This we know:
1. Standardized tests are not worth the paper they are printed on. This includes NCLB tests, MAPS and NWEA and Scantron tests, and the hallowed ACT and SAT tests. What these tests purport to measure is better measured by other means. Research tells us this!Further, these tests are a waste of kids' time and involve no student learning.
We are teaching to the test.
We are testing to the test.
We are doing test prep drills for the tests that test to the test.
2. Educators started the grade retention of students, and educators continue to promote the practice despite a mountain of research evidence against the practice. Educators need to end it.
3. Many educators are not committed to lifelong learning. This is a problem. Many educators hold others responsible for giving them their PD when, how and where they want it. And, it needs to allow them to stay within their comfort zone.
I read people gnashing their teeth about getting more people to use free PD like Twitter. "How can we get more people to use Twitter?"
Put the P back in PD.
Make the P responsible for PD.
4. Many day-to-day, and long-term, decisions made in schools/districts are made in the interests of adults at the expense of students and learning.
We need to be vigilant, dedicated.