Note: Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, co-founders and co-CEOs of Educators for Excellence, are guest posting this week. E4E is a national teacher-led organization working to ensure that teachers have a meaningful voice in the creation of policies that impact their classrooms and careers. TNTP's new report on the retention crisis, "The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America's Urban Schools," made a big splash in Washington yesterday for the stark and somewhat depressing look it provides on the failure of schools to hold on to their best teachers. The report forces us to take a fresh look at ...


Note: Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, co-founders and co-CEOs of Educators for Excellence, are guest posting this week. E4E is a national teacher-led organization working to ensure that teachers have a meaningful voice in the creation of policies that impact their classrooms and careers. It was the spring of 2010, and we were two teachers at PS 86, an elementary school in the north Bronx. If you had asked either of us what we thought of our job, we would have told you that each day was more stimulating and challenging than the one before, and nothing was more rewarding ...


Note: Maddie Fennell, former Nebraska Teacher of the Year and chair of the National Education Association's Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, is guest posting this week. This week was my first attempt at sticking my toe in the world of blogging. I want to thank Rick for allowing me to be his guest; I would also like to thank the readers for taking their valuable time to consider my thoughts and share their comments. Rather than pick one final topic, I have three somewhat divergent pieces I will share for your reflection: The Role of the Accomplished Teacher In ...


Note: Maddie Fennell, former Nebraska Teacher of the Year and chair of the National Education Association's Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, is guest posting this week. In 2007 I was honored to be named the Nebraska Teacher of the Year. Like many of my fellow state Teachers of the Year, after the congratulations, the first question was, "When are you leaving the classroom?" Why do people immediately ask accomplished teachers why they are leaving the MOST important job in a school? Would you ask the best surgeons to put away their scalpels at the height of their careers? The ...


Note: Maddie Fennell, former Nebraska Teacher of the Year and chair of the National Education Association's Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, is guest posting this week. In just three weeks I will be starting my 23rd year as a classroom teacher. I have taught 1st, 6th, and now I teach 4th grade, all in inner city Omaha (yes, Omaha does have an inner city -- and the unfortunate statistics to prove it.) I've been a proud member of the National Education Association (NEA) and a union leader since before I began teaching. I was active in the NEA Student ...


Note: Trenton Goble, Chief Academic Officer of MasteryConnect, is guest posting this week. I want to thank Rick for allowing me this forum to share my thoughts on assessment and offer a special thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts. How can we help teachers find real value in the formative assessment process? Can we clearly and efficiently track each child's individual performance relative to the essential concepts he or she must know, and work to ensure mastery for all students? These are the questions we set out to answer when my team and I ...


Note: Trenton Goble, Chief Academic Officer of MasteryConnect, is guest posting this week. Today I am going to take a deeper dive into the world of educational testing. I will hopefully make sense of it all in Friday's post where I will explain the importance of teaching students how to build a garden shed. While I was a student, from kindergarten to graduate school, I took tests. Lots of tests! More often than not, I did very well on those tests. I was a good test taker and consequently, I was considered smart and a good student in the eyes ...


Note: Trenton Goble, Chief Academic Officer of MasteryConnect, is guest posting this week. I want to thank Rick for giving me the opportunity to guest blog this week, and hope you will join in on the conversation. Over the last 20 years, I have worked as an elementary school teacher, principal, and district director. In recent years, I have become very interested in how we, as educators, assess and monitor individual student performance. Three years ago, I helped cofound MasteryConnect, an online solution geared towards helping teachers monitor student mastery of essential skills and concepts. My posts this week will ...


Note: Daniel Lautzenheiser, program manager in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is guest posting this week. This week I've looked at two of the most popular K-12 issues--teacher quality and school accountability. My plan was to conclude today with a third--what lessons, if any, can public education learn from other sectors. I'll touch on that very briefly, but wanted to take the roundabout way in light of a slew of comments on yesterday's laudatory post on the importance of shutting down bad schools and allowing good ones to expand. In response, a number of commenters (both on ...


Note: Daniel Lautzenheiser, program manager in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is guest posting this week. If there's ever a tangible physical reminder about the differences in education quality in a particular locale, it is found on the floors of a school building on West 134th Street in Harlem. Literally on the floors. There, a line of tape runs down the hallways. On one side is Democracy Prep Charter School, which in 2010 was the best middle school in New York City. On the other side, until recently, was the Academy of Collaborative Education (ACE), which that ...


The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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