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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:06 AM

Chalkface blog kudos. Tired warriors in the education fight.

From one of my favorite education blogs and twitterers:

Tired warriors in the fight for public education

Weary is the best word to describe it. Many are tired.

There are those who’ve had backs against walls. Others who’ve been marginalized. “Naysayers, crazies, lunatics, loose cannons,” they are told. Or, in some cases, worse.

We must remain true to some very basic principles:

1. Those who’ve never taught should not dictate education policy, at any level. I’ve stood before classes of young children, even as recently as four months ago.

2. We must understand that the various connections between for-profit companies and public education mandates are no coincidence. Someone, somewhere wants a piece of the roughly $600 billion education marketplace.


And one of my favorite posts at the blog:

What did you do in school today...what they don't tell you (written by a teacher)

“What did you do in school today?” “Nothing.” Ah….the generic response of children when confronted upon their parents arrival home from work. No need to press the issue. As a 15-year veteran public school teacher, I’ll share the 411 from an insider’s perspective — with a well-deserved angle of candidness and transparency for parents and tax payers.

Your child is becoming highly proficient with filling in little circles on bubble sheets and is acquiring a wealth of knowledge on the questioning and structure of standardized tests.

Today’s students are test-taking gurus, a direct result of being instructed via a curriculum driven by high-stakes standardized testing.
A 4th grader in New York, for instance, will spend around five weeks in which they’ll be subjected to some form of standardized assessments. This figure does not account for far more time which is allocated towards test preparation — aka “teaching for the test”. Live in NY and thinking about moving? Don’t. Analogous situations exist in the other states. Your child is being shortchanged of basic academic skills, life skills, crucial thinking, social interaction, and creativity as more time, effort, resources, and money are spent on standardized testing.


As a matter of fact one large charter school chain in NY brags about their little test-taking machines.

Charter school director: When "test day came, they were like little test-taking machines.


"We have a gap to close," says Paul Fucaloro, director of instruction. "I want the kids on edge, constantly."
(Photo: Yolo Monakhov for New York Magazine)


The day before the scheduled math test, the city got socked with eight inches of snow. Of 1,499 schools in the city, 1,498 were closed. But at Harlem Success Academy 1, 50-odd third-graders trudged through 35-mile-per-hour gusts for a four-hour session over Subway sandwiches. As Moskowitz told the Times, "I was ready to come in this morning and crank the heating boilers myself if I had to."

"We have a gap to close, so I want the kids on edge, constantly," Fucaloro adds. "By the time test day came, they were like little test-taking machines."


Crossposted at Twitter

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Reply Chalkface blog kudos. Tired warriors in the education fight. (Original post)
madfloridian Dec 2012 OP
madfloridian Dec 2012 #1
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #2
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #3
madfloridian Dec 2012 #4

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:26 AM

1. Interesting Twitter page as well.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:03 AM

2. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:40 AM

3. kr

 

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:41 PM

4. "so I want the kids on edge, constantly" said a charter school director.

Which means teachers, parents on edge as well. I find that one of the most revealing statements about the education reform movement.

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