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May 12, 2011

Will the NEA Endorse Obama and the Use of Test Scores for Teacher Evaluations?

In the past week we got news of two very significant moves by the nation's largest teacher's union (and actually the largest union of any kind). The National Education Association's Political Action Committee voted to recommend an endorsement of Barack Obama, and the NEA Board of Directors approved ...

May 11, 2011

Here's to the Students! Our New Video

A couple of months ago I shared some scripts for some video spots to build interest and awareness for the Save Our Schools March in Washington, DC, this summer. I asked readers to share images, and then I worked with talented film makers Tom and Amy Valens, who created the wonderful documentary Aug...

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 25, 2011

Tests over Teachers in California

My recent dialogue with the Department of Education after President Obama acknowledged that we have gone overboard with standardized tests revealed that, in fact, there are plans to actually expand the number of mandated tests. Though we have heard a great deal about the $350 million the Dept of Ed ...

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...

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