Standardized Testing Redux

Chicago Mama

For the past yearish, I’ve been involved in Raise Your Hand’s research project on a high-quality education. As part of the project, we looked at the history of and research around testing and assessments. I didn’t realize this until recently, but the pace and import of standardized testing really has changed since I was a child.

When I graduated from high school, I was handed a stack of paperwork two inches thick. I glanced at it and then filed it away in a large box that contains my childhood journals, random term papers, and other written work. I recently took out this file and discovered that the paperwork contained my academic record, an academic portfolio of my learning from K-11th grade.

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NEWS FLASH: Students Will not Learn the Subject If Teachers Are not Allowed to Teach the Subject

Teach Students

Kaplan for Kids

So, what happens when test results are so awful that even a crack public information office, focused on test scores and accountability, can’t figure out how to put a positive spin on standardized test numbers? Denver Public Schools and Superintendent Tom Boasberg faced this situation in late October when, after several delays, the Colorado Department of Education released its first Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) Social Studies (grades 4 and 7) and Science (grade 5and 8) results. This is a somewhat ironic name since the academic success was nowhere to be found. The superintendent writes regularly about the wonders of “reform” in DPS and has historically been able to spin even the worst “gains.” This time, however, he was flummoxed.

CMAS results were released at noon on Monday, October 27, 2014. Boasberg’s emailwent out later that afternoon. His 11 paragraph epistle waxed on about these new standards…

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Butterflies, Rainbows, and Paint

Social Justice Blogger

Views from Alongside a Border

Early on an evening at the end of July, dozens of community members from the south side of Brownsville came together to begin to design a mural for the community clinic’s wall.
The clinic’s pediatrician laid out the evening’s task. “We want to create a mural that says “welcome” to everyone. What things should we think about painting?” she said.

The children, and their parents and grandparents, leaned forward in their chairs.

“A rainbow,” ventured one young girl, “I think that a rainbow would be nice.”

“Balloons!” chimed in her little brother.

“Mariposas, me gustan las mariposas (butterflies, I love butterflies),” responded a third child, referring to the butterflies that are such a part of the south Texas landscape.

The adults at the meeting shared their thoughts as well. One liked the idea of a mother reading to her children. A grandmother that was in the group insisted…

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Defining School Accountability: Test-and-Punish or Support-and-Improve?


Suddenly for the first time in years, there is considerable talk about reforming federal policy in education.  Today this blog will review the way federal education policy has become stuck and an academic paper that seems to have stimulated new thinking by a number of education advocacy and civil rights organizations.  Tomorrow, the blog will share two new policy statements from prominent civil rights and education policy organizations as well as reviewing  growing protests against the standardized testing that has—due to growing federal and state accountability requirements—come to dominate our public schools.

A quick review of the history of the No Child Left Behind Act:  For a long time there has been a hopeless feeling among people who care about the children and teachers in public schools, because it has been clear that not much was going to happen to change the failed policies of the 2002 No Child Left…

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Preschool Teacher Tom: Why I’m voting “No” on Proposition 1B

Seattle Education

This is what preschool should be all about.This is what preschool should be about.

Teacher Tom is a preschool teacher, writer, speaker, artist and the author of “A Parent’s Guide To Seattle”.

For the past 11 years he has taught at the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools. As he writes in his bio at Teacher Tom’s blog:

The children come to me as 2-year-olds in diapers and leave as “sophisticated” 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten. The cooperative preschool model allows me to work very closely with families in a true community setting. I intend to teach at Woodland Park for the rest of my life. I love the kids and I love the families. It’s an incredibly rewarding job.

His blog is a must-read for all parents who have children in preschool or will in the near future.

Here is what Tom has to say about Proposition 1B:

Why I’m voting “No” on Proposition 1B

Everyone wants…

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