Archive for the ‘Data Crimes’ Category

Top 10 Reasons Teaching Sucks

Ladies and Gentlemen- I may have just distilled the entire teaching universe down to 10 talking points. See what you think. Let me know. TOP TEN REASONS YOU MAY NOT WANT TO BE A TEACHER 10) Become object of widespread public scorn; 9) Dignity offered as sacrifice to unholy lovechild of Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee; 8) Lazy, whiny, stupid, absent and/or unprepared students (which studies have shown to be the fault of teachers); 7) Need to use the bathroom? Great!! Your planning period Read more [...]

Teachbad and Jay Mathews: Part 2

To fully appreciate this post, you should probably take a quick look at the last post if you have not already. This is the continuation of a dialogue between myself and Jay Mathews, education writer at the Washington Post, about the school where I formerly taught, Columbia Heights Education Campus(CHEC). (I promise the next post in this blog will mark a return to the offensive silliness at which it most excels.) Jay Mathews: Thanks Peter. This makes some sense in isolation. You make a Read more [...]

Teachers: Should We Stand Up?

“Best beginning of a book ever” That’s what I wrote in the left-hand margin over 20 years ago when I first read these words: The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice. It’s from the second page of Saul Alinsky’s classic, hard-core progressive activism guide-book, Rules For Radicals (1971). Before Read more [...]

Circus For Grown-Ups

Are y’all about done with testing? I am. We just had two weeks of AP tests right on the heels of the High-Stakes State Tests for AYP and everything. We pulled out all the stops. Everything was up-ended. Learning was on holiday. But it smelled good. During the state tests we served bacon and eggs and waffles to everybody, every morning. There were prizes and pizza parties for coming in on time. Administrators dressed up in funny costumes and said silly things during announcements. Slogans and Read more [...]

Say There, Might You Have Any More Data?

Here’s why I ask. I don’t seem to have enough. Even though I haven’t even begun to analyze all the data I have, or even think about whether or not it is useful, I feel compelled to keep collecting more. Have you ever seen that show Hoarders? It’s a little like that. But we do it for the children. It’s not for us or making the school look good. This is for the kids. And making them look good. So that we look good. You feel me? That was me, in italics, trying to get into the heads of my admin in Read more [...]

Teaching vs. Spreadsheets and Programs…

OR…The Essense of a Teacher and How to Kill It If you are a reader of this blog, you know that my school is a little heavy-handed with the data and the telling of teachers what to put on their walls and the specificity with which all manner of things must be performed, recorded, and reported. This tends to drive teachers crazy and they quit….in droves. And we don’t have much to show for it aside from tanking test scores and a giant neon HELP WANTED sign we roll out of the basement and light Read more [...]

Dawn of the Dumbest Data…or

Data-Driven Dimentia…or Data: It Keeps Teachers Busy Take your pick. But these cats at my school really have to be stopped. As you may suspect, we here at my school are “data-driven”. That’s right. There is no substitute for data. And the best thing about it, from an administrator’s point of view, must be that you don’t have to worry about how long it takes teachers to collect the data or if it is really of any value in the first place. Just collect that data, tell everybody you are collecting Read more [...]

Principal Seeks to Replace Student Body, Improve Scores

FAKE EDUCATION NEWS –Kansas City, KS In a bold move sure to spark debate in political and education circles, Karen Herbst, principal of J.C. Harmon High School in Kansas City, KS, is making a most unusual request. Principal Herbst has asked the Kansas State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Diane DeBacker, to replace the entire student body at J.C. Harmon High School with students from another high school where test scores are higher. In a letter to the Commissioner, Principal Herbst writes: Standardized Read more [...]

Video: Teachbad’s Care and Feeding of Rubrics

The care and feeding of rubrics. For you… With love from, Mr. Teachbad And remeber…Mr. Teachbad is now on Facebook. Want to be friends?

AP Tests and a GREAT Movie

As you know if you teach high school, this week and next are AP exams. These are kind of a pain in the ass and lots of kids who are taking them should probably be practicing writing their names in cursive or learning to read instead. As a dear friend remarked, “If you need help filling out the personal information section of the bubble sheet, maybe you shouldn’t be taking the AP exam.” Indeed. To be honest, it makes me sad and a little angry that we are forcing so many kids to go through what is Read more [...]