Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: A Growing Movement

"When an individual wishes to stand in opposition to authority, he does best to find support for his position from others in his group.  The mutual support provided by men for each other is the strongest bulwark we have against the excesses of authority."   ---Stanley Milgram
The movement against standardization and excessive testing is growing rapidly.  Join the movements at Children are more than test scores , Testing hurts kids, or  Dump Duncan 

The following quotes, web pages, videos and such are just some of the examples gleaned this week from sites around the web.


Changing Education Paradigms :  Excellent video of where we have been, and where we are headed..Easily
worth twelve minutes. 

I found the video above after visiting this blog article:  Dump Duncan | Reflections of a First Year Math Teacher  This is one of the most well-constructed blog articles I have read.  Each topic addresses is hyperlinked to a definitive article or web page where one can find even more information.  This blog is one to bookmark.  The article is one to share.

Dissent Magazine - Spring 2012 Issue - Hired Guns on Astrotur...

How can you resist visiting an online magazine called Dissent?
This article describe in great detail how big corporations are buying out politicians as the means to achieve their newest conquests:  public schools.  This article is one to share in the workroom or lounge with fellow educators.

Privatizing Public Education, Higher Ed Policy, and Teachers - Alec Exposed
This page reveals how ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds. Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws to change the American education system. Do you?

Stephen Krashen: Testing and Teaching to the Test: It's going to get Worse - Living 
in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

When Stephen Krashen talks, it's best to listen...and pass his message on.

"I am a teacher. My pedagogy is not data driven. Nor is it scripted by a test company. I do not do "customer service." I try to stretch minds , stir imaginations, and inspire students to do more than they ever dreamed possible. I am always open to constructive criticism, but I refuse to let anyone assess my work other than my colleagues and my peers. If you can't understand the material I teach, and don't love my students as much as I do, stay out of my way. I have the best job in the world and anyone who tries to ruin it will find out very quickly that i don't roll over at the behest of fools."  --- Mark Naison

The New Ideal Teacher - A Poem
The New Ideal Teacher
By David Lee Finkle

The new ideal teacher
Is driven by data,
And kids become points
On her test-score schemata.
Winnie is a "1" and must be forced to make a gain.
Theo is a "3" and that's a score he must maintain.
Freddy is a "5"; there's no more room inside his brain.
The new ideal teacher
Wants things she can measure;
If it fits on a chart,
Then it's something to treasure.

For the new ideal teacher,
It's shame or it's merit.
She's caught in between...
Well, a stick and a carrot.
The scores control her destiny, for better or for worse.
If scores are high, then there could be more money in her purse.
If low she might discover her career is in a hearse.
The ideal teacher's wallet
Is empty or padded
Depending on value
Deducted or added.

Finish this clever poem at:  The Real Mr. Fitz: The New Ideal Teacher - A Poem

The concentration of a small child at play is analogous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside himself. He has thrown himself completely into whatever it is he is doing.

Einstein May Never Have Used Flashcards, but He Probably Built Forts
Amanda Moreno, Ph.D.: Killing Kindergarten

Here are two web pages devoted to idea that the latest "reform" takes the play out of childhood.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest
Great resource.  Enough said.

High-stakes testing cheats children out of a quality education | Get Schooled

Doubts About High-Stakes Tests and Their Effect on Teachers – SchoolBook
Testing.  Testing.  Testing.  I almost hope, as Dr. Krashen predicts, it will get worse.   If it gets just a little worse, I predict a lot more teachers and parents will reach the breaking point.

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog
Live Long and Prosper...: Reading Instruction Children Need and Deserve
(Two more blogs worth taking a look.)

Flabby to the ‘Core’ | Kennewick School District Citizens
Dr. Valiant's work is a model for standing up for a school district.

A Test You Need to Fail': A Teacher's Open Letter to Her 8th Grade Students | Common Dreams

Don't let these slip of the radar:

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