February 2007 Archives

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. ...


All Things Considered did this insightful interview with the author of the new book, The Children in Room E4. Author Susan Eaton talks about the book which follows an elementary school class in a high poverty, racially segregated urban school in Hartford, Conn. Though the students come from a tough environment, they have a haven in their classroom with a particularly dedicated and effective teacher who finds techniques to break through the tough exterior her 8- and 9-year-old students use to negotiate their world. Ms. Eaton discusses not only the success this school has but also the subsequent setbacks, as ...


Once, after-school classes meant bead-stringing, dabbling with paints and other low-stress endeavors for students, but in this age of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and its high-stakes requirements for improvement in math and reading, that has changed, according to this story in this month’s Edutopia magazine. Also, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find funding for these programs, the story says. If you think these after-school classes aren't important, an estimated 14 million K-12 students take care of themselves after school with no adult supervision....


In this electronic age, nothing is sacred—not even the inside of a classroom. Turns out students across the country have been secretly taping their teachers (and often in a not so flattering light) and posting the videos on YouTube, according to this recent story by the Los Angeles Times. Many of the YouTube teacher videos, most taped surreptitiously by students with hidden cell phones, feature instructors losing their cool as they deal with unruly students. Search for "angry teacher" on the the popular site for sharing videos, and you’ll come up with a list of clips for viewing, ...


A day after the 2007 Grammy Awards were given out, it might be nice to pause a minute and remember that for many of these famous musicians, there was a music teacher who started them on their path. In Connecticut, singer John Mayer’s former music teacher told the Associated Press he'd be watching the show. I'm sure he was pleased that his protégée won for best pop vocal album. It’s especially important to keep this in mind, as critics of the federal No Child Left Behind Act continue to worry that the law's emphasis on reading and math ...


Teachers routinely grumble about being underpaid, and some certainly are. But an op-ed by researchers Jay Greene and Marcus Winters in the Philadelphia Daily News takes issue with this common gripe. They say that factoring in leave time, generous benefits, and the number of hours worked (nine months for many teachers compared to a full year in most other professions), teachers actually earn more per hour than many other white collar workers. The two researchers analyzed salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with this report which lays out the claim that teachers aren’t as ...


By day he’s a mild mannered high school history teacher, but by night Lars Brownworth transforms himself into a professor whose lectures on the Byzantine empire touch thousands all over the world. Mr. Brownworth's story, chronicled by the The New York Times, highlights one way learning can be disseminated in unexpected ways, by unexpected people. In fact, more and more teachers are making use of the Internet to connect with students. Whether it’s podcasts, blogs or using the Internet to highlight current events, this new report by the Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education found ...


Think you’re stressed out about work? Well so are students as they’re faced with increased testing that determines whether a school makes achievement targets required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In some schools the result of not hitting the targets can mean serious sanctions, including a scenario in which most of the school staff lose their jobs. That’s a lot of pressure for some students to handle. The Associated Press takes a close look at one Massachusetts teen and how she’s handling the demands of studying for the state tests....


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