“The Other PARCC:” A New Short Film Of Refusal In New Jersey

Newark PARCC Refusal Event, premiere webfilm Montclair NJ Tomorrow 3-5PM http://t.co/KUD3RZNSUq @NBCNews http://t.co/sWT6VfX2Np

The Education Activist

The activist movement in New Jersey, as a coalition of parents, students, teachers, and community members, has culminated in some of the most incredible grassroots organizing in the country. As Diane Ravitch has reported, new legislation in New Jersey has been coined “a ray of hope against PARCC” and state and national writers have been covering the happenings in local towns all across New Jersey (there are just too many links to post, but please look around online). All of this work in New Jersey has culminated in a new short film to be released tomorrow – “The Other PARCC: Parents Advocating Refusal on High-Stakes Testing,” a short documentary film by Michael Elliot.

The video is set to be released nationally at 5:00pm tomorrow, Sunday, Match 1st, 2015 and will launch the already inspiring grassroots activist movement in New Jersey into the national spotlight, highlighting the stories of…

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NPR: Common Core is Wonderful but Tests Are Not

Diane Ravitch's blog

American Radio Works is producing a four-part series on NPR about Common Core. Here is one segment. The program suggests a new turn in the reformer narrative: The Common Core is wonderful but the high stakes tests are horrendous.

I don’t mean to be cynical but I understand the idea behind Common Core and all the moving parts attached to it. In the 1990s, it was referred to as “systemic school reform.” The idea was that all the parts of the education system had to be work in tandem, not separately. The standards, the curriculum, the tests, teacher education, teacher evaluation, textbooks, and every other part of the education system had to be seen as a synergistic whole. When that happened, scores would go up, and the system would achieve maximum efficiency and equity.

That is why–try as we might–the Common Core standards will not stay separated from the Common…

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Holy Ed Reform Batman! TnBATs Go Hard!

  • 10411131_504218046380746_8571538944209469225_n      This week, Tn BATs sent multiple messages to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, TN Governor Bill Haslam, and Director of Nashville Schools, Dr. Jesse Register, to let them know that their decisions regarding public schools are harming our school systems, teachers, and, most especially, our students. 

    In Memphis, one Badass teacher, Meghan Vaziri, held up signs protesting ed reform in a town hall meeting. After the meeting, Secretary Duncan came over to her,  shook her hand, and thanked her for caring enough about public education to come to the event.

    Meghan told Duncan, politely, yet plainly, that his education reforms, particularly the emphasis on testing, are not working in TN, and in fact are detrimental to our students learning and potential.

    Read Meghan’s first-hand account about her meeting with Secretary Duncan in the BATs blog:

    http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/…/arne-meets-meghan…

    Also read about it here in Andy Spear’s TnEdReport:

    http://tnedreport.com/?p=938

     

    Meanwhile, in Chattanooga,

    David Cook, a pro-public ed friendly journalist from Chattanooga, wrote a scathing article blasting Arne Duncan for coming to Chattanooga but neglecting to visit a public school or talk to public school teachers. Please read David’s brilliant piece calling Sec. Duncan to task for ignoring the city of Chattanooga’s public schools and the messages that the teachers in Chattanooga most surely have for Mr. Duncan. See link here:

    http://www.timesfreepress.com/…/sep/09/cook-secretary/

     

    And in Nashville,

    In the Tennessean Rep. Craig Fitzhugh,  wrote an op-ed to Governor Haslam for sending out a less-than -sincere personal letter to TN teachers greeting them at the start of the year. Fitzhugh takes Haslam to task for promising TN teachers a raise, then backing out on that promise, then thanking teachers for working on a shoestring. In a similar vein, BOE member Amy Murrell Frogge took the Nashville BOE to task for opening up the door to the Charter school Achievement School District rather than financially support Nashville public schools. Please see the links below for the stories:

    http://www.tennessean.com/…/gov-haslams…/15527031/

    http://www.tennessean.com/…/14/said-amy-frogge/15589337/

    http://tnedreport.com/?p=942

    Holy Ed Reformes eating their own Pearson Pineapple, BATman!!!!!!

    What else have TnBATs been up to this week?

    Tennessee BATs have also made headway in promoting Isa Infante, former teacher, woman of color, former employee of the USDOE, and Green Party candidate running against Bill Haslam for Governor. She is being endorsed by the TNBATs as the official candidate to vote for in our November elections.

    Oh, and last but not least, since Lucy Bat was unable to meet with Arne during his visit, she made a Vlog for him and put it on Youtube. Check out all of our great stories, publications, blogs, and media in the links below.

    Badass Teachers Association

    badassteachers.blogspot.com
    This is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our societSee More
  • tnedreport.com
    September 15, 2014 Fitzhugh, Frogge Take on Tennessee Ed Reform by Andy Spears HSee More
  •  Nashville parents resists Charter School takeovers: http://tnedreport.com/?p=935

    tnedreport.com
    In a week that saw a group of Nashville parents actively resist state takeover of their school by the Achievement School District (ASD), MNPS Director of Schools Jesse Register suggested turning more Nashville schools over to the ASD.
  •  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRIVbzXG7Yg

    Play Video

    Lucy BAT from TN- with a Message for Arne Duncan.
  •  

    Lucianna Zephyr Sanson's photo.

October 11th, be there: The Network for Public Education will hold an historic event

Seattle Education

NPE

PUBLIC Education Nation will deliver the conversation the country has been waiting for. Rather than featuring billionaires and pop singers, this event will be built around intense conversations featuring leading educators, parents, students and community activists. We have waited too long for that seat at someone else’s table. This time, the tables are turned, and we are the ones setting the agenda.

This event will be livestreamed on the web on the afternoon of Saturday, October 11, from the auditorium of Brooklyn New School, a public school. There will be four panels focusing on the most critical issues we face in our schools. The event will conclude with a conversation between Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown.

Testing and the Common Core: New York Principal of the Year Carol Burris will lead a discussion  with educators Takeima Bunche-Smith, Rosa Rivera-McCutchen and Alan Aja.

Support Our Schools, Don’t Close Them: Chicago teacher…

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Join us for Public Education Nation Event in NYC on October 11, 2014

Cloaking Inequity

The Network for Public Education will hold a historic event in one month’s time. You may choose to attend in person at the Brooklyn New School in New York or view it via Livestreaming. A live-stream of the event will be available on Saturday, Oct. 11, starting at Noon Eastern time, 9 am Pacific time at http://www.schoolhouselive.org/

PUBLIC Education Nation will deliver the conversation the country has been waiting for. Rather than featuring billionaires and pop singers, this event will be built around intense conversations featuring leading educators, parents, students and community activists. We have waited too long for that seat at someone else’s table. This time, the tables are turned, and we are the ones setting the agenda.

This event will be livestreamed on the web on the afternoon of Saturday, October 11, from the auditorium of Brooklyn New School, a public school. There will be four panels…

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Stephen King: On Teaching

the becoming radical

My life as a reader and film goer overlapped significantly with Stephen King’s rise to fame as a horror writer, and then while I was teaching in the summer institute for a regional National Writing Project (Spartanburg Writing Project), we assigned King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

I have recently reconnected with King through his Doctor Sleep (see my review) and Mr. Mercedes. But thanks to Jessica Lehy’s How Stephen King Teaches Writing, I have been drawn back into King as not just a writer’s writer, but also a teacher.

As an article at The Guardian suggests, please read the whole interview, but I want here to highlight a few points.

On teaching grammar:

Jessica Lahey: You write that you taught grammar “successfully.” How did you define “success” when you were teaching?

Stephen King: Success is keeping the students’…

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My 2014-15 “Back to School” Post

deutsch29

I started my 2014-15 school year on Monday, August 4. On Thursday, August 7 (which happens to be tomorrow), the students return.  Thus, the three days beginning this week have been faculty professional days.

I planned to write a different, more research-based post in the days prior to my students’ return, but mentally, I feel like I am on vacation after spending two months writing my second book. Starting school requires a different energy than the intense self-discipline I had to impose upon myself in order to complete a book in a summer. (I do enjoy writing; however, in order to complete a book before returning to school, I often had to write whether I felt like it or not. That’s just how it works.)

In many ways, starting a school year after having written so much this summer (not only the book, but also blog posts) is like exhaling…

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Pretty Campbell Brown and Her Ugly, Misguided Anti-Due-Process Crusade

deutsch29

Over the past several weeks, I have read only a little on the situation of former CNN news anchor Campbell Brown’s sudden interest in forming a nonprofit in order to advance a lawsuit in New York purportedly to “save” public school students of the (surely) inept teachers currently protected behind “tenure” (i.e., due process rights).

I’ll admit, I have only been on the fringes of the affair that is New York’s “Brown vs. Board of Education” (I had to go there, what with hedge-funded nonprofits advancing their takeover of public education as a “civil rights” issue). However, with my second book written and off to the publisher, I am now ready to turn my research and writing attention to this Campbell Brown and her crusade to demolish teacher due process.

Brown has not bothered to demonstrate how, exactly, removal of the due process that promotes job security for good teachers…

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