The PARCC: We cannot fix what we do not measure

As we all know from our unimaginably wealthy and powerful education reform overlords, failing American children need to be brought up to speed with a more challenging curriculum–the Common Core State Standards, and be tested using much harder tests–the PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests, currently in their second administration since March. Typically the problem is... Read more »

The roots of the PARCC test

It’s Testing Season, folks! This month we have both the NWEA MAP and the PARCC. Yes, again! I know, we just had them in March. But we’ve had two months of test prep and it’s time for more! I’ve been thinking about where these things came from. I mean, way back in the beginning. It’s... Read more »

Oh eSpark you're so fine! (Testing is a waste of time!) Hey Rauner! Hey Rauner!

Sing that title to the tune of “Micky” by Toni Basil if you are old enough to remember truly annoying songs from the 80s. Just to warm up. Then you can sing the real thing. Here are the rest of the words to the actual song, containing nothing (I hasten to point out) about testing... Read more »

The criminalization of public education

Two stories grabbed headlines this week. Those Atlanta school teachers who cheated on tests were sentenced to some pretty heavy prison terms. By now we’ve forgotten that one altogether because our very own Barbara Byrd Bennett has gone on on paid leave while under federal investigation for a shocking new conflict of interest story¬†a fishy... Read more »

Chuy Garcia for a better CPS

Friends, I’ve spent two years here describing what I have seen at CPS, first as a parent and community member, then as a wide reader and researcher into public education issues in Chicago and in the nation. If you’ve read even one post here you are well aware of what I think about Rahm Emanuel’s... Read more »

Rahm Love? That's the kind where you need to see a therapist

Rahm Love? That's the kind where you need to see a therapist
Rahm Love? This is really a thing? A recent series of short tv spots focus on the love that Rahm has for the members of hospitality workers’ union UNITE HERE Local 1, and their mad crush right back. “Rahm Love feeds my kids and respects my work.” “We didn’t wait for him, Rahm came to... Read more »

The cult-like religion of corporate education reform

The cult-like religion of corporate education reform
Recently I’ve seen some interesting, puzzling news items about education wherein the principal players seem to cast logic to the wind and fall back on irrational opinions like medieval peasants. Like those parents in New York who are angry about the fact that their school just ended homework for young students. A committee was created... Read more »

The end of the bad dream?

What does it mean when you’re at a protest against Arne’s failed ed policy, Rahm’s failed ed policy, and the PARCC, when Barbara Byrd-Bennett gives you fist pump of solidarity and a policeman laughs, smiles, and nods at your sign that says RAHM NEEDS A FINANCIAL EDUCATION? Where are we here? What does it mean... Read more »

5 Ccrappy things about the PARCC

Well friends, it’s come to this. Barbara Byrd-Bennett has caved in to federal and state threats after she suggested CPS would administer the PARCC to 10% of schools. She knows it’s not a good test. She knows schools aren’t ready. But the heat was turned up too high, and the idea of losing one billion... Read more »

The appointed board of ed: An idea whose time has gone

We’re heading into election week and I want you voters to consider sinking the appointed board of ed as well as the mayor’s ship of fools. Oh, we can’t do it right away. It’s only in the planning stages. A “nonbinding referendum” (that is, “something put to a vote which no one in City Hall... Read more »