February 2011 Archives

she has spoken passionately about the many teachers who have been writing to her as a result of her advocacy. She has truly given us a voice in places where we have been silenced. And she is tireless in her advocacy.

from Tennessee comes the news that conservative lawmakers there are working on a law that will require science educators there to "teach the controversies" regarding evolution and climate change.

the teacher has become a sort of "wife." And there is pressure on her to be a "good wife." The "good wife" must subordinate herself to the authority of the father, and enforce the rules the father has set forth.

In the streets of Madison, and in solidarity events around the country an old song is being sung, one I have not heard for many years.

What's happening in Wisconsin is an excellent example of what I describe as "shock resistance," because people are naming this while it's happening, they're saying "you're manufacturing a crisis so that you can exploit it."

Did you hear that our international test scores are actually excellent when we look at the scores of the children not living in poverty? Do you really believe poverty has nothing to do with the woes of our public schools? Have you read the research?

Weren't your best teachers those who had this practical wisdom? Weren't they the ones who had character, along with certain principles and virtues that you may have not appreciated at the time?

If we as a country really believe that sending in privileged folks to see how the "other" side lives is part of the solution to our education problem I think that is denying collective ownership of the problem of inequality and it is also ignoring what the folks we are "helping" have to offer.

We must show teachers at our most difficult schools our appreciation for the challenges they are taking on, and give them the support they need, not pretend to be giving them "love" in the form of firing them.

Today I am sharing part two of a two-part essay contributed by educator Betsy Angert. Ms. Angert is a creative educator who taught Secondary School and University students. She also served to instruct and supervise future Educators in the Teacher Credentialing Program. She now hosts the web site Empathy and Education. In an earlier essay, Those Who Can Teach; Life Lessons Learned, thoughts on the ever-present influence of George Bernard Shaw's philosophy were evaluated. A personal reflection, perchance, helped advance an analogy. We each are as the Playwright was. When young, we learn through our experiences. Later, we are forever ...

I wonder. In the world of teacher evaluation might we examine our beliefs more closely. Could we not learn from a bit of real life reflection. Let us not so quickly endorse the data that proves what we came to believe in childhood.

Bringing in a program that plugs some of the gaps created by the absence of these things, as Teach For America does, should not be confused with systemic reform for our schools - even if they get good test scores. And I am concerned that some people may not understand that.

TFA would also give us access to "teacher-proof" materials, when in fact it would be some thoughtlessly scripted lesson with all the right buzzwords that would be over in ten minutes and leave you with an hour and a half of chaos.

I believe, too, that as new teachers you have a responsibility to articulate why you want to teach; what is it you are hoping to achieve, what are the goals you have in mind for your students.

Dr. Briggs goes into more specific misrepresentations and much more thoroughly explains the flaws in the LA Times methods in his rebuttal, and the original paper that was the subject of this dispute

All these things provide such tremendous benefits, and yes, often improve student test scores as well. Is there some reason these approaches do not seem to qualify as "reforms"?

In essence, here in Idaho, we will use technology not as a tool to improve education but as a replacement for 770 teachers in order to make the dollars come out right.

Many of us did not reapply. We were not abandoning the school we loved. We were fighting to save it.


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