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Live From NCTE in Chicago

Just a quick heads up that I'll be doing some blogging from the National Council of Teachers of English's annual conference, which is being held over the next couple of days in Chicago.

I just got out of the first keynote address by the ever-present Linda Darling-Hammond. In front of a packed ballroom, with teachers even lining the back wall, the Stanford professor spoke about heightened expectations for student learning, inequitable school funding, the perils of over-testing (due to "No Child Left Untested"), and, of course, what we can learn from Finland. She railed against alternative pathways that reduce teacher-preparation requirements, merit pay based on test scores, and teacher churn. "We cannot fire our way to Finland," she said to much applause. Instead, she said we should give teachers more time to collaborate with colleagues, stating the specific goals of requiring 10 hours a week minimum and 10 full days per school year for shared professional development.

More to come, though intermittently as the conference is happening between two hotels that are about a 10-minute walk or a shuttle ride apart. Luckily the weather's looking good here in the Windy City so far...

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