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May 09, 2011

The "Counter-Manifesto" Against a National Curriculum

Today a "counter-manifesto" was released, opposing the move towards a common national curriculum. Entitled "A Critical Response to the Shanker Institute Manifesto and the U.S. Department of Education's Initiative to Develop a National Curriculum and National Assessments Based on National Standards,"...

May 06, 2011

Teachers Feeling Unappreciated by Secretary Duncan

Teacher Appreciation Week got off to a rocky start for Arne Duncan. He posted a letter to America's teachers, acknowledging our frustration, but expressing his determination to push forward the agenda that has us so frustrated. His letter was posted in three places that I have seen. Here, on Teache...

May 02, 2011

An Open Letter from an American Teacher to Secretary Duncan

Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Teacher Appreciation Week with another of his confusing tributes - a mixture of fulsome praise, acknowledgment of the errors of NCLB, and a reiteration of the fierce urgency he feels for pushing forward his agenda. This has become a familiar messa...

May 02, 2011

Here's to the Teachers!

We celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with the release of a video we created to honor teachers. It has been almost two months since I reported on a project we started, to create a series of short videos that would celebrate teachers, students, parents and public schools, and encourage viewers to...

April 28, 2011

When Will the Testing Bubble Burst?

In the mid-1920s our economy boomed. The stock market, then relatively new, soared to amazing heights, as the middle class invested their money and saw their wealth grow. But there was a problem. The stock market prices had inflated beyond the intrinsic worth of the companies they were based upon. ...

April 26, 2011

Ron Fink: Breaking the Rules to Let Kids Play

Today I am sharing a guest post from a reader -- I will let him tell the tale: By Ron Fink I compose musical plays that are used in regular classrooms, grades K-9, all over the country. My writing partner and I build the plays around mandated curriculum, but we add stories, catchy tunes, clever ly...

April 22, 2011

Grassroots Teacher Convention Makes Waves in Oakland

Teachers in Oakland have spoken. At the first Oakland Teachers' Convention, more than 200 teachers - close to ten percent of the teachers in the District, gathered and spent two and a half days in intense dialogue to come up with recommendations for the future success of our schools. Last October ...

April 20, 2011

Sarah Rubenstein: When Will Impoverished Students Get What They Need?

Three years ago I started serving as a mentor for a young teacher at an alternative middle school in Oakland. This school was for special cases - students who had been pushed out of regular middle schools, usually because they were having behavior issues or getting in fights with other students. You...

April 14, 2011

John Kuhn: Why Shouldn't Teachers Be Graded, Too?

Three weeks ago I shared an interview with Superintendent John Kuhn of the Perrin-Whitt Independent School District in the great state of Texas. Today he offers us a reflection on a recent experience at the state Capitol. Yesterday I testified before the Public Ed. Committee of the Texas House of R...

April 12, 2011

Pennsylvania Parents Call for Full Court Press with Politicians

Parent activists Tim Slekar and Michele Gray have recently made headlines with their decision to publicly boycott that state's standardized testing of their children. In this guest post they offer some advice, and urge others to help our politicians understand what is happening to our children in th...

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