Tag: educational standards

Civil Disobedience, Martin Luther King Day, and the PARCC Test

On January 19, we honor the birthday of Martin Luther King. We can do this by going shopping, or we can find an injustice and figure out how to right it through peaceful protest or civil disobedience. Of course, there are many greater injustices in our country and the world than forcing children to take... Read more »

PARCC Standardized Test Divides Evanston – Part II

Back in 1969 when I was teaching high school English, a colleague questioned how I gave a student an “A.” She noted that his standardized test score indicated he was at best a “B” student. I was shocked to learn that those numbers next to the names on my class roster were scores on some... Read more »

PARCC Standardized Test Divides Evanston – Part I

It doesn’t take much to stir up a controversy in Evanston. At a Strategic Planning Focus Group meeting in November for Evanston/Skokie District 65, there were so many constituencies represented that it was impossible to reach consensus on any issue, including the Partnership in Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test to be... Read more »

My Sad History with Standardized Testing

I have a personal aversion to standardized fill-in-the-bubble tests. They have never been my friend, and we go back a long way. So I am truly dismayed to see this style of testing gripping my grandkids’ schools with a vengeance. You may have noticed that I am still advocating for fewer high stakes standardized tests... Read more »

The Pledge of Allegiance as a Civics Lesson

At Thanksgiving, for unknown reasons, some of my grandkids started reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The ones in school, grades kindergarten through fifth, knew it perfectly. Well, they knew the words. Turns out they had little idea why they said it or what allegiance or republic or nation or indivisible (invisible?) or liberty or justice... Read more »

PARCC – A Test No One Wants to Give but Everyone has to Take

Suppose a new children’s cereal came on the market. Its manufacturer claims it is great for kids. It will make them smarter and more prepared for college and career. The cereal has no label of ingredients and the has never been tested to see if its safe. You only have the manufacturer’s claim that it’s... Read more »

Judy Blume’s Fudge and Today's Kindergarten Expectations

One of my granddaughters is reading Super Fudge by Judy Blume. Published in 1980, the book was beloved by her mother when she was young. But as I reflected back to the era in which the mischievous Fudge attended kindergarten, I wondered if my granddaughter was shocked by the school’s response to Fudge’s behavior. I... Read more »

How Student Essay Writing has Changed Since 1969

Yes, you read that correctly. 45 years ago, I was teaching high school English at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois. In case you are wondering, I snagged that job right out of college. Nevertheless, if you do the math, you know you are reading the opinion of a former English teacher of a... Read more »

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 »

Respecting Children's Unique Learning Styles

My guest blogger is my daughter, Alissa Chung. Alissa is a lecturer at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. She is also a Clinical Child Psychologist with a private practice in Evanston, Illinois and the parent of three.  What follows is an abridged version of her article. To read the complete article, please check... Read more »