• “NCLB concentrated on achievement gaps and increased accountability for high-need students, but it also encouraged states to lower standards and narrow their curricula, focusing on absolute test scores instead of student growth and gains. The problem was that a school would be classified as having failed to meet AYP (average yearly progress) standards unless all students reached the set goals. That meant that even if all but one student made acceptable grades, a school could be rated a failure.

    That prompted the Obama administration to offer a ‘waiver’ from the program if a state offered an acceptable set of standards that complied with new federal accountability standards. But compliance with the waiver requires an evaluation of teachers. Part of that evaluation would include test scores of their students. Some are asking: Can you hold a teacher accountable for poor test scores? If a teacher risks damaging his or her career because of student testing, school staffing in certain areas of the state may prove difficult.” ~ Al Dozier, Free Times

  • “The nation’s federal debt is now almost $16 trillion, up from $4 trillion at the end of fiscal 1982 and 5$5.7 trillion at the end of fiscal 2000. Even more shocking, total federal liabilities and unfunded promises now exceed $70 trillion, up from $20.4 trillion at the end of fiscal 2000. This represents an almost $50 trillion increase in just 12 years, and this amount is growing by about $10 million a minute! We also face a fiscal cliff at the end of this year.” ~ Ross Perot, former presidential candidate & U.S. Comptroller General and current CEO of The Comeback America Initiative
  • “At the end of the day, parents are waking up to the fact that, in a fundamental way, many of our schools are failing because they’re not designed to succeed. They’re not serving the interests of children because they’re not designed to–they’re designed to serve the interests of the adults.” ~ Ben Austin, Democratic activist & former Clinton White House staffer who dreamed up parent-trigger laws
  • “Why does Gates get to talk as a ‘teacher evaluation expert’ when his own company, Microsoft, uses a ‘stack ranking’ employee evaluation system that, in the words of Vanity Fair writer Kurt Eichenwald, ‘effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate.’ If Gates wants to turn his attention to an employee evaluation system that he thinks is harmful and destructive, he ought to take a look at the one in his own company that has been a major contributor for why Microsoft, once the top tech company in the world, is now an industry joke.” ~ Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week
  • “Just the other day, I asked my students to write four lines of dialog they had over the weekend. Three of them reached for their phones to read their text messages. They said they couldn’t remember any face-to-face conversations.” ~ Terry Thaxton, English professor, University of Central Florida