The Problem with Math Problems, Common Core, Standard Tests, etc.

I’ve been meaning to write an epic post recounting my visits to schools this past year. The things I’ve seen, the things I’ve learned, but gosh, I keep watching it slide down my list of things to do.

In short:

* It’s INSANE that elementary schools don’t have full-time librarians. Crazy, backwards, tragic, stupid, ill-conceived.

* Writing that above bullet point, I know that I should try to do more.

* April used to be the first month that filled up with school visits. It was the perfect time of year for it. Nowadays all I hear after we take out the calendars, “=April is out — that’s for testing.” Okay, I’ll admit that I have a bias, but what we are saying is, “In April, there’s no time to celebrate literacy and inspire a love of reading and thinking and writing — we’ve got to give hours upon hours of lousy tests instead.”

* When educators rally around the state capitol in Albany and chant, “Let us teach, let us teach, let us teach!” that’s just a really sad thing. I wish that we would, you know, listen to them.

Some links:

* An ALA-supported education bill that aims to help support school libraries: “For too long, research has shown that students have a better chance of succeeding academically when they attend schools with strong library programs,” said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington Office. “This bill will ensure that students will have access to professionals who can help them make connections between subject areas, retrieve information, and think independently.”

* I’m so sorry I missed this important public statement, but was off coaching a ballgame. A sincere “thank you” to everybody who showed up to fight the good fight.

* NY Principals: Why new Common Core Tests failed.

We New York City and Metropolitan Area Principals hold ourselves accountable to ensuring that all of our students make consistent and meaningful academic progress. Although we are skeptical of the ability of high stakes tests alone to accurately capture students’ growth, we understand a system’s need for efficiently establishing and measuring milestones of learning.

One comment

  1. Lupe Cain says:

    Thankfully, my wife (a pediatric occupational therapist with infinite patience and energy) is teaching with me (or, more properly, I’m teaching with her), and we’ve got a great group of rather attentive, if energetic, 4th graders. So I’m trying to throw myself into it. I’m even readying myself to bust out the flannelgraph!

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