September 2009 Archives

Forty five years ago the Free Speech Movement rocked the UC Berkeley campus. Last week 5,000 students walked out to defend public education. Where do teachers stand?


Arne Duncan thinks so. But I see NCLB bringing curricular impoverishment to our increasingly segregated schools. What path will best serve our students?


I have been reading a fascinating book - The Management Myth, Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong, in which author Matthew Stewart unveils the secrets of the field of modern management consultants, revealing that behind all the charts and claims of strategic planning, there is very little solid evidence, and even less of predictive value. What good is a theory if it fails to predict the future? From the point of view of a scientist, we observe nature -- or human activity such as commerce or education - and make hypotheses that can be tested. Then, if we are ...


Do public schools in poor neighborhoods get shortchanged while schools in wealthy communities are protected from the ravages of the cuts? It sure looks that way...


Zhao helps us understand why the US, in spite of the frequent sloppy indictments of our schools, remains a world leader in scientific and creative innovation.


Diane Ravitch shows us one reason innovation in education has proved to be so elusive over the past century. In her op-ed this week, she takes the advocates of 21st Century Skills to task for their focus on critical thinking as opposed to the bedrock knowledge she suggests is a prerequisite foundation for our students. Ravitch echoes the point made in my post earlier this week, that project-based approaches have been around for a century. However she does not consider that a good thing. According to her: “None of these initiatives survived. They did have impact, however: They inserted into ...


Why has the structure of learning in our country remained basically the same for so long? John Merrow’s blog, Taking Note, this week poses an interesting set of questions based on the premise that there has been little innovation in the field of education in the past 50 years. He wonders why, and offers reasons primarily related to the flat pay structure for teachers, resulting in few incentives for innovation. He writes: The thirst for money, prestige and fame are reliable spurs of innovation. Living in Silicon Valley as I do, I’ve seen plenty of evidence of that. ...


How can we balance the nurturing and acceptance our children need with our role as academic taskmasters? Today’s entry is a departure. Rather than just tell you what I think, supported with facts and figures, I want to open some questions for discussion. After all, this is intended to be a dialogue. I just watched a couple of old videos of one of my favorite characters, the late Fred Rogers. My family did not have a television until I was ten years old, so that must be when I watched his show sometimes, on days I stayed home from ...


Last week I shared Dan Pink’s convincing case against the use of bonuses to motivate teachers to pursue higher test scores. It is very important that we move beyond dead-end reforms such as NCLB and pay for test scores, so we can do things we know will work. We got a clear indication this week that shows us the way. A study arrived from the American Economics Journal: Applied Economics that looks at 12 years of data from North Carolina schools, and discovered that teachers are profoundly affected by the quality of their peers. As teachers, we know how ...


Teacher motivation is front and center in educational policy, and many seem to think that rewarding teachers for higher test scores is the most efficient way to close the achievement gap and make the US more competitive. Some powerful evidence to the contrary is emerging from a surprising source – the world of business. This week a video featuring Dan Pink came along from TED, where he builds a strong case that systems of rewards and punishments actually inhibit performance, especially in higher-order tasks. Pink, a former speech-writer for Al Gore, marshals several studies from sources such as the Federal Reserve ...


Stop this train! That is the message Jerry Brown sent this week to Arne Duncan. Secretary of Education Duncan will visit Sacramento on Thursday, to make sure the state complies with his requirements that we allow test scores to be linked to teacher pay and evaluations, and to unlimited expansion of charter schools. California's former governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown sent this comment on August 28, 2009, in response to Arne Duncan's Race to the Top. I think it is worth reading. Via eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov Re: Race to the Top Fund [Docket ID ED-2009-OESE-0006] In ...


Advertisement

Most Viewed On Teacher

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments

  • Jackie Conrad: National standards will result in making teachers as dishonest as read more
  • Marsha Ratzel: I couldn't agree with Anthony any more about that national read more
  • Anthony Cody: Leslie, Thank you for stating so eloquently the reason so read more
  • Leslie S. Leff: Dear President Obama, I became an elementary teacher over 20 read more
  • marc: Well, since you're asking for my professional opinion, first I read more