Name Change

Alfie Kohn quoted the amazing Deb Meier in his Poor Teaching for Poor Children – “Only secretly rebellious teachers have ever done right by our least advantaged kids.”

I hereby declare myself to be secretly rebellious, with an occasional burst of overt rebellion. 



…the most important purpose of evaluation is not to prove, but to improve.

from Evaluation Theory, Models, and Applications
by Daniel L. Stufflebeam and Anthony J. Shinkfield

This is such an important statement. I believe it. My principal believes it. But our county, state and federal government believe the opposite. They focus only on proof and their methods are suspect.

Improving an individual child may not be measurable until long after s/he leaves school or it may be instantaneous. Or improvement may be so gradual, it is barely perceived.

Maybe I should change my mantra

only connect

taken from the epigraph to Howard’s End by E.M. Forster, to


There are so many nuances to that word and its application in my classroom and my life.

Thanks to Jim Horn for using the Stufflebeam/Shinkfield quote in his letter to the Seattle school board which came up in my twitter feed courtesy of Paul Thomas (@plthomasEdD).

toilet paper

A transition from Common Core [placeholder] Standards to toilet paper seems appropriate, right? Work with me here. It’s not that hard to see the connection.

But I digress…

Toilet paper. We all buy it, but our kids are embarrased to be caught in the grocery store with it.

Again, I digress…

One of my kinders was putting his used t/p in the bathroom trashcan today. We’ve talked about this many times because in some cultures or communities where plumbing isn’t as reliable as ours, toilet paper is disposed of anywhere but the toilet. And many of our kids are not used to flushing toilet paper.

He was horrified to be reminded that he needed to put his toilet paper in the toilet.

“In the toilet?!?!?! NO!!!”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“But it might not go down!”

“If it doesn’t you can tell me. That’s why our custodians are here – just in case something doesn’t work right.”

So we had yet another mini-lesson with the whole class.

“Do we call it wastebasket paper?”


“Do we call it floor paper?”


“Do we call it wallpaper?”


“We call it – what?”


Maybe this will stick longer than wet toilet paper to a wall 🙂

Common Core [State] Standards

I think the word [State] is just a placeholder.

Once the few holdout states are bullied into adopting, I’m convinced the name will be changed to CCNS – Common Core National Standards.

The added benefit (and I use that word in the most facetious way) will be that the publishers will be able to push 2.0 versions of their books and support materials to reflect the name change.

Maybe a couple of years after that, the [Common] and [Core] will be dropped and we can simply be honest and call them what their creators intended from the outset.

National Standards.


BTW – I refuse to link to the CC[S]S. Poison.