"Teachers are also more than four times as likely now than they were five years ago to say that they do not feel their job is secure." The Metlife Survey of the American Teacher The other day I read the Metlife Survey of the American Teacher. To say it was a depressing document to read is an understatement. I happen to read it on a day when I had to inform several of my teachers that they may lose their jobs at the end of the year. It's the third year in a row that I have had to spend ...


"When people find their medium, they discover their real creative strengths and come into their own. Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer." Sir Ken Robinson Over the past few years our nation has become very data driven. Data can provide us with a great deal of information about students. It can tell us whether students have learned specific information which is typically assessed through standardized testing. There are many researchers who push for data driven decision making and they make learning sound very scientific. However, ...


Today's guest blog is written by Patrick T. Kobler, an inner city high school social studies teacher from Texas who reads Finding Common Ground. Patrick is the founder of Solutions-for-Schools.com: an education reform website that seeks to bring all backgrounds and viewpoints to the table for thoughtful solutions and bold actions to end America's education crisis. According to the CDC, 39.1 per 1,000 teenage females birthed a child in 2009. Two-thirds were unintended and 57% were born to African-American and Hispanic parents, even though these groups represent only 35% of the total population of those ages 15 ...


The relationships we create with others are vitally important to who we are and who we want to become. When I was younger I hated the word "networking" because I thought it sounded like a word shallow guys used to describe how they worked to build business connections. They attended "networking" lunches and "networking" cocktail parties. I put myself through college, wanted to do everything on my own and not count on influential people in my life to help me out. In my immaturity I neglected to realize two very important things. The first is that I didn't have any ...


Schools are supposed to be educational institutions where students are engaged, teachers are nurturing and offer rigorous lessons, and principals are educational leaders where they can help create inclusive environments. Unfortunately, this is often a Utopian view of schools. Too often principals stay in their offices and teachers close their doors and become their own islands. Fortunately, those old practices are changing. Walkthroughs are becoming popular with principals. At least, they should be popular with principals because they are an effective way to observe what is going on in the classroom. Walkthroughs also provide administrators with the opportunity to establish ...


"NOTE: No one, under any circumstances, including the student, may alter the student's responses on these tests once the student has handed in his or her test materials. Teachers and administrators who engage in inappropriate conduct with respect to administering State examinations may be subject to disciplinary actions in accordance with Sections 3020 and 3020-a of Education Law or to action against their certification pursuant to Part 83 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education." NY State ELA Examination Manual Something new appeared on the state assessments manual this year. It was in a box on one of the ...


Democracy has a different meaning for different people. For most people it means the right to speak out and express their opinion. In our present dark education times we have plenty to speak up about, whether it is high stakes testing or unfair cuts to education. Unfortunately, we do not always allow our students to speak out about ways we educate them in the classroom. If we want our students to truly understand democracy we need to allow them to speak up in the classroom (and the school) because it is their right to do so. Teachers can easily teach ...


Every student has a right to feel nurtured when they enter into school. A few weeks ago I wrote a commentary for Education Week entitled Dignity for All. It was based on my book with Corwin Press that was released last week with the same title. When I was doing my doctoral work at Sage College of Albany, my research focused on safeguarding LGBT Students. It was not a topic I had planned to discuss because I did not see the need. I'm not a fan of breaking people into different groups. However, after reading the important work of the ...


Today's guest blog is written by Steve Constantino (Ed.D), Superintendent of Williamsburg-James City County School District in Williamsburg, Virginia. Traveling extensively as a speaker, capacity-builder and thought leader in the arena of family engagement has afforded me the distinct privilege of working in hundreds of schools in hundreds of districts on four different continents. Delving into the research and eventually conducting my own, the same set of facts continued to emerge. First, engaging families in the educational lives of their children supported better learning outcomes at just about every age. Second, there were specific strategies that could be employed ...


What is failure? In the media we hear about failing teachers, failing students and failing schools. Students who get retained, say they failed a grade, as much as the educators around them try to call it something else. There are so many ways we fail. Some of those failures are socially acceptable and others are not. If someone fails a test, they are encouraged to move on and try again. If they fail to get into the college of their choice they are persuaded to find another one that would be more fitting. When someone fails to make the basketball ...


The opinions expressed in Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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