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The Common Core Standards: Hope, Hype and High Stakes

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, I’ll be a panelist at an upcoming forum on the Common Core Standards Initiative. Julie Gorlewski (SUNY, New Paltz), Flordie Kreiter (DaVinci High School), and Sean Croft (Starpoint School District) will also be presenting. A copy of the flyer can be found here. The event is free and open to the… Continue reading

Education for the Public Good: Audio of the Public Good Radio Show, October 1, 2013

On October 1, 2013, I was interviewed by Sam Magavern, from the Partnership for Public Good (PPG) in preparation for the forum on high stakes testing at Kleinhans that took place on October 2. The archive of the show can be found here or streamed below.

The Public Good is a weekly radio show organized by PPG. It airs Tuesdays from 1:00 to 1:30 pm on WUFO AM 1080.

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What is the Significance of Issuing a Death Penalty to a Public Institution?

During a speech in Lockport, NY, Governor Cuomo issued a “death penalty for failing schools,” targeting in particular the City of Buffalo. Concretely, the death sentence includes a state takeover of public school districts such as Buffalo, mayoral control of the school district in question, and charter schools, similar to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina,… Continue reading

Pete Lund’s blocSonic fortyFive release

Pete Lund’s blocSonic fortyFive release “Back from ’91” has been receiving some interest, judging by the nearly 2,500 downloads from the Free Music Archive.

This gives me an excuse to talk about some of the key components of that recording!

First up is that its a great example of Michael Joly’s K47H capsule designed for the Oktava MK-012 SDC body. This was one of my first tests of the mic, and I believe it shined. Here’s the chain: K47H -> Buzz Audio Elixir -> Purple Audio ODD eq -> JLM LA500 compressor. For Pete, the mic worked great, and so did the ODD eq. There’s something about the sound it imparts. And while I’ve not spoken much about the JLM LA500, let’s just say this: if I win the lottery, I’m buying everything he produces! Yeah, it adds some color, but not too much. It’s great to track with, and really “levels” in a way that never ruins, but always makes things sound better. In case this wasn’t clear up front, that chain went to “tape.” Of course there’s the debate about outboard gear vs. plugins. But my experience is this: getting the sound right from the get go really makes things move along, both artistically and time wise. And, while I believe if one knows what they’re doing they can get a “pro” mix with plugins, my own experience is that a complete front end chain just brings things to a new level.

Enough tech talk. The fact is, we managed to capture a great performance and feel for these two great songs. Without a great song, and a great performance, what’s the point?

Who Does John King Report To?

A recent article in the Times Union reported that New York Commissioner of Education John King is working to mobilize “business leaders” to counter the growing public opposition to the Common Core initiative.

Infaming the Public, Part IV: Public Self-Consciousness and Assessment for Democratic Renewal

In Parts I-III, I outlined the dangers and significance of the attacks on public education and in particular the anti-public character of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.I outlined a process of infaming the public that included three elements: (1) the imposition of mass failure on public schools via the manipulation of standardized test data… Continue reading

Gagging Teachers, Selling Student Data: Test Secrecy and Privacy Rights Under the Common Core State Standards Regime

What most people don’t know is that with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has instituted a provision to limit the speech of professional educators beyond what I think would normally be considered reasonable or necessary. I wonder if this has occurred in other… Continue reading