We pause in our discussion of John Holt’s “Escape from Childhood” for this announcement: The New York Post found it necessary to send two (yes, two) of its reporters after Lisa Nielsen, calling her a “class clown” in their hyper link to an article that hit the web sometime last night.
Ladies and gentlemen, when the Post makes fun of you, you must be doing something right.
The Post, for those of you not well-versed in New York City newspapers, is our local rag. They are (in)famous for once running the headline “Headless Body in Topless Bar”.
The Post article took issue with Lisa’s Innovative Educator blog in which she denounces standardized testing, criticizes the common core standards and supports homeschooling. They took issue with the fact that Lisa works for the Department of Education and is therefore – at least in their minds – snubbing her nose at her employers. As they wrote:
“Forget the city’s standardized tests — skip school!
That’s the shocking advice publicly offered by Lisa Nielsen, 44, a high-ranking city Department of Education official recently promoted to the newly created, six-figure position of “director of digital literacy and citizenship.”
In her spare time, Nielsen is an administrator of the Facebook group Opt Out of State Standardized Tests — New York, which promotes boycotting the very same standardized tests her agency administers.”
I don’t know about all of you, but I LOVE the fact that the Dept. of Ed has a “rebel” in their midst. Change doesn’t come easy, and usually not from within. The fact that Lisa is such an enormous ally of children and authentic learning that she challenges the status quo followed by many of the people around her is a very good thing. A Very.Good.Thing. The fact that, according to Lisa, her supervisors have been supportive following the release of the article is a hopeful thing. It’s no secret to anyone – at least anyone paying attention – that standardized testing is bogus, harmful and pushed onto kids by people who make billions in the industry. Common core standards are basically a joke and won’t change the quality of education for anyone. I can write about it till I’m blue in the face, but Lisa got the Post’s attention because she’s not supposed to rock the boat. Apparently, though, the DOE doesn’t mind Lisa’s boat-rocking. Good for them.
So thank you Lisa, for rocking the boat. Thank you for standing up for the rights of kids, and against the destructive nature of testing and coercive schooling. Thank you for using your position within the Department of Ed to get peoples’ attention.
From all of us “radicals”, Thank you.