July 2010 Archives

A roundup of the best Teacher blogs from this past week.

Maryland has put an end to its policy of allowing teachers to examine standardized test booklets up to two weeks before administering the exams, amid concerns of teachers abusing the privilege.

The quality of your kindergarten experience could determine your future financial well-being, among much else, according to a New York Times report. The Times story looks at a Tennessee study that has followed 12,000 students since 1980s and found that having a good kindergarten experience could translate into a college education, a better retirement fund, longer lasting marriage, better social skills, and a higher earning potential. And when it comes to money— for every percentile that a kindergarten student moved up in test scores during the course of the year, he or she could expect to make an additional...

The Washington Post ran a lengthy front page story last weekend about Kevin Ricks, who was a high school teacher and sexual predator for almost 30 years. The article certainly provides fodder for Law and Order's ripped-from-the-headlines plots. The events are indeed disturbing: How could someone so dangerous have victimized so many people and escaped notice for so long? Yet, as a former high school teacher, I have to say the story raised a lot of questions for me about why sexual misconduct is such a thorny issue for schools—and teachers. Lacking hard evidence and being hesitant to deal...

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed us about the blogging gig here at Teacher. We will be reviewing your ideas in the next week or so and we will let you know what we decide soon. Please note: We will not accept any more submissions after 5pm EST, Friday, July 30th. So if you haven't emailed us already, please do so. Email address is [email protected] But get your information to us before the deadline!...

Two years ago, New York City instituted a standardized test as the sole criteria for admission into its gifted and talented kindergarten program, according to a New York Times story.

Valerie Strauss, in the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, argues that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's decision to fire 165 teachers for poor performance last week was driven by a dubious teacher-evaluation system

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will participate in a live town hall meeting on Thursday, and the Ed. Department is asking for your questions.

As communities intensify youth suicide prevention efforts, they also need to give teachers the tools to respond to distressed students in a crisis.

We roundup the best Teacher blogs from this past week.

A couple weeks ago, at a global learning conference put on by the Asia Society, I attended a workshop on "Preparing Elementary Students for the Global Age" presented by Mary Ellen Bafumo, an education professor at the State University of New York. At the outset of the session, she played this video, which I thought was pretty compelling. It seems to have been put together by the Consortium of School Networking, a professional association for district technology leaders, with support from the Pearson Foundation. It is obviously heavy on the themes associated with the "21st Century Learning" movement. We would ...

Changes are on the horizon for New York state's Regents tests, but one former analyst wonders if they'll do any good.

Teacher would like to add a new voice to our blog roster and it could be you.

In an op-ed in The Seattle Times, Stephanie Hirsh and Patricia Wasley—the Executive Director of the National Staff Development Council and a professor of education at the University of Washington, respectively—lament budget cuts targeting teacher professional development. But, in an interesting twist, they also note that professional development itself—or at least the type of professional development that's prevalent in many schools—is at least partly to blame: For too long, professional development has been treated as something that takes place at the occasional workshop, in-service day or conference a handful of times a year. Under this...

A new study by the College Board and the National Writing Project links teachers' classroom use of Web 2.0 tools with improving students' writing skills.

Imagine a school in which teachers are in charge.

Ariel Sacks, an 8th grade English teacher in NYC, wonders why we allow a system to persist in which disadvantaged kids are routinely concentrated in the same schools. She questions: In today's education scene, key players seem comfortable looking in the windows of high needs schools and questioning or making suggestions as to how they are funded, staffed, supported, and held accountable (all of which are valid points of discussion). But what about the frame itself for this picture? Aren't we looking at the old ill of segregation and failing to confront it?...

We got a chuckle out of this headline from The Onion: "Struggling High School Cuts Football--Nah, Just Kidding, Art It Is." It's funny because it's true, of course....

In his recent address at the American Federation of Teachers conference, Bill Gates ruffled some feathers by mentioning student achievement but managed to draw a largely positive reception.

Students long out of school track down former teachers on Facebook to share their thanks.

Here at Teacher, we've got some great bloggers writing for us. Every Friday, we'll be directing you to a few of the best entries of the week.

A new study finds that scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress rise when 12th graders receive financial incentives for correct answers.

The Indiana Department of Education and Marian University have teamed up to create a new principal academy for administrators in struggling schools.

A psychology professor at the University of Virginia believes that teachers aren't the only ones in schools who need to be held accountable.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas will invest in mall owner General Growth Properties Inc., which has been in bankruptcy reorganization since last year.

Public school teachers in New Jersey are retiring at twice the expected rate this year.

Stiff competition for a slot in the Teach for American program points to a tough economy and a determined group of applicants.

Here at Teacher, we've got some great bloggers writing for us. Every Friday, we'll be directing you to a few of the best entries of the week. •Living in Dialogue: Anthony Cody lays out seven key principles that teachers believe to the Department of Education. • Place at the Table: A survey shows Susan Graham that teachers aren't the only ones who feel silenced in schools—students feel muted also. • Teacher in a Strange Land: After seeing little to no progress in education over the past two years, Nancy Flanagan thinks it's time for teachers to get political. •Unwrapping...

An education blogger thinks that the statistical fanaticism of baseball's sabermetrics applied to the teaching profession could have beneficial results.

In May, Chris Janotta, an Illinois language arts teacher, started the website Save Our Schools Million Teacher March. The plan was to organize a march in Washington on July 30th to protest a lack of respect for the teaching profession. On his website, Janotta mentions high stakes testing, unfair performance evaluations, poor working conditions, and inadequate funding among the reasons for the march. But the plan for the Washington march has been scrapped in favor of local marches across the country, although it's not exactly clear why. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, Janotta is asking people ...

The HR director of Delaware's Department of Education discusses the impact that winning Race to the Top has had on her state thus far.

The final version of the much-debated Texas social studies standards were recently released online.

A recently released annual survey on student engagement has found that, while high school students continue to be bored, they also have some opinions on how classes could be made more engaging.

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