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September 11, 2011

State Assessments: The Only Data That Matters

Schools are working very hard on establishing data points for students to follow their progress during their school years. We research formative and summative assessments and look into what tools other school districts are using so we can try get a better understanding of our students. However, it s...

September 10, 2011

The Little Chapel That Stood: Remembering 9/11

Around the Chapel, Of Old St. Paul, Blow the dancing leaves Of the coming Fall. In the morning breeze They leap and fly Beneath the towers That scrape the sky (The Little Chapel That Stood, 2003). The summer is a great time to reflect on past, present and future practices as we sit in ou...

September 08, 2011

The Direct and Indirect Costs to Defeated School Budgets

"We have spent so many years kicking the can down the road that the can is kicking back." Unknown Across the country this year, many public school districts saw their budgets get voted down and they were forced to make more cuts or go into a contingency budget. As we enter the new school year, s...

September 06, 2011

Creating an Inclusive School Culture

Officials need not endorse any particular student organization, but federal law requires that they afford all student groups the same opportunities to form, to convene on school grounds, and to have access to the same resources available to other student groups (Duncan, 2011, p.2).* Some schools c...

September 03, 2011

Impressive Empathy: An Interview with Michael Fullan

"One of the biggest barriers to improvement in school systems is the presence of punitive accountability. If you fail you will be put on a watch list. We have already seen that punishment (and even its opposite, reward) can never lead to intrinsic motivation to put in effort to solve a problem and...

August 31, 2011

Conflict Resolution for Adults and Students

"When it comes to deep divisions, resolution and empathy must be combined if change is to occur (Fullan, 2011, p.50)." Recently, I had a conversation with internationally known educational leadership expert Dr. Michael Fullan. Dr. Fullan has a new book entitled Change Leader, and our conversation f...

August 30, 2011

A Picture Walk Through Gender Differences

When I taught first grade, I introduced a new book to my students during calendar time. The book was entitled First Snow by Caldecott Award Winner Emily Arnold McCully. It's a wordless picture book that I had never used before but I loved the illustrations. Pauline, the school librarian suggested I ...

August 28, 2011

Building a Creative Classroom Environment

"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin As our new school year approaches, I inspect the building to make sure everything looks fresh and clean for our students and teachers. My custodians, Maggie, Mary and Garry, work hard during the ...

August 26, 2011

The Good Ole' Days

"When I was young, the snow was deeper and all the hills seemed so much steeper. The crusty ice I walked upon Would never once give in, And every sled race that I ran Would surely be a win. Its' good to see the snow again From a child's point of view, Because what you see is different When you're a ...

August 25, 2011

Modern Family

"The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it" (Masse, 2007). A few weeks ago a reader told me to stay away from diversity because schools use it as a catch phrase and should avoid it because it is not our business. So in an effort to go where I do not belong, I wanted to wr...

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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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