Then there were only 7 states without charter schools

Kentucky’s still part of a vanishing breed Alabama just became the 43rd state with a charter school law. Meanwhile, here in Kentucky some union-backing House legislators vainly continue to try to make the traditional public school system work for disadvantaged kids with essentially nothing more than traditional ideas. After nearly 25 years of the Kentucky…

Bluegrass Beacon: Performance events belong in chemistry labs, not Common-Core tests

It’s no surprise that those pushing federally driven, one-size-fits-all academic standards also heavily endorse assessment tools that not only have a track record of past failure in Kentucky, but also offer little chance of success anywhere else in the nation. It’s not that performance assessments are wrong. They’re not. They can be very beneficial and…

Test publisher monitoring social media to catch kids in test compromises!

The Washington Post’s education blogger reports that Pearson publishing is actively looking through social media, looking for what it considers to be compromises of its tests. Information in the Post’s blog indicates students are being disciplined for commenting in the web about the PARCC tests that Pearson creates. There could be a Kentucky connection with…

College readiness improvements in Kentucky? New EXPLORE test data raise doubts

A Common Core concern New EXPLORE test results dated January 29, 2015 from the fall administration of the current 2014-2015 school term quietly appeared in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Supplemental Data web page recently. So far, there has been no news release from the department. And, there is a problem. The EXPLORE Readiness Benchmarks…

Even if Common Core were OK, resulting math curriculum materials aren’t

Education Week just published an article that says “Most Math Curricula Found to Be Out of Sync With Common Core” (Subscription?). EdWeek says the new paper from EdReports.org shows: “The first round of a Consumer Reports-style review for instructional materials paints a dismal picture of the textbook-publishing industry’s response to new standards: Seventeen of 20…

Common Core tests in Kentucky: Questioning the questions

I got a surprise yesterday when the Bluegrass Institute ran a press conference to release my new report, “Selling ‘Performance’ Assessments with Inaccurate Pictures from Kentucky.” However, the surprise wasn’t a tricky question about my report, which discusses increasing pressure in all the states to adopt state assessment models that would look very similar to…

Schools suspending students if: Parents don’t come to a Common Core meeting, For telling other students they can opt out of state testing

The Daily Caller reports that teachers in a Detroit public school have threatened students with suspension if parents don’t come to a meeting about Common Core testing. The meeting time is apparently set for the convenience of teachers without any consideration of parent ability to leave work. Imagine that – schools dictating to parents by…

Kentucky’s history with ‘performance’ assessments: Bluegrass Institute Policy Report offers ‘rest of the story’

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – A new Bluegrass Institute report, “Selling “Performance” Assessments with Inaccurate Pictures from Kentucky,” was released today in a conference call with reporters. The paper cautions state education leaders nationwide regarding growing pressure triggered by the Common Core State Standards to add “performance” testing ideas into their new school-assessment programs – especially if…