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 […]

Update on the testing of a third-grader

After discussions with numerous people, including lawyers, we decided we were not in the right position to opt our son out of the state test this year. Our son took the ISAT this spring. According to Chicago Public Schools Promotion Policy, if he scores below the 24th percentile in the small nationally normed subset of […]

UTLA Boycotts the Bubbles

United Teachers Los Angeles is boycotting the district mandated tests. From Periodic Assessment Boycott STARTING JANUARY 27th! Don’t turn in the tests! Assessment should be between you and your students, not you and the bureaucracy! On January 27, we launched a boycott of periodic assessments. UTLA is calling for a complete boycott of all […]

Thou Shalt Test

Unsurprisingly, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has refused our request to opt our son out of the high-stakes test, known as the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), stating they must follow their own policies. However, CPS does NOT follow their own policies. They base promotion for third-graders on only one year of tests although their policy […]

Video: Why do these kids love school? (1990) Dorothy Fadiman

(Scroll down for video. Below are direct quotes from the video:) Innovative curriculum: the staff has the freedom to create original lessons based on the needs of their students Non-competitive environment: student progress is evaluated on an individual basis Shared responsibility: everyone, including students and parents, has a voice in what happens at their school. […]

More bubble tests

Today, yesterday and Monday I am required to administer the Chicago Benchmark Assessments. My third-grade son is also taking them at his own school. (I’ve only written Chicago Public Schools to opt him out of the high-stakes ISAT for this year.) Here’s an overview of some of the disruption to learning they cause. My classes […]