“Noncognitive” Factors: Are they Fair Game for Data Collection and Instruction?


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In February 2013, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology released a draft of Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century. To many who were aware of this report, it was alarming … Continue reading

A Teacher’s Professional Conscience: Objecting to the Assessments


I have had the immense fortune of being able to be in front of children for 25 years, as of this year, as a teacher in many different capacities. It truly humbles me to know that for 25 years, parents … Continue reading

A Heartfelt Expression of Concerns


Last fall a mother shared some information with me in an email she had sent. I recently saw this mother. I asked and received permission to post the text of a letter. SB 6030 and SB 6122 are mentioned. Even … Continue reading

Hi-Tech Education vs. Student Privacy


PBS News Hour featured “Why digital education could be a double-edged sword” in their “Making the Grade” segment recently. Published on Apr 5, 2016 Public education is becoming increasingly digitized — these days, schools can compile everything from a student’s … Continue reading

Opt Out Season is Upon Us

Assessment season is here.  That signals the beginning of the Opt Out season.  Interested parents may want to read the Opt Out Info page.

The Network for Public Education (NPE) Calls for a National Opt Out.  The NPE is supporting parents who are opting out of the 2016 state assessments and are calling for a national Opt Out.  Diane Ravitch is NPE’s board president.  Here is a video where she tells why parents should opt their students out.

Message from Diane Ravitch about Opt Out from Shoot4Education on Vimeo.

The Seattle Education blog has featured an article called Opt-Out Bus Spring Tour in Seattle.  And yes, there really is an Opt Out Bus and it does have a tour schedule.  Here are front and back pictures of the bus.


I have met and talked with a number of parents in Washington State who are interested in opting out, have opted out in the past, and are currently opting out.  The stories I hear these parents tell of their experiences are a mixed bag.  Some parents report their child’s teacher is supportive of their opt out decision.  Others report being cornered by the school principal who has tried to talk them into changing their minds and not opt out.  And there are those who have been out-right bullied by school officials.  A few parents, in more than one school, in one district have reported that upon submitting an opt out request they were told they are required to meet with the principal and sign a form acknowledging their child will not be permitted to participate in activities like band and orchestra unless they take the state assessment.  The experience of being bullied over opt out requests and the punitive consequences for opted out students has led a few of these parents to withdraw their children from public schools and start homeschooling.

I’m Sorry Students…

A teacher has provided an emotional apology to her students in a video about standardized testing and computer use.  Here’s is the written description on youtube:

*This video and poem is protected by my first amendment rights. This is a general statement, and I believe I speak for many teachers. When I say students, I mean students in general who are part of a system in which teachers and students must comply. I give a quick anecdote as being “brought into the principal’s office” to show that even administration must comply with numbers. I address the others as the lawmakers who run education and don’t understand what is happening across American classrooms on a daily basis. We need change. Open your eyes, ears, and hearts…and listen to the educators.*

HT:  Truth in American Education