Bubble Over

Let learning bubble over with life.

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Parents and teachers: Testing bubble has burst

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Today a hardy group of parents and teachers stood out in Federal Plaza and proved that you can indeed blow bubbles in 20 degree weather!

We were there to send a strong message to President-elect Obama and Secretary of Education nominee Arne Duncan that overuse and misuse of standardized “bubble” tests is bad for our children, and we want change.

In fact, we want the same thing the Obamas want – a high-quality education for our children that is not focused on standardized “bubble” tests.

I shared information about the high-quality educational standards at the schools the Obamas have chosen for their children, University of Chicago Lab School and Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C. These schools avoid the kind of test-prep that is so prevalent in the Chicago Public Schools.

Parents want what the Obamas want for their children, and teachers want to teach that way.

Wade Tillett, a CPS teacher and parent, is planning to opt his third grade child out of the state tests this spring.

He was supported by Jim and Sue Gill, parents who have actually opted their children out of the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests for several years. Sue talked about the struggle they had with the school district last year over the issue. Ultimately the district changed their policy to accommodate parents who want to opt their children out.

Here’s the Oak Park district policy.

CPS teachers representing the Caucus of Rank and File Educators discussed their group’s opposition to the misuse and overuse of tests, including their use in closing schools under Renaissance 2010.

Written by Julie

December 18th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Posted in events

We’re taking back the bubbles!

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If only bubble tests were this harmless.

If only bubble tests were this harmless.

This is the time to work for change in educational policies. This is the time to lay out a vision of education that is focused on each student becoming the person s/he wants to become, leading the life s/he wants to live, and creating a world s/he wants to embrace.

On Dec. 17 at 1:30, parents, teachers, students and anyone else interested in making education more humane, will converge at Federal Plaza in Chicago. This plaza is in front of the building where President-elect Obama has his office. We will be sending a message up and out to his incoming administration, and to all interested in education, that it is time for a truly child-centered education that focuses on learning as a process.

We will contrast what school is like with how it could be by using bubbles as a prop. We will blow soap bubbles to represent a naturally interesting way to involve students in the process of learning that is fun and collaborative. We are taking the bubbles back! When children at school think of bubbles, they shouldn’t think of filling them in with number two pencils. We must abandon the misguided attempts to break knowledge into discrete pieces that can be answered with number two pencils on a bubble test. The current ideology that makes use of bubble tests dumbs down what is taught, limits creativity, encourages competition between students, penalizes students, teachers, and schools, and focuses onstudents’ “weaknesses” instead of their myriad strengths.

Some sample slogans:

You can’t measure creativity with bubbles.
Which kind of bubbles do you think are best for eight-year-olds?
If only bubble tests were this harmless.
(Your slogan here.)

We will tell stories and chart a vision of what education can be for all students.
Please come tell yours.
Also, please e-mail your success or horror stories to wade@bubbleover.net. We will be posting some of the most striking stories at bubbleover.net

Dress warm. Bring friends, signs, and bubbles (keep them warm too).

This event is co-sponsored by:

- image is modified version of Jeff Kubina’s (CC -Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Written by Wade

December 10th, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Posted in events