There was Mr. White in middle school. He taught a Social Studies class that had an extra spoonful of African and African American experiences and influences on the world. A lot of his talking points and teachings were in line with many of the events and ideologies that my own father talked about with us [...]
The first annual Bammy Awards were held this past weekend in Washington DC to celebrate teachers and educators through recognition and acknowledgment. The black tie affair brought together the likes of Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, John Merrow and a host of teachers, bloggers, administrators, and assorted arm candies (as one husband referred to himself). With a red [...]
One of the unexamined dimensions of the history of the School Reform Movement is the role that Civil Rights law played in shaping its guiding assumptions and strategies. I was reminded of this the other day when reading an unpublished manuscript by an Oklahoma City based teacher named John Thompson, who pointed out that civil [...]
A couple of days ago I watched and read the transcript of Fareed Zakaria’s CNN primetime special, “Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education.” Zakaria talks to Bill Gates, whose five-billion-plus investment in schools has bought him a seat at the head table of education reformers. If I’d gotten any response from my previous attempts to correspond with [...]
The popularity of international student assessments, especially the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), allows us to compare national education systems in ways that were not possible before. These comparisons are made by looking at the national averages of 15-year-old students’ standardised test scores in reading, mathematics and science. Many countries are increasingly obsessed by [...]
I am very happy to say that I spent my weekend occupying Wall Street. During this time, I had the amazing opportunity to speak with people who are not only angry, but hopeful. They are individuals who protest our country’s economic policies not out of hatred, but out of love for our country. They see [...]
Since this article was written, the Michigan Education Association has begun to conduct strike authorization votes in every Michigan local. A statewide teacher strike in Michigan, where public employee strikes are illegal, would be an unprecedented action with enormous implications for both the labor movement and the movement to defend public education. Focusing on Detroit, [...]
Below is an infographic illustrating what teachers feel is most important toward improving instruction. (Click on the image for a closer look.) Its data is telling to be sure. At a minimum it can serve to illustrate the gap between merit pay proponents and educators themselves. Perhaps we should look at this graph and wonder: [...]
(This post was written in conjunction with The National Day of Blogging for Real Education Reform.) Scenario: Zombie invasion. Your mission: Survive. Do you: A. Arm yourself heavily & prepare to wallop hundreds, possibly thousands, of undead humanoids upside the head? B. Find a Cold War relic bomb shelter and hermetically seal yourself inside until [...]
Even amid the heated debates & discourse, my inner Pollyanna still dream’s big. Here’s my blue sky, if I had my way: 1. United Teachers They become a force to be reckoned with. Politicians, news outlets, and policy makers take notice and make room at the table. They ask teachers questions like, “What can we [...]
Anyone who has read this blog before is probably aware of my position on the use value-added measurement for teacher evaluation. I have argued many times here, and in Teacher Magazine, that politicians, self-styled education reformers, and members of the general public are ill-informed if they believe that we can use state tests to determine [...]
I submitted 5 open-ended questions I thought lawmakers should ask teachers before crafting bills aimed at reforming education. The policymakers on the Education Policy Committee thought it was a great idea (especially after the stink teachers made about not being included in reform efforts in Florida). However, in order to more easily quantify the responses, [...]
Once upon a time teachers assigned grades, and that was pretty much that. Oh, occasionally a kid would argue that a particular grade was unfair, or complain so loudly that parents or an administrator would get involved, but that was relatively rare. About a generation ago, acceptance of teacher judgment about the quality of student [...]
Everyone admits that we must do more for our children because in some respects we are failing them. In some respects they are not achieving the way they should so we must take the shoe off and challenge ourselves to walk differently…..
but I submit that we must listen and include experts, the professional educators and teachers as we walk.
Legislative proponents of SB6 and HB7189 are listening to one main demographic: The Chamber of Commerce. The voices of teachers, parents, and administrators are falling on deaf ears. Why?
I’m not afraid to admit it. Standardization — it scares me. It’s the monster under the bed, lurking in the closet, rumbling around in the attic of my mind. Its the haunting moans in the walls of the profession, a harbinger of doom. In fact at times, in states of sleep deprived overly-dramatic hyperbolization, it [...]
Science teachers stay up to date on the latest techniques and technology by going back to school.
Just a quick, short list of some reading selections for the summer: San Francisco Public Library Reading Lists Annotated list of lists up to 12 year olds, including special interest topic lists. Boulder Public Library Booklists Kids’ Booklists including topics specific for boys, girls, and teachers. Boston Public Library Summer Reading Lists Though this list [...]