March 2009 Archives

DC schools’ Capital Gains program is in the news again. In fifteen District of Columbia schools 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are being paid for performance. While some factors are consistent in all schools, there is some variation, but every school includes attendance, behavior, and, in some form, grades. Uniforms are a criteria in nine of the schools, and service is a factor at one school. Students earn up to $10 a day, or $100 every two weeks, for meeting expectations in each area. It would appear that the formula is $2 for each of the target goals. The Capital ...

There’s a new teacher at Stepford Elementary, her name is Saya and she meets the need for ethnic diversity on the staff. Saya is from Japan. Saya demonstrates the Stepford School System's commitment to “Integrating Technology to Prepare Our Students for 21st Century Learning.” Saya is a Robot Teacher. You remember Stepford don’t you? It’s the quaint little suburban village where all those stay-at-home housewives are happy and beautiful because Dis, the president of the local Men’s Club, is replacing the old human models with new improved animatronic spouses. The nice thing about a robot is ...

Last week I wrote about how looking at pictures informed the way I thought about teaching and learning. I’ve been thinking about The Picture Lady ever since. The Picture Lady came to visit us in fifth grade. I think The Picture Lady was probably a Junior League member and her traveling art exhibit was a community service project. Each visit, she brought us a new picture – a large nicely framed copy of a famous work of art – and she gave us a little 15-minute lesson on the artist and some aspect of art appreciation. After her visit, the picture ...

A few weeks ago an article by Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik caught my attention. I tore it out and left in on my desk. I keep going back to it. Gopnik says, A few hours spent with the 48 paintings in "Pride of Place," the latest groundbreaking show from curator Arthur Wheelock, suggests that we might want to hunt for a proper, up-close viewing spot for every image. That's not what this exhibition is officially about; it's more focused on the urban world its pictures show. But it highlights something more profound: that over the past few centuries, ...


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