Joshua Katz’s TEDx Talk: Toxic Culture of Education

Joshua Katz describes perfectly the plight of American education, the damage it does to our lower achieving students, and the super villains behind it all. “We need to pay attention to our students and who they are. . . . How can we help them be better students? . . . How can we helpContinue reading “Joshua Katz’s TEDx Talk: Toxic Culture of Education”

My Resignation Letter

Dear Administrators, Superintendent, et al.: This is my official resignation letter from my English teaching position. I’m sad to be leaving a place that has meant so much to me. This was my first teaching job. For eleven years I taught in these classrooms, I walked these halls, and I befriended colleagues, students, and parents alike. ThisContinue reading “My Resignation Letter”

I’m Taking a Stand

Thursday, March 13, 2014, my children and I will be at our state capitol in Denver, Colorado protesting standardized state tests. I may be putting a lot of things at risk by taking this stand, but ethically, I cannot support a program that is damaging the profession I love. Join us in Denver at 11:30Continue reading “I’m Taking a Stand”

Opting Out: Why Ian Will Never Take State Tests

I’m taking a stand this year: My son is not taking the standardized state tests that are being mandated by the government. His school will receive a zero for my opting him out, which will lower his school’s proficiency standings. On one hand, I feel bad that his school is being punished for my decision;Continue reading “Opting Out: Why Ian Will Never Take State Tests”

Part 3: The solution is right in front of us

Robinson’s final point is that we cannot help our students thrive under the current educational system, but we do have an alternative-school model that should replace what we are doing now. I agree. I’ve transcribed his main final points in italics, and then I’ve added my own thoughts and experiences, but feel free to watchContinue reading “Part 3: The solution is right in front of us”

Part 2: the 2nd principle that drives human life

In an earlier post, Part 1: Identifying the problems, I discussed how Ken Robinson’s video  is helping education by shining a light on the problems, identifying the 3 principles that drive human life, and then he offers an existing solution. The first principle is about individuality. Robinson explains the 2nd principle this way: 2nd Principle thatContinue reading “Part 2: the 2nd principle that drives human life”

Part 1: Identifying the problems in our current educational system

Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley I love Ken Robinson’s videos: He is entertaining and makes a lot of sense. Recently I read some criticism about him; these people thought Robinson was a lot of fluff with no substance, and some thought he was doing more harm than good because he creates aContinue reading “Part 1: Identifying the problems in our current educational system”

Can We Escape the Matrix?

Many people are talking about what’s right and wrong with education; Luba Vangelova’s Steve Hargadon: Escaping the Education Matrix is a thought provoking position. Hargadon’s idea that we are in an “education matrix” of which many of us aren’t aware clarified my confusion over why people aren’t rebelling against this new wave of mandates. Why areContinue reading “Can We Escape the Matrix?”

Why are children crying about school?

If you have a child who enjoys school, count your blessings. I don’t. I have a child who cries almost every night. He cries while we are working on his homework; it is too hard and too much for him. He cries before bedtime; he doesn’t want to go to school because he feels unableContinue reading “Why are children crying about school?”

New York Principals’ Letter of Concern

One year ago today, over 1500 New York State principals signed a letter that outlined their concerns over the new legislation for the evaluations of teachers and principals. Their three main concerns: Educational research and researchers strongly caution against teacher evaluation approaches like New York State’s APPR Legislation. Students will be adversely affected by NewContinue reading “New York Principals’ Letter of Concern”