Renée Dinnerstein's Call to Action: Opt Out!

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The landscape of kindergarten has drastically changed during the era of standards-based accountability and high-stakes testing. It is barely recognizable, having succumbed to the pressures of measurement gone berserk. Young children’s days are now jam-packed with reading, writing and math, as play, art, exploration, recess, and lunch are pushed to the margins.

Renée Dinnerstein, who has spent almost five decades as an early childhood educator, has been watching this phenomenon with alarm. In the piece, below, which originally appeared at her blog, and is reprinted here with her permission, she offers a critique and call to . . . Read full article →

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Bill de Blasio's Schools Chancellor is Leaving: Who will Restore the Joy to Early Ed?

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Not long before New York City’s public schools closed for winter break, Katie Lapham posted to Twitter a drab black-and-white photograph of a testing manual she had found in her mailbox, the imprimatur of Carmen Fariña in the upper left-hand corner. An elementary school teacher and long-time critic of education policy, Lapham felt sick. “We will continue to refuse the tests,” she wrote, with the hashtag #OptOut2018.

Within days of the delivery, Fariña confirmed that she was stepping down from her perch as chancellor—four years after Bill de Blasio had coaxed her out of retirement to . . . Read full article →

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New York’s Young Children are Thrown under the Bus

Bianca School Bus

On September 11th, the education committee of the New York Board of Regents approved the “Next Generation” standards for English Language Arts and mathematics.

Our youngest children have been thrown under the bus.

We are violating everything that is known, which is considerable, about how children develop and learn best. We are stealing their childhood, robbing them of play, the primary engine of human development.

We have empirical evidence that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and preschool the new kindergarten. Across the country, and in New York, we have relegated play to an hour a day . . . Read full article →

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When All Else Fails, We Must Protect Childhood: A Call to Action from Denisha Jones

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Childhood is at risk in the United States. The Global Education Reform Movement, known by the apt acronym GERM, has infected our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, their needs shoved aside by those whose guiding light is profit.

Denisha Jones, an assistant professor of early childhood education at Trinity Washington University, has been active in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of public education since 2011. A board member of Defending the Early Years, the Badass Teachers Association, and United Opt Out National, she is also pursuing a law degree. This former kindergarten and preschool teacher, who . . . Read full article →

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