Arne Duncan: Testocracy Tsar. Educational Alchemist. Corporate lackey.

2016 has begun with important news: We have endured the last days of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan roaming the halls of government, looking for teachers and students to intimidate.  Arne, "the nation's bully," no longer runs the schoolyard.  Educators and families around the country will remember him by many monikers, none of them sympathetic. …

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Five 2015 victories that put cracks in the ‘testocracy’

Never in U.S. history have more students, parents, and teachers engaged in acts of resistance to standardized tests. During the 2015 testing season, over 620,000 public school students around the U.S. refused to take standardized exams, according to a report by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). I wrote this essay for …

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This Is Not A Review: José Vilson’s reflections on “More Than a Score”

José Vilson teaches middle school math in the Inwood/Washington Heights neighborhood of New York, NY. His book, This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, stormed the heavily guarded gates of the education reform debate, battered them down, and made people sit up straight and listen to a social justice …

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FairTest’s “Testing Reform Victories 2015” Report: The uprising against the testocracy takes off!

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, know as FairTest, just released its wonderful report on the immense growth around the country of the movement in opposition to the abuses of standardized testing.  The victories included universities getting rid of their SAT/ACT requirement, states dropping the requirement for an exit exam to graduate from …

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Obama regrets “taking the joy out of teaching and learning” with too much testing

In a stunning turn of events, President Obama announced last weekend that “unnecessary testing” is “consuming too much instructional time” and creating “undue stress for educators and students.” Rarely has a president so thoroughly repudiated such a defining aspect of his own public education policy.  In a three-minute video announcing this reversal, Obama cracks jokes …

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