Other Stuff

Denver Post: Bursting the standardized testing bubble in Colorado

I’ve had enough of scantron bubble sheets. As a father of four school-aged, bubble-tested kids and someone who worked many years for bubble-testing school districts, fair to say that I’m solidly “inside the bubble” on this topic. And I’m ready to get out.

According to Education Post’s recent poll of parents, I’m not alone. There’s clearly widespread concern among us that our schools are spending too much time wearing down No. 2 pencils and not enough time tapping into our students’ enthusiasm for active learning and intellectual exploration. The current testing climate not only produced lots of …



Education Post: Parking the PARCC ‘Opt-Out’ in Colorado

When news broke last week that the Colorado State Board of Education narrowly passed a resolution that would give school districts the choice to opt out of PARCC—the new Common Core-aligned state tests—the superintendent of my school district had this unsettlingly gleeful and festooned reaction on Twitter.

Um, don’t start passing out the party hats just yet, Liz. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office and Department of Education quickly warned the board that it likely does not have the authority to give school districts the ability to make the choice for all of their parents about something as important as getting an annual update on their kids’ academic progress…

Denver Post: A snow job on school testing in Colorado

I got an e-mail from my kids’ elementary school recently about the upcoming PARCC and CMAS tests. And given that I’m in the alleged opt-out haven of Douglas County, I winced and clicked, bracing myself for a deluge of ALL CAPS and exclamation points blaring at me about the scourge of standardized testing.

But to my shock and delight, the e-mail was kind of breezy—completely hysteria- and histrionics-free. Better yet, it was really helpful information. It included a link to the testing schedule, showing parents precisely how much time our kids would be spending on the state’s standardized tests…



Education Post: Top Ten Ways to Have a Better Conversation in Education

In honor of David Letterman’s final show tonight, we present a Top Ten List for the education crowd.

Here now are the top ten ways to have a “better conversation” about education.

10. The BATs, DFER, NEA, and ED all merge and agree to re-acronym themselves into a new friendlier organization called FRED DANTEEB, complete with cute, huggable “FRED” mascot.

9. The think tanks spend less time thinking and more time twerking.

8. We all spend less time using any form of the word “pedagogy.” 

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