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August 19, 2014

(Unintentionally) Ironic Blended-Learning Study Shows Principals How to Avoid Critical Mistake

A new study in Educational Technology Research and Development examined how teachers integrate technology into their classrooms and how the professional development they receive supports that. In an ironic twist, the teachers reported that the training on this new technology (which would ostensibly allow them to personalize their classes more easily) was too formal and not personalized to the teachers' needs! So how does a principal avoid becoming a victim of habit and give personalized learning a real opportunity to succeed?

August 18, 2014

How Schools Accidentally Undermine Their Personalized Learning

For the last few years, I've spent much of my time exploring how to help teachers and school leaders bring effective personalization to their students. Today, discussions of personalization seem to be focused on the specific challenges (and the promise) of the enabling technology. Understandably so. But as we're getting back into the familiar rhythm of buses and morning bells, I think it's helpful to step back and consider just how different a "personalized" approach can be.

August 15, 2014

One Cage-Buster's Approach to Fixing Education

As a proud NEA member and a US Department of Education Fellow, the most difficult part of my summer was watching my colleagues vent their serious frustrations at both the Secretary of Education AND their own NEA leadership. Neither side is the "bad guy" as both are depicted (depending on the lens through which you view education). But both sides have been wrong at some points and need to come together and be willing to change things based on common ground. So, where do we start?

August 13, 2014

Making Miller Park Elementary School an Oasis of Hope and Excellence

This morning at 8:30am, I will be at Miller Park Elementary collecting a summer's worth of delayed hugs, commenting on shiny new shoes, and guiding skittish newbies to their classroom. Miller Park sits in a high crime area of Omaha, but we are knocking it out of the park in student learning, sports, and attendance. So why are we so successful while others struggle to achieve?

August 12, 2014

Maddie vs. Michelle, Whoopi, and Campbell

Yesterday I started at the 50,000 foot level talking about systemic change. Today, I want to get a bit lower and go into more detail about what needs to be changed and by whom. So let's start with an easy one - tenure (I know, I am so funny!).

August 11, 2014

It's 'The Bad SYSTEM,' Not 'The Bad Teacher!'

What I'm going to share this week is the view I've had this summer as a teacher who has traveled between many professional worlds. I've talked with colleagues across the country, worked at the US Department of ED, participated as a delegate at the NEA annual meeting, and learned with the nation's best at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year annual conference. Let's start at the 50,000 foot level with "The System."

August 08, 2014

Teacher Absence, Leading Indicators, and Trust

In education, we often hear that teachers are a crucial ingredient, and research shows that teachers are the most important school-based influence on student achievement. If teachers' presence in the classroom matters so much, shouldn't we pay more attention to teachers' absences? Let's look at three reasons to do so.

August 06, 2014

Promoting Health Equity Through Education

The Community Preventive Services Task Force's latest recommendations focus on two types of interventions: High School Completion Programs and Out-of-School-Time Academic Programs. Because academic achievement is linked with long-term health, implementing the recommended programs with fidelity and vigor in racial and ethnic minority or low-income communities is likely to improve health equity.

August 05, 2014

Prepare Yourself for The Cage-Busting Teacher

I'm not the only former teacher who still has teaching dreams come August. In my case, these dreams feature me, often underdressed, trying to teach integration by parts or some other math topic to an unruly group of students. A fair way to interpret such dreams is that I was not a cage-busting teacher, at least in the sense Rick Hess means in his latest book, expected early next year.

August 04, 2014

Mirror, Mirror

Nationally, about half of the students attending public schools are students of color while non-white teachers represent 18 percent of the teaching workforce. Corresponding proportions for states or counties can easily paint a starker picture of demographic mismatch. So there's little doubt that country's teacher workforce is a poor reflection--in terms of race or ethnicity--of the students in our schools, but just how and why does this matter?

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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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