Education Reform

Silly White Suburbanites, School Closings ARE for YOU TOO!

MADISON, Wis. – A sweeping proposal giving control of the lowest-performing schools in Milwaukee to a commissioner who could fire all the teachers and administrators might also apply to other large, racially diverse school districts in Wisconsin, including Madison. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, approved the overhaul plan for Milwaukee. The… Read more »

Without the TEST how will we know?

Now that opt out season is coming to a close and schools have moved on to field days and violating copyright laws by showing Disney movies in classrooms there is an interesting conversation emerging here in Wisconsin. What happens if the common core test (the Badger test) we gave isn’t scored? Seriously!  In Wisconsin we… Read more »


Two weeks ago at the Network for Public Education‘s conference, Yong Zhao challenged the entire concept of “readiness.”  His speech was hilarious and moving and I encourage you to check it out.  But I want to focus on one specific phrase that Yong presented us with: “Children do not need to be ready for kindergarten…. Read more »

WOO HOO! A blast from the past.

Originally appeared 2/21/2011 in Huffington Post. Well, my son and I haven’t reached a decision about carrying out the Bartleby project. We are starting to lean towards organizing others in the community to “opt out” of the testing week and plan for a host of alternative educational endeavors. However, since posting my last blog, my… Read more »

Letter to Arne Duncan, Guest post by Michelle Slekar

  Arne Duncan, I am deeply offended and insulted by the accusations and down right LIES you are putting out to the press. You really should be ashamed of yourself. I AM a white suburban mom and I worked in the schools with the children you labeled as disabled or minority. THIS tactic will NOT… Read more »

Opt Out Hits a Nerve!

From the Daily News in New York. Teachers unions and the parents who fueled New York’s testing opt-out movement are claiming the hollowest of victories after the refusenik ranks rose a still-to-be-determined amount. In 2014, 60,000 students statewide sat out standardized math and English tests. Guesstimates this year range from 100,000 to a quarter-million of… Read more »

Criminals in Atlanta or Test and Punish Propaganda?

This week we witnessed how amazingly fragile the test and punish paradigm really is.  Teachers were proclaimed criminals for cheating on high stakes standardized tests.  Why?  Not because they are truly criminals. Rather these teachers are now criminals to serve as a warning to those fighting the test and punish system. The message: Our test… Read more »

Teacher Education under attack since 2011: Our Response!

In 2011 I posted the blog below and ticked off some of my teacher education colleagues.  I received messages and notes and voice mails that proclaimed that speaking out in ways that are not “civil” does nothing but hurt our movement. Well check it out and judge for yourself.   HELP! Where are all the credible… Read more »

#optout needs school leaders not politicians.

When I first got involved in the opt out movement I regularly tried to engage  school leaders (principals, superintendents, assessment coordinators) in a positive discussion about the opt out motive.  Things didn’t always go very positively.  Check out an older post that seems incredibly relevant today.   “If you oppose state testing, please contact your… Read more »

Education Reformers HATE public schools! Just being honest.

We have a manufactured crisis in education being pushed on the American people. Everyone from Arne Duncan to Jeb Bush is pushing the “public education crisis” narrative. The “public education crisis” narrative, while being dishonest, is absolutely brilliant. Just think of the work and the time the reformers were willing to put in. They designed a system that… Read more »