Parents Я Dumb

parentsrdumb

How not to respond to an opt-out request…

Dear education official: when a parent informs you that their child(s) will not be participating in a standardized-test-related activity, is the appropriate response to A: inform the parent that such is his or her right under Massachusetts’ ever *evolving* position on said right (or lack thereof); B: treat the opportunity as a *teachable moment* and *drill down* into the amount of testing currently mandated by the district in question; C: mock said parents in assorted correspondence with other education officials; or D: hope that said parents don’t file a public records request and pass said mocking correspondence onto a blogger…  Continue reading →

Data Drives the Bus (Over a Cliff)

And some parents say *enough* to a district’s assessment craze…

bus 3It’s field trip time and today we’re headed to the scenic seaside community of Salem, Massachusetts. When last we stopped by to *discover the magic of Salem,* we also discovered a school system gone wild for *bigger rigor,* especially for young Salem-ites who hail from the city’s less, well, luxurious lanes. But one child’s opportunity gap is an opportunity for a savvy eduprenueur, and edupreneurial opportunities abound here these days. Buckle up reader, because it’s time to board the data bus. Continue reading →

Rich Student, Poor Student

Students in Salem, MA learn a hard lesson about class

backtoschoolDear [insert name here]:
Welcome back to school, Salem, MA student! If you’ll be attending this school, this school or this school, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you. Like the mariners of yore, your parents successfully navigated the treacherous shoals of Salem’s school *choice* system. And that’s great news for you because it means that you’ll be having your *whole child* educated this year, including the part of you that loves art, music and super cool project-based learning. As for those of you who’ll be going to this school, this school, this school or this school, well, your education is going to look just a little bit different. Shall we pop in and see? Continue reading →

Take It Till U Make It

At a growing number of urban schools, it’s all testing, all the time

Remember how just the other day you were despairing that public education has devolved into a sad synonym for testing of the standardized variety? Well I’ve got great news, reader—it turns out that you were wrong! According to a new study by an organization called Teach Plus (that I’m guessing you’re not a member of), American students don’t spend nearly as much time on testing as you do complaining about the amount of time they spend on testing. Continue reading →

Letter to a Young No Excuses Student

This fall, Boston’s largest public elementary school, with an all-minority student body, will reopen as a no-excuses charter.

Dear [insert name here]:
Another school year is about to start and I’ve got some exciting changes to share with you. Your old school, John J. Marshall, with its low expectations and old teachers is no more. Instead, you will be attending UP Academy, an exciting new school with fresh new teachers, fresh new administrators and none of the excuses that were the rule at your old school. So what can you expect? Let’s take a look… Continue reading →