

Here we are in the midst of testing season for our elementary and middle schools.  Parents and educators are raising their voices across New York State and the nation against the harmful impact of high-stakes testing.  Here are several good reads about the "testing season" in New York.

Cut Scores
Important read: Principal Carol Burris takes a look at the magical (& political) method of determining the "cut scores" for our 3-8 assessments.
The ridiculous cut scores of the 3-8 NY Common Core tests and what we should do about them.

Test secrecy
A NYC principal discusses the problems with this year's ELA tests:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/opinion/the-problem-with-the-common-core.html
The problems with a "Secret Test"
http://atthechalkface.com/2014/04/07/new-yorks-secret-test/

Nationwide high stakes testing resistance stories:
http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/test-season-reveals-americas-biggest-failures/
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2014/04/new_york_state_ela_tests_sucking_the_love_for_learning_right_out_of_my_students.html

THE NUMBERS: A database of test "refusals" from across NYS:  Over 33,000 and counting:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuLBonoXvLu9dFF1NmtyeWxGTmpRazYtcXoyVGFMeVE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

Yes, Indeed: Test boycotters are the new "Revolutionaries"
http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/my-view/amy-ludwig-vanderwater-test-boycotters-are-the-new-revolutionaries-20140412

A Pediatrician and his 13 year old daughter react to Common Core testing.
http://peconicpediatrics.com/peconic-pediatrics-blog/common-core-a-thirteen-year-old-girls-perspective/


File this one under "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt": Commish King and Arne defend the Common Core:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/nyregion/common-core-gets-strong-defense-from-state-education-chief.html

Great video on the impact of budget & education reform on NYS children & their schools by @NWTA_Union
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFR_n-fc1IE&w=560&h=315]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ApriI 2014 update on the NYS Assessments

Here we are in the midst of testing season for our elementary and middle schools.  Parents and educators are raising their voices across New York State and the nation against the harmful impact of high-stakes testing.  Here are several good reads about the “testing season” in New York.

Test secrecy
A NYC principal discusses the problems with this year’s ELA tests:
The problems with a “Secret Test”


THE NUMBERS: A database of test “refusals” from across NYS:  Over 33,000 and counting:

Yes, Indeed: Test boycotters are the new “Revolutionaries”

A Pediatrician and his 13 year old daughter react to Common Core testing.