BustED Pencils Trending News: Hold the Rigor and Pass the Play.

So called “kindergarten readiness” has transformed American early childhood education into  a disaster zone where “rigor” and “academics” rule the day. Why? Because as a nation we’re delusional at best and intentional at worst.  Delusional because we actually think that “rigor” prepares the mushy minds of toddlers for academic success at some future—yet to be… Read more »

Maintaining the Achievement Gap by Threatening Opt Out.

Let’s make this quick.  At this point it is no mystery that high stakes testing does nothing to reduce the achievement gap (30 + plus years of trying).  In fact, the reality is that the achievement gap is maintained by the constant insistence of using test based accountability.  Yes, accountability is responsible for maintaining the… Read more »

BustED Pencils Trending News: Where Have All the Teachers Gone?

It’s not a shortage! It’s not a human capital issue! It’s a mass EXODUS! Change the narrative. 30 years of war against teachers and the casualties are now insurmountable. THAT IS NOT A SHORTAGE! It’s a warning that public schools are close to being privatized and our most vulnerable children will be thrown to a… Read more »

BustED Pencils Trending News: DeVos Dump.

Here it is in the middle of March and Betsy DeVos has been on the job for about two months.  Some questioned whether a woman with no real work experience let alone experience working in the education field could actually handle the responsibilities that come with being the Secretary of Education. Question: Is Betsy DeVos… Read more »

Opt Out Reminder: It’s Still a Powerful Act of Civil Disobedience.

Guest Post: Anne Burn Thomas, Ph.D. SUNY Cortland. Why I’m opting out of the state assessments. In the past few months, the idea of resisting as protest to a range of policies and ideas has populated headlines, Twitter streams, and even in-person conversations. One of the ways that I’m resisting destructive changes to a vital… Read more »

Jewell Elementary & Aurora Public Schools Skirt Law

Letter sent to Colorado State Board of Education, as well as media, senators who sponsored bill, Aurora Education Association, Aurora superintendent office and Aurora school board. Dear Board Members, I wrote to you last week concerning PARCC incentives that are occurring at Jewell Elementary in the Aurora Public School District. See here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/03/08/school-offers-incentives-to -get-kids-to-take-common-core-standardized-test/?utm_term=.ac09ab89615a  The… Read more »

Jewell Elementary Offers PARCC (CMAS) Incentives

On Friday, March 3rd, Jewell Elementary parents received a letter regarding PARCC incentives. Yes – it’s THAT time of year. Many Colorado schools refer to PARCC as CMAS. To catch new readers up to speed before I launch into the information about PARCC incentives, let me give you a quick recap. I taught at Jewell… Read more »

BustED Pencils Trending News: Vouchers Suck.

It’s been decades since a bunch of blockheads decided to listen to Milton Friedman’s idea that public education should be funded through a voucher system that allows parents a school of their “choice.”  After all the invisible hand of the free market would make American schools “great again.” However, just this week we find out… Read more »