Reporting About Reporting…..

I had planned to devote time to Alexander Russo’s critique of my reporting for the PBS NewsHour about students “opting out” of the Common Core States Standards tests. However, we have too much going on for me to spend excessive time looking back.

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Undercutting the Strengths of the Common Core State Standards

No need for you to do a close reading of the paragraphs below, which are taken from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts for 9th and 10th graders. Just pay attention to the words and phrases in bold type, which include “initiate,” “participate,” “work with peers,” “actively incorporate others into the discussion,” and “thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.”

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“The Moving Finger Writes….”

We lost a giant with the passing of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the former President of the University of Notre Dame, on Thursday, February 26. “Father Ted” was a national leader and not simply the head of a major university. He had the courage to challenge a sitting U.S. President, his own Catholic church, and even big time college football. He won two out of three.

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The “Multiple Measures”© Game

Before you read further, please picture NEA President Lily Garcia, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and U.S Senator Lamar Alexander sitting around my kitchen table. What are they doing? They are playing my new socially valuable parlor game, “Multiple Measures.”©

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What A Difference A Dash Makes!

“Pro-Test” or “Protest”? The dash makes all the difference, making one word into two that, taken together, describe polar opposite worlds.

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Peggy Charren & “Dead Air” Merrow

Peggy Charren, the founder of Action for Children’s Television (ACT), died earlier this month at the age of 86, leaving behind a legacy to be thankful for. I’m grateful to Peggy because her work benefited all children, including my three children and six grandchildren—but also because she saved me from embarrassing myself on national radio.

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Schools Cannot Do It Alone

The familiar cliché turns up in a lot of conversations with educators. Normally the emphasis is on the last word, rarely on the fourth. But I believe that “it” is the key word. Just what is the “it” that schools are supposed to do? Rarely do we examine that question.

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