Doug Noon argues that "what works" education research--on which NCLB achievement goals are predicated--simply entrenches a status quo conception of schooling that, in his view, avoids the big picture. He notes: Critical thinking and innovation in the classroom can, and should, include activity besides what might work in our present - broken - policy environment....


Mei Flower recommends the "The Class," about a junior high in inner-city Paris. Be warned, however, that it doesn't sound like escapist fare. MF loved it, she writes, because it is realistic in a way that American teacher movies seldom are: The movie deals with one class of freshman-aged students in their grammar/literature class. The teacher is stressed and overworked, he worries about his performance, about his ability, about what he's really teaching, and about his kids--not just as students, but as PEOPLE. ... Many times, as I was watching the film, I found myself slouching down in my seat, ...


NYC Educator is often outspoken with his opinions, particularly when it comes to issues of teachers’ unions and their detractors. He doesn’t like education outsiders like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Waltons (of Walmart fame) who, in NYC Educator’s words, “toss money about to make sure unionized employees are marginalized.” He found it especially disappointing when Bill Maher, a man also known for his controversial opinions, recently joined the ranks of teachers’ union bashers. Maher thinks unions need to be broken, but it's pretty clear what can happen to teachers without unions. It's also clear that folks ...


From Michele McNeil at edweek.org's Politics K-12 blog: The National Rifle Association's monthly magazine has named U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan the "most anti-gun" member of President Obama's cabinet. Apparently, Duncan has had a history of, um, discouraging gun violence in schools. We're guessing, as Michele notes, that most educators won't exactly be incensed over this...


Ariel Sacks of On the Shoulders of Giants is having trouble with the “digital divide” between students who have internet at home and those who don’t. She and the special ed teacher in her classroom took a lot of time to record themselves reading Nancy Farmer’s The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm to help students struggling with the reading. Then they posted the MP3 of themselves on Multiply.com, a social networking site. The problem was many students couldn’t participate because 1) they don’t have internet access at home and 2) the site was inaccessible ...


Mei Flower notes that it is during times like these that teaching can seem like a fortuitous career choice: One perk of being paid so poorly is that I haven't really lost money in our dying economy. One advantage of having a job that comes with so little status is that I get to keep it, since no one else wants it. And one benefit of working my tail off for eleven months out of the year is that I get one full month in which I don't have to work. I certainly haven't heard anyone else talking about planning ...


A high school senior who won an essay contest has donated the award money back to the financially-strapped enterprise that gave it to her. Here's an excerpt from her letter: As you well know, for high school-aged scholars, a forum of this caliber and the incentives it creates for academic excellence are rare. I also know that keeping The Concord Review active requires resources. So, please allow me to put my Emerson award money to the best possible use I can imagine by donating it to The Concord Review so that another young scholar can experience the thrill of seeing ...


Renee Moore of TeachMoore was disappointed that President Obama chose to use the children of Mississippi as evidence that we need nationalized standards. A teacher in Mississippi, Moore says that while the problems are very serious, the causes of one state’s educational problems aren’t necessarily the same as another’s. The comparison of the performance of fourth graders in Mississippi to those in Wyoming focuses attention on the symptoms, not the causes of educational inequity. The problem is NOT that the two states have differently written standards … Average pay for teachers in Wyoming (5th in the nation) in ...


One sign that that you're pretty much test-prepped out: When you can no longer even understand a student's request to go to the bathroom....


School technologist Doug Johnson is skeptical about the educational usefulness of Facebook, but thinks teachers should use it just to get a sense of the medium. As to the ongoing question of whether teachers should "friend" their students, he says, in essence, you gotta be kidding me....


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