8 Powerful Voices for Public Ed Film Series – Diane Ravitch

The first release in a series of 8 viral short videos, Diane Ravitch explains how public education is being damaged by Read more

Everyone Has A Story About A Teacher

So many people I know have a story about a teacher who changed their life.  For me it was Eileen Daniel Riddle and James Gilchrist.  On a Sunday afternoon in Agoura Hills, Calif. a group of us got together with these Read more

The Other PARCC

The PARCC was once the standardized test of choice for many states laying claim to alignment with CCSS. Once parents started to take a look at the quality of the testing, the curriculum it was aligned to, and Read more

Why Our Kids Don’t Love School Anymore

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On a weekend in December, I took a borrowed camera and lights and headed out to Montclair, New Jersey. All weekend long, one after another, public school parents and students tromped down the basement stairs in the home of an MCAS member. She and her fellow parent activists had assembled a diverse collection of urban and suburbanites, so that I could record their testimony. They wanted to talk about the changes that they were witnessing in their schools and in their children, changes which they believed emanated directly from corporate education reforms, and in particular, the upcoming PARCC Standardized Tests. (PARCC, an acronym for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is a multi-state consortium that has engaged the testing and publishing behemoth Pearson to create the Common Core-aligned computer-based standardized tests.)

Parents and students talked about the dramatic changes in curriculum and a flood of test prep in classes and homework. Some spoke about the massive expenditures for technology and testing materials, as hands-on instructional time declined. Parents of children with special education needs and individualized education plans (IEPs), found the implications of these changes particularly troubling. Many were concerned that the test-obsessed curriculum would undermine their community’s focus on equity and desegregation. Most devastating, parent after parent described an insidious slide in the engagement of their children with school. They were all deeply frustrated and fed up with being ignored by policy makers and the media.

Getting their story out of the basement and into the larger world is what we did with my borrowed equipment on that cold December weekend.

The Other PARCC from Shoot4Education on Vimeo.

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