January 2010 Archives

Facebook, our new default global social networking platform--how are we using it?

Have calculators destroyed the ability to make change? And does it matter?

Which of your beliefs about teaching and learning have changed over time?

True story. When I was in junior high (remember junior high? it's what we had before middle school became a contentious concept), we wore hideous, balloon-butt red gym shorts and ugly white blouses, with snaps up the front and elastic hems, for physical education classes. Simply putting them on was an exercise in humiliation. One spring day, our teacher, Mrs. Firm (yes, her real name), was putting the girls through our paces on the track around the football field. The boys' class, in also-dorky red shorts, was on the other side of the field. The drill went like this. You ...

This blog is neither rant nor reverence for Teach for America. Plenty of that already--the TFA concept seems to be a magnet for commentary, from the sycophantic to the righteously indignant. There are hordes of people whose Google alerts are set for "Teach for America"--and a glut of blogs written by TFA corps members, who seem to be a reflective, navel-gazing lot, unafraid to jump confidently into high-level education policy discourse, a place where garden-variety teachers fear to tread. Nor will this blog ruminate on core policy issues around TFA: how to recruit and retain quality teachers, optimum preparation ...

"I have learned two ways to tie my shoes. One way is only good for lying down. The other way is good for walking." Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert Heinlein) There's no more enlightening--or amusing--illustration of the inherent strangeness of Ed Policy World than this recent story out of Texas. Quick synopsis: hundreds of people in Texas are lining up to testify on Texas's proposed K-12 social studies standards, and they all have cultural axes to grind. This is a very big deal-- student content standards in Texas and California have enormous influence over what ends up in the ...


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