January 2009 Archives

Last week, Fairfax County changed its grading policy to adopt a “ten point” scale. In other words, instead of needing a 94 for an A and a 64 to pass, under the new system 90 or better bags an A and a 60 gets you over the hump. The school board finally deserted its flimsy rationale that it was “setting a high bar” in the face of pressure from sharp-elbowed parents concerned that their children were somehow disadvantaged in the college admissions process, especially compared to applicants from neighboring school districts like Arlington and Montgomery that use metric scales. (At ...


In another corner of Teacher, editor Anthony Rebora is moderating a forum right now asking teachers a timely question: On January 20, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the nation's 44th president, in an event that is expected to draw unprecedented numbers of people to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. How do you plan to address the inauguration in your classroom or integrate it into your lessons? Is your school making any special arrangments to allow students to watch and talk about the event? What do you hope students will get out of coverage and discussions of ...


Here’s some stuff about building a book Annie Lamott never told us in Bird by Bird, her quickly classic writer's autobiography. Fortunately, I’ve got Andrea from Long Island to help me craft a marketable proposal. Over spring break, I knocked out a chapter outline listing the sections and what I want to put in each one. The organizing device is a metaphor, a suitable approach for a guy like me who has a license plate on his jeep that says METAAAA. To keep you in suspense, or at least keep you reading this post, I will cagily withhold ...


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