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This link recently saved by rgreco on January 08, 2013
"As a professor invested in critical thinking—that is, in difficult thinking—I have become increasingly disillusioned with the traditional student paper. Just as the only thing a standardized test measures is how well a student can take a standardized test, the only thing an essay measures is how well a student can conform to the rigid thesis/defense model that, in the hands of novice scholars, eliminates complexity, ambiguity, and most traces of critical thinking."
This link recently saved by rgreco on December 16, 2012
"All the scientists say that the quahogs don't move, they don't go up and down [in the winter when the water is colder]. We claim they do… You have a rake with longer teeth, you catch 'em. With shorter teeth, you don't." —Howard Drew, Bayman
"We confuse experts with scientists.
We confuse the process of science with its results.
A child with a decent grasp of science knows less of a bigger world, and that's the point.
No expert ever made a living by claiming ignorance, but pleading ignorance is what scientists do.
It's hard to test ignorance when "knowledge" is the point, and it's hard to teach science when standardized tests focus on this-thing-we-do-in school-we-call-science."
"Every field has charlatans, and right now the charlatans are winning.
Me? I'm teaching science while I can, and clamming when I can.
The flats feed me, literally and metaphorically.
Experts do neither."
This link recently saved by rgreco on December 12, 2012
"Though I alone was responsible for insulating myself from challenge and failure and meaningful reward, an entire system buffers today’s children from such possibilities. Overprotective parents, schools dedicated to acing exams, a college preparatory system that offers zero capacity for error (unless it provides pathos fodder for the application essay) — all of these elements make it hard for the ambitious child to risk a misstep. There is no room for failure, let alone soap opera afternoons.
Today, perfect children check off boxes at all levels. At a Manhattan preschool last year, word spread about the magnificent child who had won acceptance at 12 — 12! — coveted kindergartens. “How did she manage it?” parents were heard to whisper. And then the answer was passed along the same gossip chain. “When asked to jump, my daughter will not only jump, she’ll ask, ‘How high?’ ” her mother explained."
This link recently saved by rgreco on November 25, 2012
"I want to talk about love — not romance, not love l-u-v.
I want to talk about a particular kind of love, this love: classroom teaching.
I have my posse of gaily clad classroom teachers behind me.
They like to be called college professors.
And we can’t all work for the government.
We gather together because of classroom teaching.
We have shown you our love in our work in the classroom.
Classroom teaching is a physical, breath-based, eye-to-eye event.
It is not built on equipment or the past.
It is not concerned about the future.
It is in existence to go out of existence.
It happens and then it vanishes.
Classroom teaching is our gift.
It’s us; it’s this.
We bring nothing into the classroom — perhaps a text or a specimen. We carry ourselves, and whatever we have to offer you is stored within our bodies. You bring nothing into the classroom — some gum, maybe a piece of paper and a pencil: nothing but yourselves, your breath, your bodies.
Classroom teaching produces nothing…
This link recently saved by rgreco on November 13, 2012
"What percentage of the children read at their grade level or higher?
In Finland, we don’t categorize children according to their reading skills. In each class we have children with varying abilities and talents. So does this class in the Aurora School. Teaching is adjusted to serve the different abilities in the classroom.
[Photo with caption] CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENT DISORDERS OR OTHER DISABILITIES ARE PLACED IN THE SAME CLASS WITH ALL OTHER PUPILS
What percentage of the children can do math at their grade level or higher?
In Finland, we monitor pupils’ learning achievement at the national level only using sample-based tests. We don’t have data available that would allow us to answer that question. In our city, we know that our pupils, on average, are a little bit above the national average based on these sample-based tests. The Aurora School has been in the sample and the school has performed at a good level in the city of Espoo."
This link recently saved by rgreco on November 08, 2012
"Since these non-academic factors are so important, PARCC College- and Career-Ready Determinations can only provide an estimate of the likelihood that students who earn them have the academic preparation necessary to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing courses."
[This is the small print. Too bad we don't lead with "There are not guarantees." That's what I've tried to do. Then we could stop pretending that curriculum is important and get on with letting kids learn. We need to step aside and focus on being examples of good humans. That's all that matters.]
This link recently saved by rgreco on September 24, 2012
"Kyung Hee Kim’s recent research report documenting a continuous decline in creativity among American schoolchildren over the last two or three decades
"Creativity is nurtured by freedom and stifled by the continuous monitoring, evaluation, adult-direction, & pressure to conform that restrict children’s lives today. In the real world few questions have one right answer, few problems have one right solution; that’s why creativity is crucial to success in the real world. But more and more we are subjecting children to an educational system that assumes one right answer to every question and one correct solution to every problem, a system that punishes children (and their teachers too) for daring to try different routes. We are also, as I documented in a previous essay, increasingly depriving children of free time outside of school to play, explore, be bored, overcome boredom, fail, overcome failure—that is, to do all that they must do in order to develop their full creative potential."
This link recently saved by rgreco on September 20, 2012
"You may think the Common Core is more about critical thinking and skills than about content, a move in the right direction, but it doesn’t matter. The assessments will HAVE TO BE about the quantifiable, since we’ve done such a good job at raising the stakes around how the results will be used.
"According to the late Gerald Bracey, who conducted extensive research and authored numerous books about the misuse of data on education among policymakers, politicians, and the media, a measure of some of the most valuable achievements that test results cannot capture include: creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, self-discipline, leadership, resourcefulness, and a sense of wonder."
This link recently saved by rgreco on September 18, 2012
"The forces opposed to high-stakes assessment tests have their Montgomery, and it’s Snohomish.
When more than 550 sets of parents—about one out of 10—in this small town west of Seattle refused to let their children take the Washington State Measurements of Student Progress exam in April, they moved the anti-testing movement to a new phase of civil disobedience.
From two at an elementary school in Portland, Maine, to 550 in Snohomish, to 1,427 in Colorado, frustrated families that oppose the high-stakes tests required by the 11-year-old No Child Left Behind law are deploying a new weapon: keeping their kids from taking them."
"The proportion of Americans who say there’s too much emphasis on testing has nearly doubled, from 20 percent in 1997 to 37 percent today, according to a Gallup Poll conducted for Phi Delta Kappa International."
This link recently saved by rgreco on September 17, 2012
"As kids and teachers head back to school, we wanted to turn away from questions about politics and unions and money and all the regular school stuff people argue about, and turn to something more optimistic — an emerging theory about what to teach kids, from Paul Tough's new book How Children Succeed."