Education for Sale

textbooksby Jean Schiffbauer

In tumultuous times, is it possible to define the ‘public interest’ as something more than a compilation of private and powerful commercial concerns?  When schools are public in name only, do we the public even know what is being taught or how?  We will run a series of posts on curriculum issues facing our schools.  Here is our first post by a long time curriculum specialist at a K-12 laboratory school.Continue reading

How Many Tests are Too Many?

The Florida School Boards took a stand today against over testing.

dmbtest

Sorting out which tests students are required to take is no small task. The Florida Statewide Testing Program Schedule is extensive–take a look.

Take a test yourself.  This is a training test to see what the FSA is like.

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said the testing was “under review“. It is about time!  The Florida Standard Assessments (FSA), our version of Common Core testing in English Language Skills and Mathematics begin this year.  We also have district level tests, end of course exams, national and international tests, and college placement and admissions tests.   All of this testing has generated a backlash. Continue reading

Rote Learning Meets Critical Thinking

by Sue Legg

One of the most intriguing articles that I have read lately is Iris Rotberg’s article on The Endless Search for Silver Bullets. Dr. Rotberg, a Research Professor of Education Policy at George Washington University reported the results of the 2012 New York state assessments and the 2013 New York version of the Common Core test.  The results were no doubt disappointing to charter school advocates.  Charter schools in New York City, the hallmark of high achieving charter schools, continued to outperform comparable traditional public schools.  Charters, however, had higher drops in levels of proficiency. Continue reading