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January 06, 2012

The A,B,C's of Schooling: Accountability, Budgets and Common Core

This time of year can be a bit nerve racking for schools. The fun and excitement of the holidays is behind us, and the spirit that comes with those days tends to begin sneaking away from our psyche. In the public school system, especially after the past few years, this is a time many of us fear bec...

January 04, 2012

Rigor, Relevance & Relationships: An Interview with Bill Daggett

"Relevance makes rigor possible." Dr. Bill Daggett Recently there was a story in Education Week that focused on turnaround schools (Samuels). This idea of turnaround schools is becoming increasingly more popular in our present era of mandates and high stakes testing. There are numerous consulting f...

January 02, 2012

Hierarchy in the Public School System

Children learn many lessons when they are at school, both in the classroom and out. The bus ride and recess are places where children may learn things from their peers that are not age appropriate. They also learn lessons from the adults around them that may not be age appropriate either. One of th...

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 26, 2011

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

As of September 20th, 2011, the federal government ended the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) Policy. Although the repeal was initiated in 2010, it took months for the policy to officially end. Don't Ask, Don't Tell prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexu...

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 ...

December 19, 2011

Letter to a New Teacher

Last week, as I got ready to end the week and begin the weekend, I said goodbye to the eight pre-service teachers who ended their student teaching experience in our building. They handed me thank you cards, and the classrooms where they spent their experience had parties to provide closure to the w...

December 17, 2011

Is the U.S. Becoming the Anti-Model of Education?

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...

December 15, 2011

Can Educators Be Innovative When They Lack 21st Century Resources?

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, pen...

December 13, 2011

The Power of Two: Co-Teaching in the Classroom

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 adminis...

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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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