It feels like education is moving at a rapid pace in a really bad direction at the same time schools scramble at a much slower pace to keep up with the changes. Many of us who are in public education feel as though we have been in a dark time over the past few years. As much as we understand we do not have control over our present situation, I worry that we are partly responsible for getting here. It feels like education is moving at a rapid pace in a really bad direction at the same time schools scramble ...


A few weeks ago, I sat on an author panel at the Albany Children's Book Festival in Albany, NY. The other three author panelists were Coleen Paratore, Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. The moderator asked us when we first remembered writing something profound as children. We were supposed to describe the moment that defined us as writers...at a young age. The panel discussion took place after NY Times Best Selling Author Gregory Maguire gave an outstanding presentation about his childhood and how he became a writer. He began drawing pictures and writing stories at a very young age. ...


The other day I was watching the Ed Show on MSNBC and Ed Schultz was showing his support for teachers, which is always appreciated. During his excellent commentary he said that Republicans have been demoralizing teachers over the past few years. Unfortunately, demoralizing teachers, or education as a whole, is a non-partisan issue. Democrats, Independents and Republicans all talk about our present education system is a matter of national security. Most in education with agree with that sentiment. The constant focus on accountability (which seems to be on steroids) and high stakes testing will put our students at risk. Many ...


It is not a big secret that we have many issues in American public education. Whether it is high stakes testing, increased teacher and administrator accountability or publishing companies that are lobbying for more control over public schools; we all have something that we think needs to change about our schools. Although those are enormous issues, I always wonder what the true underlying issue is that brought us here. How did we get to a time when the public is not always invested in public education and choose to send their children to private schools, charter schools or decide to ...


On the third day of testing for the New York State Math Assessment, I sat across from the student whose test I was proctoring. He looked up at me after reading one of the difficult fifth grade questions and said, "I don't know what to do." I assured him to just try his best and he continued on to finish the test in 90 minutes. He and I were both tired of the test. As I walked back to my office, I received a notice in a used box that was converted into a package that our ELA exams were ...


In the U.S., we talk a great deal about diversity because we have so many students entering our schools that come from diverse backgrounds. The diversity we see may be economic, cultural or academic. Working with diversity can be an incredibly enriching experience. The educators who know that best are the ones who work in international schools around the world. With diplomatic parents or parents who are ex-patriates (ex-pats) working on international contracts, some of these students move to other countries after a couple of years. With the increased use of the internet and social media in education teachers ...


"Sadly, these days our politicians think you can raise the bar and crack the whip. They believe that if you threaten teachers and principals with sanctions, learning will increase. That strategy will never work." Carol Burris Depending on what North American state you are in, you are being inundated with questions about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Whether you are a teacher or an administrator, the CCSS are somewhere near the forefront of your mind. Like any massive educational reform, there are educators who are looking forward to the change while there are others who do not see the ...


Kindergarten has long been the place where children go to strengthen their social and emotional growth. Through interactions with peers, students learn how to get along with others and how to make mistakes and move forward. Over the years, before play dates made their way into the mainstream, kindergarten was the venue to level the playing field between those children who had numerous social interactions in their early years and those who had none at all. Most educators can agree that kindergarten is extremely important. After all, how many of you have heard the phrase, "Anything I really needed to ...


"CfE places the teacher at the heart of curriculum development - as an agent of change. And yet, schools are places where such agency is often restricted by accountability practices that hinder innovation" (Priestley & Minty). Recently, I read Developing Curriculum for Excellence (CfE): Summary of Findings from research undertaken in a Scottish local authority by Dr. Mark Priestley and Sarah Minty. Scotland is undergoing a major change in educational reform, much like the United States. One of the areas of concern by the teachers surveyed for the study was in the area of professional development opportunities associated with CfE. Professional ...


"Curriculum implementation is an ongoing, rather than a one-off activity. Development of new approaches needs to be cyclical, and accompanied by regular evaluation and reformulation of plans. We emphasise that implementation activity often raises as many questions as it addresses." (Priestley & Minty) In the U.S. we have been inundated with educational "reform." Researchers, writers and bloggers like to refer to it as the Corporate Reform Movement. One of the biggest changes to our educational system has been the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). There are educators who love it while some who don't like it much ...


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