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March 20, 2018

We Need Civic Online Reasoning in Our Schools

It's hard to imagine what could be more important than developing the critical thinking skills that facilitate our students' ability to discern truth from fake news. Media literacy may be in the standards, somewhere, but it's not on the test, so it gets short shrift in the classroom.

March 15, 2017

The Kids Are All Right

I am fortunate; I get to spend time in a range of public schools, as observer, presenter, consultant and, on occasion, substitute teacher. I know that the plural of anecdote is not data--but there are hundreds of thousands of vital examples of what needs highlighting and replicating in public education. Why aren't we focused, like a laser, on those?

December 28, 2016

Teacher in a Strange Land: Best Blogs of 2016

If you had told me--on New Year's Day, 2016--that we would end the year with Donald Trump headed to the White House (at least occasionally, to govern, if not to live) with Betsy DeVos as his nominee for Secretary of Education, well... it's hard to finish this sentence. Let's review 2016.

October 22, 2015

The Cost Savings of Eliminating Classroom Management

What is this amazing low-tech strategy that's filling the gaps in cyber-learning? Answer: the teachers are sitting in the same office, as they're managing their on-line classes. So it's valuable for teachers to be physically present and connected to their peers, but not so important for kids? But--wouldn't students wouldn't also benefit from putting their heads together with peers and having in-depth conversations about literature or democracy or fractions?

March 16, 2015

Those Amazing, Groundbreaking Schools of the Future!

There are major things about effective schooling that never go away: getting kids motivated, finding good materials, building a sense of community or relationships, nurturing persistence, quality staffing and how to cope with abundant mandated testing, state regulations, and the management of finite resources. Did I mention testing and subsequent uses of the data it generates? Oh yeah. The main reason that innovative, cage-busting ideas go bust. That and money.

January 21, 2015

Women in Education Leadership: Why Is This Important? What Difference Does It Make?

There's a reason why we are now experiencing an all-out assault on one of America's best ideas--a free, high-quality, fully funded, fully public education for every child. It takes a compliant work force, people fearful of losing the low-paying jobs they love, who will put down their heads and do as they're told.

January 12, 2015

A Conversation With Peter DeWitt About the Gender Imbalance in Educational Leadership

Why are the nonprofit CEOs, thought leaders, big names in ed tech and on social media, best-selling authors, administrators and bosses in education so overwhelmingly male (and white)? How does that shape the education discourse, when the majority of mouthpieces are male? Who has the loudest voice in education policy--and why?

December 24, 2014

Best and Worst Ed-Books of 2014: An Oddball List

There are reviewers (both formal and casual) who judge a book entirely by one aspect: Does the author agree with me? Not: Have I learned something new from this book? Has it pushed on any of my perspectives? Does it present its case in an engaging or unique way? Or even: Did this book raise my blood pressure? Because that can be useful.

November 16, 2014

When Grading Meets Technology: Not Necessarily a Match Made in Heaven

When it comes to online gradebooks, I believe there is a misguided faith in the magic of technology to "streamline" routine tasks and "solve problems" (even things we didn't realize were problems beforehand). Here's one: if parents weren't allowed to peek into teachers' gradebooks twenty years ago, what makes us think they're interested now? And furthermore--is it even a good idea to nurture grade-stalking in parents?

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