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Tori Mazur

November 12, 2014

High-Stakes, Not Hostage


I survived Testober.  My first October as a high school Testing Coordinator was spent eyeballs deep in spreadsheets of students and their schedule data.  It was challenging enough to coordinate the movement - and test security - of several hundred students, displace teachers and their untested students so I could have their rooms, and find places every class period to put all the bodies. Now it seems as though our state and district want to up the ante by adding technological challenges as we move to high-stakes testing online.  

Before we go all in, there are some things that teachers need. 

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Justin Minkel

October 23, 2014

The Data Dagger: Why Policymakers Need Student Stories


Test scores are a means to an end. For many power players in education, test scores have become the end in themselves, with devastating results.

Part of our job as teachers is to remind policymakers that children are far more than the sum of their data.



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Barnett Berry

August 21, 2014

Is doing less harm enough for Duncan?


​Earlier today Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a slight—yet potentially significant—shift in his stance on teacher evaluation. Duncan extended an offer of flexibility to states, a one-year delay in implementing evaluation systems that would tie teacher performance to test results.

This is a good thing. And it could be the beginning of a great thing.

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Kelley Leathers

August 1, 2014

Vergara: A Quick Fix Masquerading as a Solution


If Judge Rolf Treu were my student, I would tell him his decision in Vergara v California, which threw out important teacher protection laws in California, needs some serious rethinking. If we look at the Vergara decision through the lens of the Common Core standards, it’s easy to see where Treu’s findings fall flat.

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