It’s official: Chicago Public Schools Parents may opt their children out of excessive testing

from Substance News. See for the full article. by: Sharon Schmidt In late March the Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins replied to my concerns in a letter. This is what she wrote about opting out: “Parents are not required to sign releases for their children to participate in any assessment series. If parents choose […]

Please Send a Postcard to Michelle Obama

Mine is below. Please send yours to: First Lady Michelle Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500 Templates and more information is here: — Dear Michelle Obama, I was at Grant Park on election night. Your husband reminded us of the changes that occurred in the last 100 years, and […]

Merit Pay: What are they paying for?

I don’t really care if merit pay increases test scores or not, because I don’t think test scores are a measure of what education is all about. Still, if they do not raise test scores, as this report states, then why are they paying? To bust the union? To pave the way for privatization? To […]

Chicago Public Schools Promotion Petition

We, the undersigned, believe that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) should stop using standardized test scores to override all other considerations in making student grade promotion decisions.   Wade Tillett, Jason Michael Lukasik, Kristine Mayle, Bill Ayers, James J. Cavallero, Kate Coit, craig coit, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Kristin D. Jones, Karen Lewis, Therese Quinn, Daniel Tucker, […]

Merit Pay in Chicago Public Schools?

from the CORE Testing Task Force Merit Pay in Chicago Public Schools? Does the idea of having your salary based on your students’ test scores make you mad? It should. Chicago Public Schools has already implemented a pilot merit pay program called the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) in 29 schools. The current Chicago Teachers Union […]

Getting to work

For an overview of the Jan. 20 meeting see “CORE testing task force begins work on activist agenda at January 20 founding meeting” by Sharon Schmidt for Substance News – January 21, 2010 at:

Testing Task Force Launch

CORE is launching a task force to look into how the misuse of standardized tests interferes with making schools that serve the best interests of our students. The CORE task force is open to all who are interested in advocating and acting to create schools that work for kids. We will meet on Wednesday, Jan. […]

What kids love at school

friends a caring adult food socialization something to do structure purpose to action to explore to feel needed to talk and be listened to to listen a refuge awe and wonder to value others to value others’ work to be valued to experience to test the limits to challenge to question to create a product […]

The Chicago high school farce

From a student perspective there are two types of high schools: those you have to apply to and those you don’t. Most students go to those you don’t have to apply for – their neighborhood school. But they go there feeling like they weren’t “good enough” to “get into” one of the “good schools.” I’ve […]

Chicago, Stop Failing Students

PURE has just issued an updated proposal to Ron Huberman, detailing how Chicago Public Schools could help rather than harm the students who need help the most. By using the hundred million dollars or so that CPS spends every year to retain students to actually provide support instead of destroying self-confidence and repeating the same […]