In case you missed my book review published on Catherine A. Cardno's blog BookMarks, also a part of Education Week, I thought I would provide you another opportunity. Book Review: Wilson on Sahlberg, Finnish Lessons We have studied them. We have admired them. We have envied them. What we have not done is figure out how to replicate them. Who are they? They are the strongest performers in the world when it comes to academic achievement. They are the schools of Finland. Pasi Sahlberg, the director general of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation at the Finnish Ministry of ...


Tell the truth. Did you even know there is a National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF)? Do you know where it is located? Do you know how to nominate someone for induction? If you support the teaching profession, you really should know the answers to these questions. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet the newly-announced 2012 inductees into this special Hall of Fame for teachers. The event honoring the inductees was hosted by the National Education Association with Secretary Arne Duncan offering heartfelt words about these special teachers. I represented the Pearson Foundation,the premier event sponsor. Other ...


This is Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a time to honor the men and women who strive daily to provide every child in every classroom with an opportunity for a bright future. It is not a time to attack teachers' salaries, benefits, job security, or professionalism. For this one week of the year, let's declare a ceasefire on the current war against America's teachers. For those of you who challenge my contention that there is a war on teachers, let me give you some facts. The war began on November 2, 2010, when voters elected a group of politicians who ...


As I forecasted in my 2012 predictions, Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination for president, and he is on a path to secure the necessary delegates in June. So now is a perfect time to examine his support for children, education, public schools, and teachers. Some may think using the term "clueless" is harsh, but upon my review of his record, I cannot think of a better descriptor. When it came to education, Presidents Obama, Clinton, and even George W. Bush were passionate about education and the transformative impact it could have on children. Romney on the other hand ...


We have a major arts equity issue in this country. And, we have a major denial issue about the power of the arts in driving student achievement. Who gets hurt? Of course, as always, the poor children of America are the have-nots. The facts don't lie. Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke eloquently about this issue. He called for all schools to be "arts-rich." He lamented that the arts opportunity gap is widest for children in high poverty schools. He said, " Low-income students who had arts-rich experiences in high schools were more than three times as likely to earn a ...


As I sat in the audience of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession listening to ministers of education and union leaders from around the world discuss 21st century skills, I could not help but wonder if other countries were once again going to take American ideas and use them to surpass us. The United States began having serious conversations about a framework for 21st century skills almost 10 years ago. Books have been written, some school districts have created excellent practices, politicians have talked the talk, and still, we have not fully integrated these skills into our academic content. ...


There is nothing more meaningful to a teacher than honest student feedback. Too often, students are reluctant to tell teachers when they are bored, frustrated, angry, or excited by their lessons. Student feedback would help all teachers be more relevant, more inclusive, and more personalized in their teaching, and, in the hands of accomplished teachers, would be a powerful addition to their repetoire of skills. Recently, I was looking at the 2011 My Voice National Student Report based on a survey created by the Pearson Foundation and the Quaglia institute for Student Aspirations. This survey was administered to 57,883 ...


Last week, I attended the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Dr. Linda Darling- Hammond, a professor at Stanford University, was the rapporteur for the session on teacher supply and demand. She said something that caused me to sit up and pay closer attention. Dr. Darling-Hammond reported on some data around the connection between teacher preparation and retention. You may know that the average attrition rate for the teaching profession is 25%. But--and this is big--for those who completed a teacher preparation program, attrition was 15%, yet for those who did not, the attrition rate was 49%. That is significant. ...


The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher confirms what we have known for the last two years--teachers have become less satisfied with their jobs. The survey statistics indicate that job satisfaction has dropped 15 points in the past two years, and now stands at 44 percent. This is the lowest level in two decades. Who among us can blame teachers for feeling this way? They have been the target of blame, shame, and disdain by the media, politicians, and so-called education reformers. Most of these disparagers have attacked teachers and their unions without research, knowledge of teaching, or integrity. Their ...


Okay! Okay! I know teachers do not have tenure in the pure definition of guaranteed lifetime employment that was available in some higher education institutions long ago. Instead, teachers have fair employment and dismissal procedures that protect them from dismissal for arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory reasons after completing a probationary period. I have been following with interest the legislative battle in Virginia over the "tenure" issue. It has been a very partisan battle with only a few Republican senators--those with firsthand information from relatives who are teachers--refusing to go down a road that appears punitive and unnecessary in this non-collective ...


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