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Teaching vs. Testing – Episode 6: Crash! (from 3-3-15)
Posted

It’s been a busy couple of days, so this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write something. Of course what happened yesterday, on the first day ever of the Florida Standards Assessment, made the news all over Florida. But here’s the scoop from my little corner of the educational world. I Read More >>


Teaching vs. Testing – Episode 5: Final Preparations! (3-1-15)
Posted

I got busy last week – partially school, partially other things. So I need to get you caught up on how Teaching is doing against Testing. I suspect you can guess who’s winning, but it’s the details that make it such an interesting competition. I’ll begin with 6th grade. On Wednesday I handed their essays Read More >>


Teaching vs. Testing – Episode 4: Remediation and Substitute Plans (2-24-15)
Posted

I missed posting yesterday, so for the record, both yesterday and today were completely dominated by test prep. Yesterday and today were remediation days. We had to set up a remediation plan so show we were “doing something” to raise scores. In the past we have pulled students from PE or Elective to remediate them Read More >>


Teaching vs. Testing – Episode 3: District Testing and Plotting Remediation (from 2-20-15)
Posted

So today all my classes were taking the district writing exam. I read, outlined, and wrote my own version of the 6th grade essay so I could see what my students had to do, and read and outlined the 7th and 8th grade essays as well. What strikes me about these assessments is how tricky Read More >>


The Reductionism of Education Reform
Posted

If you have been a teacher any time in the last twenty years, since No Child Left Behind, you have heard  – or possibly even heard yourself saying, “Oh – Sarah can’t be in ____ (honors, AVID, Advanced, AP, IB… take your pick) because she’s a 2.” Or “Deandre will be fine in an advanced Read More >>


Black Stories Matter
Posted

In this cultural moment, which has lingered longer than might have been expected in our short attention-span culture, I was unsure how to address the issue of persistent racism and police violence against blacks in our society. I draw a comic strip. I am a middle aged white guy. But I have taught students of Read More >>


A Final Letter to My Students
Posted

This has been a strange school year. I said it, even though it doesn’t seem to need saying. Since I didn’t get to say good-bye to them in person, I wrote the following letter to my students and posted it for them as a final act of the 2019-2020 school year. I didn’t get to Read More >>


Teaching vs. Testing – Episode 2: District Assessment (from 2-19-15)
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Today I got my 8th graders back on track after yesterday’s Infrastructure Test by getting us back into a workbook exercise that is practice for the district writing test, which is practice for the Florida Standards Assessment coming up March 2nd. They had to practice writing a body paragraph for their essay. The formula for Read More >>


Testing vs. Teaching – Episode 1: Testing the Wireless (2-18-15)
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I don’t blog very often. Between teaching and drawing my comic strip six times a week, I’m often too busy. But an innovation in the way a produce my daily comic strip, doing the lettering on my computer with my own font, has made creating the strip a lot quicker. And I suspect I won’t Read More >>


Why I Keep Teaching (from 3-27-15)
Posted

In recent years, it has become common for teachers who are leaving the profession prematurely to post letters or videos online explaining why they are leaving. I completely understand their sentiments and their reasons. I have almost been there myself. My wife and I at one point started a business that would be our exit Read More >>


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