A while back, the National Spelling Bee became all the rage, with books like "Bee Season" (also made into a movie), the documentary "Spellbound", and fictional accounts like the movie "Akeelah and the Bee" making the contest a part of popular culture. The New York Times reports on what could be the next educational contest to seep into the mainstream, the National Vocabulary Championship. This story about the student contest describes how entrants are rewarded for showing off their varied vocabularies, but they don’t have to spell the words. For example, they’ll be given a definition and have ...


We’ve all heard the complaints about what the federal No Child Left Behind Act forces schools to do: cut out music, art, and even social studies, teach to the test, scrap recess. This study from last year out of the Center on Education Policy raised the issue from a national perspective, finding that a significant number of schools were indeed paring back on some subjects to focus on the reading and math tested by the federal law. But it’s rare that information leaks out from individual schools detailing their less politically correct strategies when it comes to annual ...


Who doesn’t enjoy watching movies? Some schools are banking on the fact that more riveting school movies can get through to students on a new level. And they’re taking it one step farther by having students themselves create the films. Edutopia takes a look at an Illinois Department of Transportation film used to warn new drivers about potential dangers on the road. The edgy, seven-minute film was created by local high school students. But the pairing of cinema and education doesn’t have to remain in the K-12 realm. Hollywood movie big-wigs can play a role in education. ...


When Betty Miller retired from a 24-year teaching career in Texas, she tried to find ways to fill her time. Gardening was a bust and she missed the mix of interaction with students and other educators. Her techie son-in-law suggested blogging (though he first had to explain what it was) and the idea for teacherlingo.com was born. Ms. Miller, who on the Web site calls herself Betty B., and son-in-law Preston Ridley created the blog-hosting site as a sort of MySpace for teachers. The site provides a hosting service for teachers who want to start their own blogs and ...


The Bush administration is all about providing school choice in education. Hence charter schools, the transfer option in the federal No Child Left Behind Act and Republicans’ annual (but mostly unsuccessful) federal push for vouchers. But some argue that parents, particularly those from the neediest families, don’t have the information they need and aren’t equipped to make complicated decisions about the best schools for their children. What Would You Say If You Weren’t Afraid lets loose on this one, disputing that stereotype. The Quick and The Ed opine here about all manner of parental involvement, including the ...


An influential association of scientists has announced for the first time that global warming is a “growing threat to society” according to this story in The Washington Post. This statement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science was released during a town hall meeting of teachers in California and a host of other teacher-related groups agreed. The California Science Teachers Association, the National Science Teachers Association and the United Educators of San Francisco all supported the AAAS statement. This earlier Around the Web post shows just how debate over global warming is creeping, or not creeping, into classrooms. ...


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