Tag: Diane Ravitch

Arne Duncan and Special Education – A Dangerous Mixture

I said I was on vacation and not posting again after Monday, but on the eve of my departure, this came crawling across my Facebook feed via my fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Chicago Public Fools: Arne Duncan Proposes New Accountability for Special Education by Diane Ravitch. Duncan actually said the following: “We know that when students... Read more »

“Life is a Test” – Really?

In its March 6, 2014 editorial in the printed paper, the Chicago Tribune asks, “Where is the harm in a child taking the ISAT?” The headline read, “Life is a Test.” Wish I could link you to that version, but the online version is substantially different. The print editorial makes several interesting claims about why... Read more »

Grading First Graders, Seriously?

On December 3, 2013, the most recent scores from the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA), an exam given every three years to 15 year olds around the world in reading, math and science, were released. Despite the relentless and narrow focus on testing and accountability, American teens’ scores have not improved since 2000.  In... Read more »

Is there a fair way to evaluate teachers?

Fewer make the grade!  New state standards a jolt, particularly in poorer areas! Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune devoted much of the front page and two inside pages to the newly released Illinois school report card. Because the 2013 exams were made harder, test scores plummeted, especially in “poorer communities.”  Are these scores really the best way... Read more »

Too much standardized testing

In a letter to President Obama dated October 22, 2013, top children’s authors and illustrators including Maya Angelou, Judy Blume, Sandra Boynton, Jules Feiffer, Judith Viorst, Rosemary Wells, and more than 120 others urge the President to curb standardized testing. They fear that teaching to standardized tests erodes a child’s love of reading and literature. ... Read more »

Good Teaching is an Art, Not a Mathematical Formula

After being a teacher for seven years and supervising teachers for 25 years, I still firmly believe that teaching is a calling and good teaching is an art.  As wonderful as it may seem to find an objective mathematical formula for evaluating teachers, people who have worked with teachers over a period of time will... Read more »