Not only is this system being built on the shoulders of tests harmful to students it is resulting in a form of educational malpractice. The other day I was on Twitter reading messages and blogs from educators from around the world and found a blog by Joe Bower who is an educator in Alberta, Canada. After reading some of Joe's posts, I realized that he and I share the same philosophy about grading, homework and many other areas of education. Many of us believe that education needs to change. One of his posts stood out to me. It was a ...


As some teachers try to find ways to educate 25 to 27 students in their classrooms, other teachers are trying to figure out how to manage 40 students in their classrooms. As some schools purchase IPads for their staff, other poorer schools are scrambling to make sure their teachers have paper, pencils and enough chairs. As some teachers try to find ways to educate 25 to 27 students in their classrooms, other teachers are trying to figure out how to manage 40 students in their classrooms. As much as all schools should be innovative and offer 21st Century Skills to ...


Too often, a special education teacher or Academic Intervention Service (AIS) provider acts as a very expensive pointer in the classroom. I moonlight as an adjunct professor at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. It's my alma mater and I received my undergraduate degree as well as my administration degree from the college. Teaching graduate students can create a reciprocal relationship because professors can get as much from their students as their students get from them. This semester I taught a course in action research. Action research is where a teacher investigates an issue they are having in ...


Children who are caught in the middle may be resilient and make it through the situation positively, but all too often children feel it is their fault that their parents cannot even meet in the same room. Separation and divorces happen frequently. Contrary to popular opinion, households that experience divorce are not "broken" homes. Many families negotiate their way through a separation or divorce and come out much healthier. In addition, many divorced households can lead to new marriages which result in blended families. Unfortunately, not all parents going through a separation or divorce know how to negotiate their way ...


Today we had to tear down a longhouse in our main hallway. The longhouse was built by our fourth grade teachers and students during our No Testing Week. We had to take it down for a variety of reasons. It was only meant to be temporary; much like our week where we felt free from the constraints of our constant top-down mandates provided to us from our state and federal education departments. The longhouse was amazing, not just because it was the collective hard work of many. The longhouse reminded many of us of the days long ago when we ...


All students have strengths, and most of those strengths are not assessed through high stakes testing. It seems that all we hear about in education is how...or whether, our students are achieving. Although not a bad topic to discuss, it is often tied into high stakes testing. Many of us in education would like the achievement discussion to include so much more than a test our students take over a few days which are created by a few large publishers who also happen to publish the textbooks used in our classrooms. All of which happens to be a billion ...


"It's like hearing the same song too many times on the radio. After a while people turn the station." The word "bullying" is used on a daily basis. We usually hear it for the first time when we're watching the news in the morning as we get ready for work or school. There are sad stories from around the nation about children who are being bullied by their peers. The media often focuses on the worst stories of bullying because those are the ones that make the headlines. However, there are millions of more stories happening every day that hopefully ...


"I naively assumed that Twitter was a place for people to narcissistically blab their every move, and after reading "Why Educators Should Join Twitter," my mind was changed and I joined. My life is changed! I finally feel like I have others whose lives revolve around education the way mine does". Jaime Mendelis, Binghamton, NY A couple of my friends have the availability to work from home a few days a week. I have this image of waking up, putting on a pair of sweats, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting at my laptop to begin my day. No ...


During the week of November 28th through December 2nd, our school participated in our very own No Testing Week. I must admit that I hardly slept Sunday night because I was eager to see what teachers had planned. It's not that we are totally driven by data and have to test every day but it certainly does feel as though we are consumed by testing. Testing and assessment are very different. We can assess students' understanding of concepts. Assessment is a powerful tool that all educators need to understand. Testing, however, is something different. It may have started as a ...


"It's no cop-out to acknowledge the effects of socioeconomic disparities on student learning. Rather, it's a vital step to closing the achievement gap." Richard Rothstein In our present economic climate, where it seems that politicians are completely disconnected from the people who voted for them, schools have a serious issue with poverty. It doesn't matter whether it is a rural, urban or suburban school district; the number of students living in poverty is rising, which can be devastating to their education. There is a great deal of research which indicates that poverty can severely effect a child's education. Poverty has ...


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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