"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Random Quotes - May 2015


No need to test every student

From Stephen Krashen
There is no need to test every student every year. We can get the same information from low-pressure testing of small samples of students, each student taking only a part of the test, and extrapolating the results to larger groups, as is now done with the NAEP test. This will save money, reduce anxiety, and give teachers more time to teach.

When you go to the doctor, they don't take all your blood. They only take a sample. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Standardized Testing (HBO)

Learning isn't supposed to make you sick. Stress is not always negative...except when it is...and the stress associated with high stakes tests for children beginning at about age 8 is bad. Why do we do this to our children?

From John Oliver
"Something is wrong with our system when we just assume a certain number of students will vomit."


News of Stephen Colbert's generosity goes viral, spurs more donations nationwide

Thank you to Stephen Colbert for helping the children of South Carolina. But why should he have to? Why isn't the education of our children a big enough priority for us to fully fund?

From Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh
It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and Stephen Colbert has to buy the Air Force a bomber.


We need to invest in our public schools...not private charter schools operating without public oversight.

From Gail Cosby (IPS School Board Member)
Imagine if this board and administration were willing to invest in our own schools, our own students, our own leaders, and our own teachers in the same manner in which we keep investing IN OUTSIDE ENTITIES.

(Phalen Academy will be receiving at least 1.2 million dollars more than school 103 received to educate the same children.)


Testing: Who is Advocating for the Students?

Many good, dedicated, inspirational teachers are leaving the profession in large numbers. We're driving the best out of the profession.

From an Indiana Teacher
"I still love teaching and working with young children, but the testing and culture are killing the profession..."

Stephen Colbert throws Peter Cunningham under the bus.

Take a look around: Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, George W. Bush, Margaret Spellings, Bill Gates, the Walton Family, Michael Bloomberg, Jeb Bush...these "reformers" don't know anything about the day to day business of public education. Yet they have, over the last couple of decades, tried to buy  expertise and tell teachers what they are doing wrong.

From Fred Klonsky
...there is something very wrong when billion dollar philanthropies run by people who know nothing about teaching give all that money to people who know nothing about teaching to tell teachers that they are wrong about what they know about teaching.


Two appropriate quotes from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson Graduation Speech, Western New England University

From Neil deGrasse Tyson
...when you know how to think it empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Has Super Stellar Reply To Girl's Question About Learning Disabilities

From Neil deGrasse Tyson
At a recent talk, a girl walks up to the microphone and asks the astrophysicist if there are people with dyslexia in his field. Tyson explains that yes, there are, as well as colleagues with a number of other types of learning disabilities. Citing autism, dyscalculia and ADD as examples, Tyson explains that rather than seeing these conditions and disorders as a hindrance, they are empowering.

“The answer is yes, but it’s a hurdle,” Tyson says. “But in the Olympics, what do you do when you come up to a hurdle? You jump over it.”


We Have To Do Something

My Random Quotes pages wouldn't be complete lately without something from blogger extraordinaire, Peter Greene. Here he reminds us that the object is not just "to do something." We have to do something that makes sense. If something is harmful, doesn't work, or wastes time and money -- like our national high stakes testing obsession -- then we ought to stop doing it.

From Peter Greene
Even if we accept "We have to do something" as a Real Thing (which it isn't, because the "crisis" is manufactured, but even if), it does not follow that an urgent Need To Do Something means that we must urgently Do Something Stupid.

If the treatment is damaging, don't use it. If the food is harmful, don't eat it. And if the test is a bad test that wastes time and money, makes the students miserable, damages the credibility of the school, and returns no useful data-- then don't give it!!

What can retired teachers do? Help win a Supreme Court decision.

Retired teachers, public school activists, supporters of public education...have helped turn around anti-educator legislation in Illinois by winning at the state supreme court. While giving economic breaks to the wealthy, the political forces in Illinois blamed teacher pensions for making "Illinois broke."
Who kept track of this injustice as they formed grassroots groups of people in addition to alerting, networking, goading, and educating while contacting unions and government agencies and media sources and legislators and social networking organizations?

Among others...five retirees.
The important quote from this blog post by Ken Previti...
“A hero is a man who does what he can.” – Romain Rolland

The narrow pursuit of test results has sidelined education issues of enduring importance such as poverty, equity in school funding, school segregation, health and physical education, science, the arts, access to early childhood education, class size, and curriculum development. We have witnessed the erosion of teachers’ professional autonomy, a narrowing of curriculum, and classrooms saturated with “test score-raising” instructional practices that betray our understandings of child development and our commitment to educating for artistry and critical thinking. And so now we are faced with “a crisis of pedagogy”–teaching in a system that no longer resembles the democratic ideals or tolerates the critical thinking and critical decision-making that we hope to impart on the students we teach.

Stop the Testing Insanity!





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