January 2007 Archives

National Public Radio’s Morning Edition has been taking a close look at Northwestern High School in Baltimore, Md. for several months. The latest installment in the series looks at the way two veteran teachers approach the start of the semester at the struggling school, which has not met state achievement standards for years. One biology teacher is letting students have some measure of control in her class by having them set class rules and consequences. She hopes to instill enough pride of school in them to make them want to pass the state test. A math teacher takes the ...


Taliban officials recently announced they planned to open new schools in war-torn areas of Afghanistan in an effort to promote the Islamic fundamentalist group’s kindler, gentler side, according to a recent Time Magazine article. But the story also reveals that in areas where the Taliban has been driven out, millions of students have already enrolled in schools, including millions of girls who were previously discouraged from seeking education. This Education Week story sheds additional light on the situation in Afghanistan and lays out the dangers that teachers and students face just to get an education....


President Bush didn’t devote much time to the topic of education during his State of the Union address last night, but that’s not stopping the chatter of education bloggers on the Web. Though the White House put out a detailed briefing of the president’s newest thoughts on education a day earlier, during the actual speech Mr. Bush’s education comments were brief. He lauded the federal No Child Left Behind Act and called for its renewal. He spoke in favor of increased flexibility, school choice, and more education dollars for struggling students. This Week in Education takes ...


This story in the January issue of NEA Today takes a look at America’s place in the globally competitive race to the top when it comes to math and science. The story says that though there is a lot of angst that American students are being quickly outpaced in those subjects by their counterparts in countries like India, it’s worth a closer look at the numbers. In fact, the story says, the situation may not be as dire as it seems. NEA Today also features a story on the way one Kentucky school is helping students grasp math ...


School violence is a very serious subject. But Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart takes a hilarious look at some of the proposals that various politicians have made to try and combat the problem. One Wisconsin state representative has proposed passing out guns to school personnel in order to allow them to defend students against armed intruders. An Oklahoma school superintendent nominee also details his plan to provide books covered with bulletproof Kevlar so students can take cover behind them when confronted with a gunman. If all else fails, the students could throw their books at the ...


If you’re a principal, the University of Minnesota wants you to start your own blog. The university’s Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education or CASTLE was created to boost the number of administrators who know how to use technology in their schools and districts. Now CASTLE has started the Principal Blogging Project to encourage school leaders to create their own blogs to share news and events with the community, to market their schools, and to build community investment. Their goal is to get 100 principals blogging in 100 days. You can view existing principal ...


National Public Radio’s Morning Edition features a story on the value of education for one Arizona Navaho family living on a reservation. The Cooley family has sent six of their seven children off the reservation to be educated in Flagstaff, Ariz. Their youngest is headed there next year for middle school. Their oldest has a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University. The story gives a glimpse into the difficulties that Navaho children face when they have to transition from a household without electricity or running water and a community that values silence, to the modern, noisy, electronic world ...


Pity the poor social studies teacher who has to figure out how to approach the subject of the Middle East and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The Boston Globe reports on what happened when two such teachers tried expand the discussion by inviting a pro-Palestinian group called Wheels of Justice to speak at Andover High School in Massachusetts. The result has been a war of words among students, teachers, religious leaders, and community members. The typically staid Andover community, which according to the story prides itself on its inclusiveness, has erupted in controversy....


While we’re on the subject of the No Child Left Behind Act, listen to this National Public Radio interview with Tajah Gross, the principal of Northwestern High School in Baltimore. Ms. Gross talks about how the law has changed education in her school. Northwestern High School is currently in the law's restructuring phase, not having made Adequate Yearly Progress for the last five years. Ms. Gross seems to have a fairly positive outlook on the No Child Left Behind Act and she says its requirements have forced school officials to reevaluate programs and make sure they’re working for ...


Speaking of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which celebrated its 5th anniversary yesterday, the education world is abuzz about this article by Michael J. Petrilli, a former U.S. Education Department official under President George W. Bush and a one-time vocal supporter of the law. In his essay, Mr. Petrilli (now vice president for national programs and policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation) pretty much yanks his support and points out everything that has gone wrong. The Salt Lake Tribune, located in pro-Bush Utah, which early in the law's implementation led the state charge against No Child ...


Britain’s TES Magazine has a few hints for overworked teachers: get a life. They’re advising teachers that with the new year, educators should vow to get out from under that stack of essays that need grading and those lessons that need planning. TES recommends rest, recovery, and relaxation along with a renewed effort to get organized and stay on top of what needs to be done. In America, if you’re a teacher and need a new lease on life for this new year, head to Ithaca, N.Y., where the whole city plans to honor teachers in ...


The National Education Association is kicking off its public relations campaign pushing Congress to make changes in the federal No Child Left Behind Act with at 221-page booklet featuring thoughts on the law from a sampling of educators from every state. Overwhelmingly the teachers find the No Child Left Behind Act, which is scheduled for reauthorization this year, sorely lacking. The publication, “It’s Time For A Change! Voices from America’s Classrooms” is organized by state and features entries from teachers who tell tales of physical education classes and science classes being down-sized, of teacher frustration, and of demoralized ...


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