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Education Policy | | Ecology of Education
Tag Archives: Education Policy

The Highly Qualified Teacher Limbo: How Low Can It Go?

What do you think about when you read or hear people talking about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirement that every child should have a highly qualified teacher (HQT)? Perhaps you envision one of your favorite teachers from school: someone who was warm and caring, knew their content area, provided engaging instruction of that […]

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The GREAT Teachers & Principals Act will (not) fix our teachers

Kenneth Zeichner recently wrote an article for The Answer Sheet at the Washington Post detailing why the GRowing Excellent Achievement Training Academies (GREAT) Teachers and Principals Act, which is currently under discussion in Congress, is not so great.  He notes that, if passed, this “would establish state-based competitive grant programs to create charter teacher and […]

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A Nation at Risk? One class’ perspective.

Coauthors: Cue, Katrina; Dunn, Kim Misener; Foxsmith, Eve Laney; Gash, Ashley; Nowak, Stacy; Santini, Joseph; Wright, Jordan We are seven graduate students and one professor at Gallaudet University learning together in a course called Education Policy and Politics. This class incorporates technology and social media using avenues such as Google Drive, Twitter (follow #EDU860), and […]

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@NYTimes’s Journalistic “Issue” vs. Journalistic “Integrity”

The NYTimes recently published a piece on teacher evaluation. I submitted the following comment (which they did not post) to the online forum: I searched through NYTimes’ archive of medical / law / finance / congressional / military reform articles looking for pieces that fail to quote a doctor / lawyer / banker / policy-maker / […]

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A REAL Paradigm Shift in Education

I envy Thomas Paine’s way with language. I’ve been searching for years for words that would have the impact of those he penned in his 1776 pamphlet, “The Crisis.” Admittedly, “These are the times that try men’s souls,” and the words that followed, weren’t a howling success. Only about a third of the colonists agreed with Paine’s call for […]

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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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What do the Budget Cuts Across America Mean for Your Kids?

With well over 60% of Americans supporting spending cuts at a federal level and budget cuts becoming one of the key issues in the Presidential election, it stands to reason that fiscal responsibility will be a top priority, regardless of who is elected in November.  If Obama wins, there will be massive pressure from the […]

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Race and the Missing Ed Reform Agenda

When we talk about education reform and fail to mention race, we leave the opportunity to face a central piece of the racial achievement gap at the door. And that is not putting students first.

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Language Rights of Deaf Children: Working within a Budget

It is hard to imagine that a person’s rights are only granted when there is money to pay for them.  Seriously, how would it go if people were given the freedom of religion only if there happened to be enough money to build the churches and pay for the preachers?  When times are tough, there […]

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Quick Rant: Early Childhood, Poverty, and PBS

Let’s just be clear for a second: Millions of children living below the poverty line have NO access to quality early childcare to nurture their minds. They enter school already well behind their more affluent peers. That deficit is minimized (not solved, just lessened) by the quality programming on PBS, the flagship of which is […]

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A Message to My Teacher Friends at the Start of a New School Year

The start of a new school year is normally an exciting time. Teachers are busy decorating their classrooms, preparing their lessons, reconnecting with colleagues, imagining what they are going to say that first day when they meet their students. But this year, teachers will have many other things on their minds. We live in a […]

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What is Education For?

This essay was originally delivered as a commencement address to the graduating class of 1990 at Arkansas College and can now be found in David Orr’s book, Hope is Imperative (Island Press, 2010).  If today is a typical day on planet Earth, we will lose 116 square miles of rainforest, or about an acre a second. […]

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Why teachers quit—and why we can’t fire our way to excellence

In the past few weeks, two major reports on teacher turnover and retention have been released. One was rolled out with extensive media coverage, and has been the subject of much discussion among policymakers and education commentators. The other was written by me, along with Teachers College doctoral student Clare Buckley. The first report, “The […]

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Rethinking clinical practice in teacher training

A graduate student seeking a degree in secondary math education has been studying research about the ways children learn and evidence-based methods developed to support those ways.  He enters his practicum site and teaches a lesson on the Pythagorean Theorem. The lesson consists of displaying a page from the textbook on the electronic whiteboard, lecturing […]

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Engage (the Teachers as Transformative Collaborators)

Over the course of my 11 years in the classroom I lost a lot of sleep. Over students. Over parents. Over grading papers and lesson plans. During my last years, and even now as I leave the classroom to embark on something new, I’ve been up nights pondering the brand of educator professionalization being heralded […]

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