Tag: race to the top

President Obama Opts Out of High Stakes Testing

Finally. In the twilight of his Presidency, President Obama seems to feel free to say what he really thinks about guns and racial profiling and climate change and…testing. Yes, he’s sorry about all of those high stakes standardized tests like PARCC that I have been bemoaning since I started blogging two years ago. A comprehensive... Read more »

More Absurd Kindergarten Homework

If you thought it was crazy to expect a 5-year-old who can’t read yet to do “reading comprehension” homework in kindergarten, check out the rest of my grandson’s homework packet. The part that killed me was the requirement to “write neatly in pencil” over and over. That’s asking a lot from a little guy whose... Read more »

Kindergarten Homework is Absurd

My grandson has kindergarten homework.  Starting in January, he receives a weekly homework packet that is due every Monday. I guess that’s a good due day because, like 64% of mothers with young kids, my daughter works.  At least she has the weekend to force him to complete it. Because my grandson can’t do this... Read more »

Evanston, just say no to PARCC

Evanston follows the lead of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) about school closings when the weather is cold. So why not stand with CPS on an issue that actually impacts the learning and welfare of children throughout our state? Evanston, let’s join Chicago in refusing to give the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and... Read more »

Common Core Testing for Dogs and Cats

I’m not making this up. In the print version of Scientifics Direct, a very nice catalog of science-related activities for kids, it describes kits for creating interactive pet toys as being “like common core testing.” Among the things these kits claim they can do is teaching obedience commands and training both dogs and cats to... Read more »

Here’s What Preschool Looks Like Without Play

Driving my 4-year-old grandson to his preschool in Indiana was a hoot. Being a substitute nanny is priceless when given the following directions to get to school: “You drive straight and then you stop. Don’t take a shortcut.” To make the drive more entertaining, I ask him questions about what he will do that day.... 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 »

Dr. Seuss Would Not Have Been a Fan of Recent Trends in Education

Note: I just corrected my error. The NCLB passed Congress in 2001, 10 years after Dr. Seuss died.  Dr. Seuss died in 1991, ten years before the No Child Left Behind Act passed Congress and long before the unintended consequences of this law and the Race to the Top played out in our schools. Today... Read more »

Worse Than Frozen Recess – Cruel and Unusual Punishment

As this “winter of our discontent” rages on with heaps of snow alternating with plunging temps, school children in my community continue to suffer. My post Meltdown Over Frozen Recess apparently underestimated the problem. Teachers’ nerves may be frayed over countless indoor recess days, but they are the adults in the room. If they can’t... Read more »

The Educational Reform Movement: Time To Switch Direction?

When my kids were growing up, parents seemed to fall into two groups regarding grades. There were the bribers/punishers (Fancy Nancy word: positive/negative reinforcement) who rewarded their children for good grades or disciplined them for poor grades. The other group was the intrinsic motivators who urged their children to do their best but also follow... Read more »