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The Paradox of Students’ “Deficits” as Society’s Strengths

The Economist article, “In praise of misfits,” lays out the business-related benefits of what the author  calls “creatives,” “anti-social geeks,” “oddball quants,” and “rule-breaking entrepreneurs.” While the entire article is well worth the read, we have pulled out a few quotes to help frame the idea that we should work tirelessly to help our school […]

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Leadership Qualities Teachers Want in a Principal

Every year in the United States, an estimated 500,000 teachers leave their schools, with only 16% of the departures the result of retirement. The bulk of teachers leave for a variety of other reasons, including whether or not they perceive their school’s leadership to be effective. Without strong leadership, it is much easier for good […]

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Matt Damon’s Save Our Schools Speech

Below is the speech Matt Damon gave at the Save Our Schools March on July 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. I had incredible teachers. And as I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my […]

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At the Intersection of Youth and the Future

Painting a picture that was both harrowing and hopeful, Van Jones titillated the gathering of educators on the final morning of ASCD’s 2013 Annual Conference with both the peril and promise of tomorrow. In short, despite the copious challenges we find ourselves in today, we can look to the generation currently in our schools to […]

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Staging the Lesson: Proscenium Presentation

The original and perhaps first presentation of dramatic works, barring the storytelling around the communal campfire, is the proscenium presentation. It is perhaps the best known and most widely recognized theatrical staging of any dramatic work. This staging is familiar as it resembles a box or television screen. In fact, many theorists and critics have […]

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From “Deficits” to “Neurodiversity” — the Time is Now

In a recent commentary piece at Education Week, author, speaker and educator Dr. Thomas Armstrong argues for tipping from a deficit model to a more inclusive (and enlightened) model that values students’ strengths, regardless of their learning profiles. He writes, I believe it’s time for a paradigm shift in the field of special education. Fortunately, […]

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Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies

Seeing the forest despite the trees. Our nation’s educational focus continues to zero in on “achievement” as defined by test scores in specific academic areas and the resulting gaps therein. This hyper focus exacerbates our nearly systematic blind eye related to learning for living and cultivating life long learners. As a result, policies that increase […]

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Reframing Education: A Call to Action

I recently attended the Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA) conference organized by ASCD, a professional organization for educators and administrators.  The keynote speaker at this conference was Diane Ravitch, a one-time staunch supporter of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  She has since recognized the damage being wrought in the name of achievement […]

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The Effective Teacher

There are several dimensions taken together in varying levels of degree that embody the effective teacher. Since teachers range from preschool through post secondary levels, and are unique people, no two teachers will have the same combination nor will all of them be present in every excellent teacher. There are also qualities that effective teachers […]

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Classrooms as Cages vs. Classrooms as Everywhere

Over reported research leads to “brain-based” products, perhaps at the cost of student learning. Under reported related research might provide an answer.

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Teddy Bears Can Be Action Figures

Marquin Parks shares the story of learning that a former student has decided to follow in his footsteps and become a teacher.

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The Improving Landscape of Online Universities

Among the millions of pieces of spam e-mail that clutter our inboxes, there are always some from online universities. They promise the degree of our dreams for a fraction of the cost of brick-and-mortar schools, and often in half the time. Thus, the stock of online universities – both the legitimate ones and the fraudulent […]

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A Look at the College Admissions Gap Among Foster Kids

It is little or no surprise that foster kids have a harder go at becoming ingratiated into society than kids living with both biological parents.  Some of the difficulties involved stem from the inherent uncertainty as to the child’s place.  Do I belong here?  Why can’t my “real” parents take care of me?  Is there […]

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What Schools Are Best for Learning Animation?

Students looking for a high-quality college education in an animation field may be frustrated by an online search where many results merely list referral links to programs hosted online. While there’s nothing wrong a non-traditional education, limiting the lists to Internet programs doesn’t give an honest depiction of what degrees employers are looking for. Here […]

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Pulling the 10 of Hearts

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 […]

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The Evolution of Orthopedic Technology

The medical field is always changing and growing– trying to perfect treatments and create the best experience for patients. Today, there are simple procedures for conditions which could have been the end of someone years before. Like other focuses in medicine, orthopedics has changed a great deal over the years and has become an area […]

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Marketing Techniques for the 21 Century

If you’re thinking about marketing a new software product in a way that takes advantage of the latest tools and techniques, including social media, the choice of a service provider is one of your biggest decisions.  This one is too important to make and random or leave to chance. The starting point for thinking about […]

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Top 5 Dirty Jobs That Pay Well

It is a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it.  According to a recent report on, the people who do some of the dirtiest jobs in the country actually collect a nice pay check to do the dirtiest work. They provided a list of the top dirty jobs that collect a median salary […]

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What Are Biological Blood Products?

Everyone is familiar to some degree with blood, the liquid in our bodies that carries oxygen, removes waste, and is an important part of our immune system. It is collected by blood collection centers, in mobile blood collection facilities in the parking lot of churches and malls. Blood is everywhere: In vampire movies, featured in […]

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