"Teachers today need to be treated more as professionals and knowledge workers, and less as interchangeable cogs in an educational factory line out of the last century. Teachers need and deserve more autonomy and respect and they must become real participants and partners in reform if outcomes for children are to dramatically improve." Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made these remarks when highlighting lessons learned from the International Summit on the Teaching Profession and the Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States report. Given this needed respect for teachers as important participants and ...


As we begin the school year, three major news events last week provided relevant educational applications. First, many of us on the East Coast experienced an earthquake for the first time, and if that wasn't enough, nature provided another lesson through Hurricane Irene. These two events will give plenty of science related lessons for teachers to discuss with their students. But I think the most thought provoking education related news event is the resignation of Steve Jobs, now former CEO of Apple. Why? Whether you like Apple products or not, Apple is one of the most successful and valuable companies ...


Last week, Steve Owens guest blogged A Tale of Two Cities: Fear and Hope in Education Policy and Unions. This week, he is cross posting an excerpt from first blog article Rethinking Teacher Compensation: Ethics Equals Good Policy- Part I: Time Flows Only One Direction on his new blog Education Worker. In addition to Steve's role as a member of the Vermont National Education Association (VT-NEA) and a colleague 2010 Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow Ambassador with the US Department of Education, we, along with Nancy Flanagan and Jenay Leach were part of a panel presentation "Teachers Affecting Education Policy" at ...


Steve Owens is a National Board Certified Teacher from Vermont and a 2010-2011 Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the US Department of Education. He is a member of the Vermont National Education Association (VT-NEA) Board of Directors and a music teacher in two elementary schools. The views Mr. Owens expresses in this guest blog post are solely his own. Last February, two very different narratives played out in Denver and Madison. In Madison, political vandals tried to take out one of the state's great civic institutions: public sector unions. Unions were radically reduced in their capacity to bring the wisdom ...


Spring 2007: I'm standing in front of the school buses during afternoon dismissal holding a walkie talkie, posed in the "look I have a walkie talkie stance" with my arms crossed. I'm required to be an "assistant principal for a day" as part of my administrative portfolio requirements for an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. But, as I stand in front of the buses hoping that "no children get left behind" on a sunny Friday afternoon, I realize that this feels eerily familiar. Flashback to spring in the late 1990's: I'm standing in front of buses during ...


The Digital Immigrant and Digital Native Discussions Continue...(Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV...) The Digital Native (gsd) Says: My school is scared of Facebook, and I know it's not alone. It's blocked on all of the computers, and for good reason, too. Facebook use at school brings up concerns over privacy, as well as concerns that students would just waste their time on Facebook instead of using school computers constructively. I'm not saying that those concerns aren't valid. But instead of running away from Facebook, I think we should be running toward it, and embracing its power ...


Have you ever heard of badges in education? Whenever I hear of badges, I remember being in elementary school and the merit badges that some classmates who were in the Boy Scouts would wear to school. Students in the Boy Scouts were always so proud of their achievements, and being able to show their achievement to everyone else? Priceless! Especially during class picture day..... For those of us who were not in the Boy Scouts, we had no way to show our achievements. It's not like as if we could wear a Karate belt to school or show some art ...


I am at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in my capacity as a Classroom Fellow with the US Department of Education. At our exhibitor booth, we are discussing the National Education Technology Plan and the Connected Online Community of Practice. While it's important to examine technology from a national and policy perspective, from my school based experience, I'm still thinking about the recent regulations that my large, forward thinking, school district has released for students to bring their own technology devices to school. These district guidelines are essential for educators who advocate for ...


The annual high stakes state standardized testing season is now over. As teachers and administrators begin to receive the results, they can begin to answer the complex question, "How did we do this year?" And while educators in schools review the data of real students in real world contexts, in education policy, the contentious debates of how to use standardized test scores in teacher and school evaluation continue. Will (or how should) test scores be used in teacher evaluation? What types of access should the public have with test scores from schools or individual teachers? I've written about some of ...


Are you a teacher leader? If so, when did you realize you were ready to be a teacher leader? If you don't consider yourself a teacher leader, what do you think needs to happen for you to feel prepared to make this transformation? Or, maybe you are already doing the things teacher leaders do, but don't realize you are a "teacher leader." After all, in our egalitarian profession, it's rare for teachers to introduce themselves as "teacher leaders." We all tend to refer to ourselves as "just" a "teacher" regardless if we are a 23 years old 1st year teacher ...


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