Test Nation III: A Dance of Redemption

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It was a moment that called for John Coltrane. The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education—love that acronym, CARE-ED— had revealed the truth about the Common Core State Standards and high-stakes assessment:

Overall, there is not a compelling body of research supporting the notion that a nationwide set of curriculum standards…will either raise the quality of education for all children or close the gap between different groups of children. Therefore attaching high-stakes testing to the CCSS cannot be the solution for improving student learning.

Only “My Favorite Things” would do. . . . Read full article →

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Test Nation II: NYC Opts Out

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“April is the cruelest month,” T.S. Eliot wrote in the opening canto of The Waste Land. The month in which America celebrates child abuse prevention.

Each spring, the English Language Arts, math, and science tests arrive, New York City’s third- to eighth-grade public school students busily filling in bubbles. As one parent told me a few years ago, her high-achieving, logical eight-year-old was reduced to tears upon returning to his classroom after spring break to what has become a torturous rite of passage. This, after enduring 45 minutes of test prep each morning since September.

Now . . . Read full article →

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Test Nation I: Parents Across America Unite

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This morning, succumbing to my raging digital addiction, I opened yet another email from Education Week. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines this malady as a “process” condition—distinct from an obsession with activities such as shopping, eating, and doing drugs. A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry, characterized by cravings, behavioral problems, and dysfunctional emotional responses.

“Testing … Testing … View the Top Stories On Assessment and Testing” was the subject—inspired by the beginning of the high-stakes season (for children, not horses). “Spring is here!” they crowed.

The magazine was . . . Read full article →

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Teaching Kindergarten in A New Age of Anxiety

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These are dark times for the children in the garden. They have lost their place at the center of education. The shepherds of early development are struggling to move them in from the periphery. But the task is daunting, efforts thwarted in the age of standards-based accountability.

Teaching Kindergarten: Learner Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century breaks the silence—not a moment too soon. As editors Julie Diamond, Betsy Grob, and Fretta Reitzes note in the introduction, teachers determine what happens in a classroom, their voices critical for translating best practice to the uninitiated. Yet they’re experts . . . Read full article →

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