Schools are closed across the East Coast today as cities and towns recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, now considered one of the worst storms in U.S. history. For educators in other parts of the country looking to give students some perspective on the events of the past couple of days, The New York Times' Learning Network blog rounds up review questions on Hurricane Sandy's composition and impact. See also its updated page on Teaching and Learning About Hurricanes. In addition, Scholastic provides a teaching resource on hurricanes, and Discovery Education offers a lesson plan (grades 6 to ...


For several hours—while traveling on a bus through Florida—Weingarten participated in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on the popular social news site. She answered questions on everything from Common Core (which she called "a big opportunity") to absent-teacher reserves ("I tried to close the Rubber Room several times") to her salary (around $360k, or 3.5 times what she could have made as a teacher in NYC). She also faced numerous accusations that she was dodging, cherry-picking, and "spouting talking points." One redditor chided her: "Don't shake the bee's nest if you're allergic."


At an education summit today, Florida Governor Rick Scott said he wants to give teachers debit cards so that they no longer have to pay for classroom supplies out-of-pocket. The proposal is part of the Republican governor's 2013 education agenda, which you can find here. The agenda itself does not offer specifics on the debit cards, but a press release explains that they would be "supported by state, district, and hopefully private sector funds." Many teachers around the country already receive as much as several hundred dollars in stipends for school supplies. However, as we recently reported, some districts have ...


Denise Pope, a lecturer at Stanford University and the author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students, says that cheating is highly prevalent and possibly growing among high school students. She identifies two primary reasons for this: 1) Students see examples of cheating by successful people all around them (e.g., on Wall Street, in politics, in sports, etc.); and 2) they have gotten the impression that their grades matter more than their efforts to learn and grow intellectually.


In a recent post, online-learning expert Will Richardson criticizes the "Khanification of education"—the seemingly widely accepted process by which "anyone with a passion can make a video and be given 'teacher' status." But Richardson also thinks that the growing influence of Khan Academy and similar "flipped classroom" resources raises urgent questions for real teachers in terms how they define and distinguish themselves in the current education environment


Last Friday (Oct. 20) was National Day on Writing, as declared by the U.S. Senate. Our stellar new book blogger, Amy Wickner, wrote a nice post about it here. If you didn't get a chance to celebrate with your students, don't fret. November is NaNoWriMo—or National Novel Writing Month, as declared by the Office of Letters and Light. Many teachers take this opportunity to get their students started on longer writing projects. In fact, last year 2,000 schools participated in the official program, which challenges writers to complete a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) narrative by Nov. 30. ...


At Lighthouse Private Christian Academy in Gulf Breeze, Fla., which is located next to the town's zoo, the elementary and middle school students have the opportunity to engage with exotic animals in their science classroom once a week for a class period, reports the Pensacola News Journal.


While flipped classrooms are still all the rage in some education circles, teacher and blogger Shelley Wright explains why her "brief love affair with the flip has ended." Wright initially turned to the flipped model as a way to help her and her students get through "the large and sometimes burdensome amount of content" required by her biology and chemistry curricula. She hoped having students watch lectures at home and do hands-on activities during class would prove a "transformative learning experience." And it did—just not exactly in the way she'd envisioned. Rather than a new way of teaching in and...


The British press has been having a good time noting that one of the recently named Nobel Prize winners in medicine, U.K. scientist Sir John Gurdon, wasn't exactly a student whom teachers expected great things from. In his office in Cambridge, Gurdon reportedly keeps an old evaluative report from his science master at Eton secondary school above his desk. The conclusion could hardly be harsher: I believe [Gurdon] has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous; if he can't learn simple biological facts, he would have no chance of doing the work of ...


PBS LearningMedia is now accepting applications for its Teacher Innovator Awards, a program it operates in partnership with The Henry Ford museum complex.


Nearly 2,500 U.S. schools have committed to participating in this year's "Mix It Up at Lunch Day," an initiative created 10 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program to help reduce students' biases and misperceptions. On Oct. 30, students at these schools will break social norms and sit with someone new at lunch. According to the Teaching Tolerance website, "students have identified the cafeteria as the place where divisions are most clearly drawn, and Mix It Up day "encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries." The site points to research indicating that "interactions...


Jonathan Kozol, at age 76, has new book out entitled Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America. In it, he looks yet again—reportedly in career-summation mode—at the devastating consequences of America's failure to provide equitable educational opportunities in disadvantaged neighborhoods.


A recent feature on CNN.com explores student favoritism in the classroom from the perspectives of a student, teacher, and child expert.


Middle and high school science teachers might want to take note of a free virtual journey being offered to classrooms this week and next.


There are many theories on why Finland's students perform so well on international academic comparisons—one of the most compelling being that it's because teaching is a well-respected and coveted profession there. In a recent blog post, Esther Quintero, a research associate at the Shanker Institute, adds a new wrinkle to this hypothesis. She argues that Finnish respect for teachers might be explained by gender equity in the country. She says that, by contrast, teachers in the United States—traditionally and predominantly female—are treated as inferiors. "Compliance is rewarded; independence and autonomy are not teacher-like," she notes. Quintero...


Students in North Carolina will now have to think twice before posting disparaging comments about their teachers on social media sites.


The U.S. needs many more public high schools that "focus exclusively on high-ability, highly motivated students," posits Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, in a recent New York Times op-ed.


Diane Ravitch argues that, regardless of the exact details of the contract, the teachers came out victorious in the Chicago strike simply by displaying their strength.


An interesting NPR story excavates some psychological research from the 1960s showing that teachers' expectations for students can have a profound effect on their intellectual development. Why? In a nutshell, because teachers interact differently with the kids they expect to do better: As [Harvard Professor Robert] Rosenthal did more research, he found that expectations affect teachers' moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions, more specific feedback, and more approval: They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more. The ...


As a result of a $2.8 million "budget error," the Nampa School District in Idaho will soon run out of money for substitute teachers, reports the Idaho Press-Tribune. The solution? Rely on volunteers to do the job.


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