January 2012 Archives

Teacher Evaluations Must Be Fair

One of the highest compliments a teacher can get from a student is to be told that she or he is fair. When students believe their teacher is fair, they accept test grades, homework assignments, and discipline without drama. Teachers, like their students and like people in other professions, appreciate fairness and should expect it. With that in mind, I am not surprised by the pushback on new evaluation systems from teachers in Hawaii, New York, Tennessee, and many other state and local school districts. Using student test scores from flawed standardized tests as a measure of teacher evaluation does ...


A New Formula from Sir Michael Barber

I have to admit that I have been a little cool to Sir Michael Barber. During his tenure as a chief advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair, my friends at the National Union of Teachers in the United Kingdom were often at odds with his obsessive advocacy for testing and his infatuation with private schools. He seemed to embrace No Child Left Behind more than most in America. All this when he had been a former official with the union in the UK! That did not add up for me. In my old age, I have decided to read, listen, ...


Loving and Hating Teach For America

There has certainly been a lot of traffic about Teach For America (TFA) in the cyberworld lately. It all started with the audacious nerve of Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association, and Wendy Kopp, CEO of Teach for America, daring to appear together with Secretary Duncan to support his new blueprint for teacher preparation. Then of all things, they penned together a commentary for USA Today. As a result, many of my fellow bloggers have launched a storm of criticism. I respectfully ask them to "cool their jets" on that and to look more carefully at the ...


A Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Moment

It was July 31, 1966. I was a new high school graduate working at a local restaurant and getting ready to go to college. My hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, was abuzz. On this day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was speaking at Reynolds Coliseum, and the Ku Klux Klan was gathering at Memorial Auditorium for a counter-protest. These two sites were in walking distance, at least for my young body. When you work split shifts in a restaurant, you have this wide gap of time to consume. A co-worker and I decided to go downtown to see what was ...


Sometimes Philanthropy is just Philanthropy

I have read with interest the articles in the New York Times attacking education leaders for taking study trips that were underwritten by the Pearson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Pearson Education. I will admit that after the first article, I had hoped that this would be a one-time article by a cynical reporter looking for a good story that would resonate. Now, there have been two other articles. Of course, I could be cynical, too, and assume that his corporate bosses are pushing this story for other reasons since I know the New York Times Foundation has sponsored very ...


My Predictions for 2012

Happy New Year! As we approach this new year, many people will be making resolutions and anticipating what the new year will bring to education policy and politics. I am devoting this blog to my predictions for 2012. I invite you to share your predictions by making a comment or emailing me at johnwilsonunleashed@gmail.com. Now, here are my predictions for 2012: 1. No Child Left Behind (ESEA) will not be reauthorized, and the Department of Education will use waivers very liberally in exchange for their core reforms. 2. Those schools receiving a school improvement grant and having a ...


Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments