A Kindergartner Reserves a Space for #OptOut2020

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Welcome to the season of testing, our vernal blood sport. Uploading the schedule took forever. It must have been the server of the New York State Education Department, sclerotic as the bureaucracy itself. But there it was, a memo signed by Deputy Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green. An exam for every public school student on the “education” spectrum—if one could dignify it as such—from third through eighth grade.

Action has intensified in recent weeks. New York State Allies for Public Education, which has long guided parents in the process of refusal, expressed outrage at a toolkit sent to . . . Read full article →

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We’re Not in Reggio Emilia Anymore: Kathy and Ro’s Translation Project

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Play, the primary engine of human development, is vanishing. Melvin Konner, an anthropologist and neuroscientist, regards it as the central paradox of evolutionary biology, combining great energy and risk for an activity that seems pointless.

But pointless it’s not. The positive emotions evoked by interactions, physical exercise, and mastery of skills in play spurs us toward novelty and more flexible learning—an exquisite means of developing our brains, social selves, and alleviating stress.

Sadly, recent education policies have squelched what all the smartest mammals do naturally. Literacy and numeracy, the prime foci of the Common Core, have . . . Read full article →

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ExcelinEd's Pitch to Drive Student Progress: Not for Children

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Late last week, an email arrived from Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She was pitching a new online course. With spring testing over, and the opt-out folks quiet, I guess ExcelinEd thought this a propitious time for study.

Launched by Jeb Bush in 2008, the organization boasts that it is transforming education for the 21st century economy. Their guiding principles: all children can learn; all children should learn at least a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time; and all children will achieve when education is organized around the singular goal of . . . Read full article →

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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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