Tag: educational standards

Quality, Not Kindergarten Redshirting, is the Problem

Quality, Not Kindergarten Redshirting, is the Problem
In my long career as an early childhood program director, I have given many talks to parents of children about to start kindergarten. While these parents were sometimes worried, over the past decade they became more anxious about how well their children would handle entry into a formal education system. Now, a proposed Illinois law... Read more »

Really Dumb Homework

Really Dumb Homework
Here’s an algebra assignment for a twelve-year-old. Go online to find a car to buy. Explain why you selected this car. Now research insurance for the car. Get several quotes for a student driver, including one with no accidents, one with a traffic ticket, and one who had an accident. Now, figure out what your... Read more »

When Math Doesn’t Add Up

A girl hates math, so she writes a letter: “Dear Math, I wish you would grow up and solve your own problems.” Funny? Not so much. For my generation of women and for girls today, math is still a boy’s club with some token females. It is also a white boys club, with fewer children... Read more »

PARCC Fails More Than 60 Percent of Kids -- Why Keep Giving It?

When I was teaching high school English back in the day, if 60 percent of my students failed a test, there was only one logical conclusion. I had given a bad test. The questions were too tricky or not relevant to the material I had taught. And I would have apologized for wasting my students’... Read more »

Opt Out of PARCC: Eight Reasons My Family Decided Skip this Test

In our cash-strapped state that has no money for actually educating our children, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is launching an investigation into the reason families and children opted out of taking last year’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. Perhaps if I share the reasons why my... Read more »

Standardized Testing: March Madness Returns to our Schools

March madness is almost upon us. I’m not talking about the basketball tournament, but rather the intense game of high stakes standardized testing played in our schools. Illinois remains just one of seven states, along with Washington, D.C., still participating in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing consortium. But... Read more »

PARCC Test Fails Kids Again

Parents, brace yourselves. The results are in and only 30-40 percent of the students (depending on grade level and subject) who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) standardized tests last spring have passed. The Chicago Tribune describes the scores as a “troubling picture.” It’s time to start the blame game.... Read more »

Play Must Follow Kids from Preschool to Kindergarten

Many years ago, the teachers of Cherry Preschool in Evanston, Illinois, tried an experiment during the dregs of winter when the children were cooped up in the gym day after day. They removed all of the gym equipment and replaced it with large boxes, fabric, duct tape, and markers. And the kids went to town building... Read more »

Why Parents Need a New Kind of Kindergarten Tea

I have given many talks to parents of children about to enter kindergarten, but the one I am giving on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Creative Coworking, 922 Davis in Evanston will definitely be different. I have promised to talk about Everything You Wanted to Know About Kindergarten (but were afraid to ask). Part... Read more »

Excessive Testing Removes Bulletin Boards and Children’s Imaginations

A Chicago Public School teacher, who served as a proctor for the recent Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing, lamented several aspects of the exam. I have been writing about PARCC for some time now, but one of her complains struck me as something I had not considered. Teachers were... Read more »