The State of Education: The Children We Leave Behind

In a system that rewards high test results with extra money and takes away funding from low-performing schools, what can you expect? We ought to be able to expect academic integrity, sure, but I’m not shocked that desperate teachers, pressured by desperate administrators, pressured by high-stakes testing help desperate students in a pinch. If your choice was to nudge a kid’s pencil slightly to the left or lose your job, what would you do? ...more

I am a public school teacher and I am scared of what will be coming next. I teach in a urban ...more

British Schools Boycott NCLB type tests

Many teachers and parents in US complain about the wrongheadedness of constant testing mandated by No Child Left Behind.  They question the validity of the testing regime as an accurate measure of student learning as well as pointing out that other ways of assessing student learning, such as portfolios and projects, are ignored.  Critics also argue that  NCLB has resulted in too much ‘teaching to the test.’  But in Britain, they do more than complain - local schools are boycotting the tests....more

The Irony of Standardized Testing in the NCLB World

Stephanie had to sit for standardized testing for the last two days.  Things have come a long way since I was a kid, carefully filling in those ovals with the #2 pencil.  Instead she sits at a computer, answering the multiple choice questions.   The test program our district (and the state) uses is the Measure of Academic Progress (aka "MAPS Test"), provided by Northwest Evaluation Assessment.  It seems to be a well thought out program, in that the test adjusts to meet the skills of the test taker.  Should the student ...more

Obama Thinks Too Narrowly in Overhauling No Child Left Behind

Over the past few years, I have noticed in my undergraduates -— and even in a few of my younger graduate students -— a shift away from critical and creative thought and a greater desire for black-and-white answers, for lectures instead of discussion and for assignments that feature short answers rather than sustained argument. There are undoubtedly many reasons for this shift, but one of them is likely the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) educational reforms implemented during the Bush administration. ...more

I think the first thing we have to do is stop firing teachers.  And I hope, in light of ...more

What This Teacher Thinks About Early Starts to Kindergarten (originally posted at Kindergarten's 3 R's)

Reminders before you read: 1) I've been a kindergarten teacher for fourteen years. 2) I'm a mommy and have been there. And a tip: You'll probably want to bookmark this one and read it in sections, taking a breather between each one. It's not quite a rant, but there are a few "Hello, McFlyyyyyy" moments that might raise the blood pressure a bit. ***** ...more
I completely agree. I'm a mom of  Kindergartner and I loved this post. Especially the last ...more

Education Matters

Let's work together on improving educational achievement for all children.  Leave your comments on this blog.  How can we narrow the achievement gap?  Is high-stakes testing the only way?  Don't students learn and demonstrate their learning in other ways?  Is there a problem with the standards? Do all state communicate detailed standards for each grade level?  Are teachers receiving the best professional training to help students achieve these standards?  What should inform these educational standards? ...more

Study suggests high-achieving students are being left behind in U.S. schools

The Fordham Institute today released a report on two fascinating studies about the state of high-achieving students under the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative. ...more

Thank you all for your comments and, even more importantly, for sharing your experiences and ...more