Tag Archive: PARCC

‘College and Career Ready’: the big, fat myth of standardized testing

Promoted by Rosi. Cross-posted with Marie Corfield.

Hats off to Delran, NJ Education Association President Mike Kaminsky (@MKaminskiNJ) and his leadership team! They are doing excellent work in the push back against education ‘reform’. Not only did they recently host both a showing of “Standardized” (trailer above), and a Take the PARCC night, Delran also threw down the gauntlet with this very powerful statement against standardized testing, posted on DEA member and fellow ed blogger, Ani McHugh’s Teacherbiz blog:

We, the members of the Delran Education Association, believe that authentic, teacher-created assessments are an important component of any successful instructional program. However, we stand in defiant opposition to the New Jersey Department of Education’s obsession with the use of high-stakes standardized testing, both in our own district and in districts across this state.

And that’s just the beginning. It’s a perfect overview of education ‘reform’ and standardized testing for folks who haven’t read every book that’s been published on the subject over the past few years.  

NJDOE Can’t Get Its Story Straight on Standardized Tests

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman

What is the purpose of standardized testing?

Why is it so important for every one of New Jersey’s (and the rest of the nation’s) students in Grades 3 through 8 – and a whole host of high school students taking the new end-of-course assessments – to devote an enormous amount of their instructional time to taking standardized tests? Why should their teachers rewrite their curricula to align with these tests? Why should taxpayers spend a boatload of money on these tests, rather than put the funds into our children’s classrooms?

And why shouldn’t parents have the option to opt their children out of these tests if they don’t believe they are in the best interests of their children?

.@pasi_sahlberg & David Hespe: A Tale of Two Education Leaders

Cross-posted with Marie CorfieldPromoted by Rosi.

il_fullxfull.263661385Lest anyone think I was a fat-cat, lazy teacher, raking in the chips at a high-rollers roulette table at the Borgata, last week I attended the NJEA Convention-the largest professional development convention for educators in the United States.

There are no coincidences

I don’t believe in coincidence. Too many things have happened in my life for that word to be relevant. Case in point: here’s what happened last week:

  • I read an article in the Star Ledger about why Dutch children are happier than ours

  • I listened to Pasi Sahlberg’s keynote address at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City-a town whose economic fortunes seem to change like the tides that wash its shores every day, and right now, the tide is out

  • I attended the meeting with Acting NJ Education Commissioner, David Hespe, also at the Convention

  • I read this post on Wallet Hub ranking the best and worst school systems in the country.

    Please excuse me while I puff up my chest with pride… Lookie who’s #1:

  • Christie’s Testing Executive Order: A Round-Up of Opinions

    On Monday, Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order that changed how teacher evaluations are tied to test scores.

    Non-eduwonks may be wondering what the fuss is all about; believe me, it’s actually a pretty big deal, and it has consequences for both state politics and Christie’s impending national campaign. Here’s a rundown of writing about this from local bloggers and other sources:

    NJ Spotlight gives the basics: Christie is decreasing the percentage that test scores count for in a teacher’s evaluation, and establishing a commission to look at the new tests linked to the Common Core. The order effectively kills a bill that had passed the Assembly that would have delayed any high-stakes decisions made based on the tests for two years.

    Given how other conservative governors have backed away entirely from these tests, this is actually a cautious response from our governor. Already, the far right is not happy with him. Contrast that to the reaction of the NJEA:

    Teacher Appreciation Week Followup: The good, the bad and the ugly

    Cross-posted with Marie Corfield. Promoted by Rosi.

    Although Teacher Appreciation Week is officially behind us, I did promise you a Part 2 of my NJ BOE post-the testimony. But some other stuff happened after Part 1, and as a mom and teacher with only 5 weeks left of school, there’s only so much I can fit into one day. I promise I’ll get to it this weekend.

    In the meantime, here’s what happened in the past week or so…

    Happy Teacher Appreciation Week: Delirium at the State BOE Meeting Part 1!

    Promoted by Rosi. Cross-posted from Marie Corfield.

    Today was open topic day at the NJ State BOE, which means anyone can testify about any education topic. The board has their regular meeting in the morning, then public testimony in the afternoon. Due to NJASK testing, there was a small contingent of NJEA members present along with concerned parents and citizens.

    It started with a resolution to recognize May 2014 as Physical Education and Sport Month. A physical education teacher gave a brief presentation on the topic. Forgive me for not knowing her name, but she’s a firecracker. She’s been teaching close to 50 years. I met her at a previous BOE meeting and she’s the epitome of a career educator: fiercely passionate, knowledgeable, inspiring and uplifting. During her presentation she reminded the board that even though NJ is one of the top states in PE in the nation, because of budget cuts and increased demands of standardized testing, many districts are not fulfilling the mandated 150 minutes of PE per week. Board president Arcelio Aponte told her to mention this to acting Education Commissioner David Hespe. (More on this in tomorrow’s post.) She then got the entire room up and doing an ‘brain break’-type activity, wherein Aponte laughingly admitted that he’d lost control of the meeting. Leave it to a teacher to take control.