Bianca Tanis on New York State Ed’s Shakedown of Early Childhood

Bianca School Bus

At EngageNY, a website maintained by the state’s education department, there’s a timeline for the implementation of the Common Core standards. As you might expect from a bureaucracy, it is not current, stranding us at the 2014-15 school year. A footnote, in red type, announces an update on November 18, 2013, available in a PDF file for downloading. We’re assured that the curriculum, instruction, and assessments are rigorous, that they focus on priority knowledge—whatever that may be—and skills to ensure college- and career-readiness.

Missing from the timeline is the sturm und drang of the process. Bianca Tanis, a . . . Read full article →

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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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Jeanette Deutermann Leads an All-Star Team for the Whole Child

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Earlier this year, as New York entered the testing season, Jeanette Deutermann posted some advice on the Facebook page of the Long Island Opt-Out group. A mother of two, at the epicenter of the state’s resistance movement, she addressed this question: what do we say to individuals who think it’s important for kids to take the test so that they learn not to back down from a challenge?

The steering committee of New York State Allies for Public Education, upon which Deutermann sits, had to get it right. This was no academic exercise: it went straight . . . Read full article →

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