For almost twenty years, I have prepared students in my classes for the Proficiency Test, the OGT, the ACT, and now the PARCC and my own SLOs. Never before this year have I felt that the testing took over my classroom. The testing is ridiculous. Every teacher knows it, and now with the many issues with the PARCC and AIR tests, parents, too, are realizing that required testing has gotten out of control. As a teacher, it seems to me we have a few options about how to approach these tests.
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We need more time for teaching, not testing, we’re telling legislators and leaders. And they’re listening. As educators, we know our students might forget the names of the presidents who hailed from Ohio or how to solve an equation. But the lesson we hope they never forget is the love of learning. What matters most — the joy of discovery, a sense of curiosity, creativity and imagination — will never appear on a bubble test. But it comes to life when a student reads a book, performs music, creates an experiment, or writes a story.
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1. You can make a difference. In Toledo, Ohio, a single mother struggling to raise her son without the help of a workable child support system put an ad in a local newspaper to see if there were others who wanted to work for change. There were. Over time, […] Continue Reading… Follow Continue reading →
I have no plans to build a baseball field anywhere in Northwest Ohio. However I, along with fellow education advocates in the area, did construct something last week that was like our field of dreams. We set up a screening of the documentary “Rise Above the Mark,” set in Indiana, which chronicles the problems we’re dealing with in public education; over-testing, underfunding and unaccountable charter schools. Continue reading →
I had “the talk” with my 10 year-old daughter, Nina, yesterday. I felt like I had to tell Nina the truth, though. She’s been asking a lot of questions. She even stayed in from recess one day last week to do some internet research. Now she wants to write letters about it. In case you’re wondering what kind of internet filter my daughter’s school has, don’t worry. We’re not discussing where babies come from. We’re talking about standardized tests. Continue reading →
Education is not how much we “put in the bucket” or how much material we cover, but rather, how much we inspire the students to fill the bucket on their own. A dentist does very little to prevent cavities, but their advice is what inspires us to brush and floss in order to avoid them. My high school Spanish teacher taught me very little of the Spanish I currently speak today with my wife and family, but she planted the seed of excitement to want to learn Spanish. Continue reading →
Okay, so you really should give this a listen. It’s the story of a school district in New York where a motivated majority takes over the school board. They do it in order to destroy the public school system. So? Why should you care? Ohio isn’t New York. Because it’s a working model of how a group of people, duly elected, can go about destroying a public school system with impunity. It’s a model that can be adapted to work anywhere. Continue reading →
American journalist Walter Lippmann once said, “Successful politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate elements in their constituencies.” Most people’s viewpoints aren’t quite as cynical as Mr. Lippmann’s, but the simple truth is that some […] Continue Reading… Follow Continue reading →
This time, four years ago, we had no idea what was coming as a result of the November 2010 elections. Unfortunately, we now know the ramifications of that election. We know that it doesn’t matter whether you’re an educator who is Republican, Democrat or Independent. The education mandates of the last four years apply to all of us equally. We know what happens when we elect people who don’t value public education, who are more loyal to charter profiteers than to Ohio’s children. With all that has happened in the last four years, is there any doubt how critical this November’s elections are? Continue reading →
Normally, the first thought about a labor dispute is that it is about salary and benefits. That really isn’t the case in Reynoldsburg. This is about what is the best learning environment for our students and giving our students, our parents, and our community the schools they deserve. Continue reading →