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January 11, 2012

Learning From Our Mistakes

"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from." Al Franken Lately, I have been thinking a lot about our present state of affairs; wheth...

December 30, 2011

The Loss of Academic Freedom

"Because teaching as a profession is so poorly understood there's always the temptation for those not active in the classroom to try to "codify" it and make it seem like some mechanical process which can be "time and motion" studied and optimized." Scott Johnston, Australia In decades past, teach...

December 22, 2011

High Stakes Testing: The New SAT's

If you're sitting on the sidelines watching this happen, it's time to join the game. The dean of Harvard University called me yesterday. After I hung up the phone and visited some classrooms I went back to my office and received a message that the dean of Yale called. They wanted transcripts for ...

November 11, 2011

No Testing Week: Part Deux

Although, we have always been a close staff we have had open and honest discussions about testing, NCLB and how we can move forward in a time with so many mandates. As adults, we can all remember the stress we felt when taking an exam. It didn't matter whether it was a chapter test created by a te...

November 04, 2011

High Stakes Testing is not a 21st Century Skill

Recently, New York State test scores were released to the public and showed that students scored lower in the areas of ELA and math than in previous years. The results were quickly announced by the media. Even the national news chimed in to report the devastating results of the high stakes tests. ...

October 23, 2011

Ode to NCLB

The other day I was going through some old Word files. I have a lot of pieces of writing I started but never finished. Usually, things sound like a great idea in my mind and then it just doesn't look right on paper. I save a few pieces and revisit them from time to time. One piece of writing that ...

October 17, 2011

No Testing Week

"We are raising a stressed out generation of students who are over-tested and overanalyzed." The other day I took some time to craft an e-mail in a Word document. I needed to take the time to make sure that I chose my words correctly. Sending the whole staff a message is something that I take seri...

October 04, 2011

What Great Educators Do Differently: A Conversation with Todd Whitaker

"The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day." Todd Whitaker Educators have read a great deal of philosophical literature in their careers. They are inundated with it at the college level, and many educational books...

September 22, 2011

Taking Back Our Childhood: A Conversation with Nancy Carlsson-Paige

"There has been a dramatic increase in marketing to kids in the last 15 or 20 years! Billions of dollars are now spent by corporations to market to the special 'target' group called children." Nancy Carlsson-Paige There are times as I get older that I think I am becoming less patient with society....

September 13, 2011

Will New Rules Curb High Stakes Cheating?

Recently there have been a few high profile cheating scandals in Atlanta and Philadelphia. The school systems blamed their behavior on school leaders who created a culture of fear all in an effort to make sure their school system would not remain on a "failing" list. These recent stories about che...

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The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt's 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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