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Katy, Texas, School Board Votes to Eliminate High-Stakes Tests

Katy, Texas, School Board Votes to Eliminate High-Stakes Tests.

We are on a roll. Today I hear that Randi Weingarten has put into writing her support of opting children out of taking standardized testing like PARCC. Even though I think it has taken this union leader way too long to back efforts that support real teaching and learning and are meant to protect not just teachers, but the children and the profession as a public good, at least she has finally said it.

Let’s continue to find and share this good news and work to create more of it daily!

Dr. Jesse Turner: I Love Public Education

Jessie Turner 2015

Dr. Jesse “The Walking Man” Turner: 

  • “I am a man on a mission to bring the joy of learning to the classroom. An advocate and activist for children, parents, and teachers.”

    I’m am pleased to share with readers the writing of Dr. Jesse Turner. This piece of writing, in particular, is being shared far and wide because it is touching so many hearts. At a time when the field of education, the practice of teaching, teachers and public schools are under attack, these words strike a chord in those of us who understand the forces at work against us and the price being paid by everyone, especially our children, until we take back the reigns of control from the heartless, monied interests.

    I Love Public Education
    I cried the first time my Mother left me at your door,
    I would learn to love you with every morning cookie and container of milk,
    I would love you more with every song we sang within your hallowed walls,
    I found your love in every teacher’s smile in your halls
    I loved the reverence and respect you showed our flag every morning.
    When the evil darkness of assassination
    took the life of President Kennedy ~ you were there,
    You calmed us, and helped us understand that although things could never be the same ~ our nation would be mended,
    You kept us warm during the winters from 9:00 to 3:00 ~ when there was no heat in our old cold-water flat,
    You were there when they murdered our heroes Martin and Bobby, to help us wipe away our tears,
    You ensured that although they were taken from our world ~ these men would remain in our hearts forever,
    You gave us hope through the riots and the protests,
    You gave us color when there were no crayons in our homes,
    You gave us poetry to ease our pain,
    You gave us poetry to celebrate our lives,
    You gave us history to give us roots,
    You gave us geography, the stars and the moon landing ~ just to let us know we had no boundaries,
    You taught us mathematics and science,
    But most of all you gave us literature,
    You gave us a love of books,
    You handed us a little more of our dreams every single day,
    You were there, year after year, as we spent our summer vacations under the cooling spray of fire hydrants ~ dancing in the streets,
    As every summer ended we longed for another school year to begin,
    You were beaming with pride at every graduation,
    My loves still grows
    I am confused by:
    A nation’s leaders ~ who bash public schools at every opportunity,
    An American media ~ that ignores 150 years of noble service to our nation’s children,
    I find myself distraught ~ by the titans of industry, who blame you for every social ill, while they drink from the cup of plenty, time and time again,
    I am troubled by their mantra of testing will save us,
    I am saddened by their infatuation with fictional heroes like Superman, and homage to those with no real classroom experience,
    I am bewildered by leaders who say teachers are the essential ingredients to success, and then in their next breath say our teachers are not good enough.
    All I am I owe to you,
    I can’t remember one single standardized test,
    I do remember teacher after teacher telling us those tests were no measure of who we really are,
    I remembered loving Mr. Bass’s reminders that poor boys and girls could be anything they dreamed,
    His boys and girls were more than test scores,
    We were his endless possibilities,
    Yes, I love public education,
    I love public education enough to fight for it,
    I love public education enough to stand up for it,
    I love public education enough to take it back from the
    The billionaires club,
    The politicians,
    The policy makers,
    The ones who only see test scores,
    The ones who count numbers not tears,
    The ones who refer to America’s children as “Data”
    Yes, I love public education; enough to walk to Washington DC again in 2015.
    Forever in your debt,
    Jesse Turner

    Jesse Turner profile pic
    Follow him Twitter: @readdoctor

    Dr. Turner will start his walk at Central State University on June 11th and it will end in Washington, D.C.  He will walk about 400 miles in 40 days.  Check out his event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/297723840427078/

If my child is going to sit for 500 minutes to take a test there better be a good reason.

It is critical that we all understand that everything about the PARCC test is a sharp departure from the previous kinds of standardized testing that has ever been done. The standards upon which they are based were agreed to before they were even written. They were backwards designed from college all the way down to kindergarten. There were few people who are experts in the field of education and zero early childhood educators to help create them. The few who were knowledgeable in their fields have since come out against the standards. The standards are copyrighted and therefore OWNED by this one group and cannot be changed, except by them. And now these tests are going to take longer than those that adults who wish to become lawyers or doctors must take. There is something significantly wrong with this whole process. It has been highly secretive, left out important stakeholders in a democratic society, and has not been proven to accomplish what it claims to do: assure to prepare kids to be college and career ready. Yet they are being forced upon us, regardless of the legitimate concerns expressed, full speed (and a FAST ONE AT THAT) ahead! This speeding train needs to be stopped. Children are on board. Their safety (mental and physical) is at stake! We need to have our kids refuse to take these unfair, unproven tests that will be used to close our schools and continue to unjustly justify opening up more non-community, privately owned and operated charter schools that hand-pick which kids they want to serve. Save your communities by saving your public schools! Say no to PARCC testing and to the Common Core non-State $tandards they rode in on!

lacetothetop

 

If my child is going to sit for 500 minutes to take a test there better be a good reason. To date, I have not heard of any.

 

What we know:

 

-The results are given in 6 months.

 

-We can never see the test.

 

-We are told every answer is “plausible”.

 

-We are told the text is above grade level.

 

-Only15% of ELA standards are tested. Writing, listening & speaking are left out.

 

-Field test questions are on the test.

 

-Prepping for this test has taken a month (or more) out of our children’s education and fractured a love of learning.

 

-There is no proof that this is a measure of college/career readiness.

 

-We are not preparing them to become “good” test takers, because this is the only 500 minute test they will ever take (regardless of college/career).

 

-We love…

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I worked too damn hard to earn my tenure to have it taken away.

teaching work of heart

This is a story of how one man decided to turn his life upside down to find meaning and purpose. He and his family sacrificed mightily to make it happen. He did something that he came to find that he had a passion for and was really at: He became a TEACHER!!!

He’s right about so much in his tale of his path to becoming a teacher, meaning that as a teacher myself, I recognize the truths that he tells. I also recognize what he calls the NEED for teachers to begin to share their stories so that the general public will begin to understand who we are.

I agree. I will begin working on mine now.

Opine I will

I have worked too hard, much too hard to earn my tenure as a teacher to just sit back and watch ideologues and so called reformers snatch it away from me. Tenure should only be defined as an employee’s right to due process as defined by state law.

When a failed journalist like Campbell Brown uses her name to drive her husband’s education reform agenda  and claims to have the legal backing to eliminate tenure in New York, it becomes instant news. Why is it that eliminating tenure is news while earning tenure is ignored?

I worked too damn hard to earn my tenure, as an elementary school teacher. I will not sit back and watch Brown and her corporate backers rip my due process rights away from me. I struggled and my family sacrificed so that I may enjoy a fulfilling career as a teacher. Now Brown and her cohorts believe…

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The Vergara Trial Teachers Were Not “Grossly Ineffective”

A big “Thank You” to Diane Ravitch for digging into the facts of this trial to uncover the politics behind plaintiff’s case.

It is INCREDIBLY troublesome when a case so full of holes can make it through a court system that is supposed to be just and fair. What was fair about this outcome?

If the appeal fails to throw out this verdict, we need to fill the streets of this country in protest. I, for one, do not intend to live in a country where corruption and lawlessness are a way of life. That is NOT what our founders envisioned and not what we can let happen to OUR country. It belongs to WE, THE PEOPLE, not to the monied profit-mongers who want to throw good people under the bus in order to take over our schools, our neighborhoods and our civil society.

Let’s all follow this case and publicize it from the point of view that demands FACTS to find justice!

Diane Ravitch's blog

I was curious to learn whether the plaintiffs in the Vergara trial actually had “grossly ineffective teachers.” The answer is “no, they did not.”

Not only did none of them have a “grossly ineffective” teacher, but some of the plaintiffs attended schools where there are no tenured teachers. Two of the plaintiffs attend charter schools, where there is no tenure or seniority, and as you will read below, “Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara both attend a “Pilot School” in LAUSD that is free to let teachers go at the end of the school year for any reason, including ineffectiveness.

It turns out that the lawyers for the defense checked the records of the plaintiffs’ teachers, and this is what they found (filed as a post-trial brief in the case): (See pp. 5-6).

“Plaintiffs have not established that the statutes have ever caused them any harm or are likely to do…

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