July 2008 Archives

Americans are awakening from several decades of spending and consumption with little to show for it. We are realizing that when we had the chance to engineer more efficient cars and put solar panels on the roof to harvest energy from the sun, we did neither, and as a result we are slaves to our addictions and in debt to support them. Our schools have bought into the idea that we exist to feed the American Dream, which means our students must graduate from college, prepared for the six figure salary, the fancy car, the house in the suburbs (and ...

A new report on the future of National Board certification has just been released, (download here) authored by a diverse national group of National Board certified teachers, including me. Perhaps it is not surprising that a team of 10 NBCTs could agree that the process is worthwhile. But our report is not blanket endorsement of the product; rather, it’s a thoughtful consideration of what the NB certification process has meant and could mean for teaching. In developing a reliable way to identify effective teachers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has accomplished something great for our profession. It ...

A great deal of virtual ink has been spilled over the past week debating the merits of the California Board of Education’s decision to approve Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to require all 8th grade students to take Algebra. Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Kerri Briggs revealed her thinking to the Associated Press, saying "Kids are dropping out because they're bored and they don't feel like there's enough challenge and expectations for them," she said. "This may be exactly what they need to help spur achievement." This got me to wondering about the basis for this claim. The rising ...

This week Barack Obama repeated his call for teachers to be paid for performance. He stated "Under my plan, districts will be able to design programs that give educators who serve as mentors to new teachers the salary increase they deserve. They'll be able to reward those who teach in under-served areas or take on added responsibilities. And if teachers learn new skills to serve students better, or if they consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.” I was involved in discussions and research on this issue last year, when I participated in ...


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