March 2012 Archives

To See or Not to See: Kids, Movies, and Reality

Is the message in Hunger Games considered non-threatening because it's fiction? Is the message in Bully threatening because it's a realistic portrait of what we're willing to ignore in a society that doesn't care for its most vulnerable members?

Not Common. Not Core, Either.

If a loose framework of common national standards was the end point of this adventure, I wouldn't worry so much myself. I can see value in a slim, overarching outline of essential content. It's the standardized national tests and the on-line curriculum Gates and Pearson are developing that freak me out.

Play Dead

Too much of what we do in education revolves around reproducing and reiterating, rather than playful creation.

It's All About Advertising

What if we held a low-cost People's Re-authorization of ESEA? Kept in all the good stuff about equity, all kids deserving a custom-tailored curriculum and instruction. Lost all the stuff about constant, expensive testing of little kids, humiliating teachers with bogus data analysis, and trying to use one of our great public resources--education--as a marketing opportunity.

Why I Decided to Become a Private School Teacher

Good teachers can now be fired because of bad math. I refuse to be a victim of the Russian roulette nature of value-added models.

Ed "Reform" in Louisiana. Coming Soon to Your State?

I just heard from my friend in Louisiana. Her Teach for America mentee is leaving teaching at the end of the school year, because she wants to "work in policy."

The Missing Link In Genuine School Reform

Is there a firewall, a line in the sand where "reform" could founder? If communities, parents and teachers can't muster the political strength and media savvy to save public education by themselves, who has enough muscle to force the issue?

The opinions expressed in Teacher in a Strange Land are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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