Sunday, July 28, 2013

Do You Know a Child Like Primo?

To think that Primo and over 4 million students like him are not afforded opportunities to refine their creative capacities and extend their imaginative growth in high quality fine arts programs means we will have lost future designers, creators, engineers and innovators who can make a difference in solving the wicked problems of the 21st Century. We cannot afford future failures of imagination.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Midwest Friends of Public Education In Fort Wayne To Discuss the De-Investment of Public Schools

“A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. Today’s child is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you are gone, attend to the things which you think are important. You may adopt all the policies you please; but how they are carried out depends on the child at school today. That little child is going to assume control of your cities, states and nations. That little pupil is going to take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. All your books, policies and ideas are going to be judged by children at school today. The fate of humanity is in their hands.”
Participants from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Alabama gather in Fort Wayne for the Midwest Friends of Public Education Summit and discuss issues and solutions related to the de-investment of public education by U.S. state and federal government on Saturday, July 20th. What's wrong with the current educational landscape? Higher class sizes and cuts to art, music, p.e., library, and social studies curricula. We are witnessing the de-investment of American public schools. Find out more here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Are You Mad Yet? High Stakes Testing Increases Incarceration Rates

A new study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals a devastating fact that is quite startling.
"We evaluate the effects of high school exit exams on high school graduation, incarceration, employment and wages. We construct a state/graduation-cohort dataset using the Current Population Survey, Census and information on exit exams. We find relatively modest effects of high school exit exams except on incarceration. Exams assessing academic skills below the high school level have little effect. However, more challenging standards-based exams reduce graduation and increase incarceration rates. About half the reduction in graduation rates is offset by increased GED receipt. We find no consistent effects of exit exams on employment or the distribution of wages."

The antidote to high stakes testing? Something fine arts teachers and their colleagues have known for quite come time. Authentic assessment and authentic learning are the keys to transformational educational experience.

You can read more here.

I do not mean to be dogmatic about this request, but concerned citizens who understand there are dangers to high stakes testing can do something about this.

You can make a difference.

Tell your congressional representatives to ditch high stakes testing.

Make a 911 CALL TO ACTION on the Reauthorization of ESEA [ Elementary and Secondary Education Act] - REAUTHORIZE with CONDITIONS!

Contact them now!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tell Congress: High Stakes Testing Is Inherently Unfair To Children

 Accountability is code for high stakes testing. Their are many reasons to object to high stakes testing, however the most egregious is the standard error of measurement. Imagine any child with neurological or psycho-emotional pre-dispositions that may know the correct answers on a test, however, because the test is timed and the selected response format is designed to trick children, the confused child incorrectly answers the question(s). Then there is the matter of the cut score. Who loses out by the slimmist margin of percentage points caused by trickery? How many children are penalized whose score is a false indication of their classroom performance? I haven't even gotten into the issue of school privatization, lost opportunities for self determination, wasted experiences in creativity development or marginalization of democracy in education. These tests, not designed by the teachers whose children are being tested, should not carry the weight that they have.

Contact your congressman today and tell them to end high stakes testing and restore equitable funding for all public schools.

More talking points from Northeast Friends of Public Education

Introduce yourself then say: I am a (parent, teacher, concerned constituent).

I want Rep. ____ to push to eliminate the federal requirement for yearly standardized testing in the ESEA bill; and eliminate the federal role in prescribing how teachers should be evaluated.

Instead, the bill should focus on equity: by requiring that states submit plans showing how they will improve equitable funding in their schools, and by omitting ANY restriction on the amount of Title II funds that can be spent on class size reduction. Smaller classes are a proven strategy to increase equity, and there is no better way to give all children a better chance to learn.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


NorthEast Indiana Friends of Public Education:



Join supporters of public education from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio for the second four state conference on organizing to stop the dismantling of public education.

The conference will provide an opportunity to share experiences and strategies with others from your state and from neighboring states. The conference will feature a panel discussion focused on examining the impact of the current reforms. Panelists include
  • Vic Smith, Indiana educator and legislative watchdog
  • Rob Glass, Superintendent of Bloomfield Hill Schools, Michigan
  • Kathy Friend, Chief Financial Officer, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Indiana
  • Stephanie Keiles, Teacher/Parent, Plymouth Canton Community Schools, Michigan
  • Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, Parent/Advocate, Chairperson, Indiana Coalition for Public Education--Monroe County and South Central Indiana.

Event Details

Plymouth Congregational Church
501 W Berry St.
Fort Wayne, IN 46807
When: Saturday 20 Jul 2013 from 9:45am to 3:15pm (US/Eastern)
            (Registration and Coffee from 9:00am to 9:45am)

Registration Due by: Thursday 18 Jul 2013 12:00pm (US/Eastern)