Commentators flesh out issues and take sides in the Chicago teachers' strike.


The Newseum in Washington has just launched Decision 2012: Exploring Elections and the Media, an online resource for teaching about the presidential campaign and election.


Responding to a cheating scandal at Harvard, renowned developmental psychologist Howard Gardner worries that elite students' relentless drive for success, fueled by what he refers to as "market ways of thinking," has crippled their moral sense


A new research study out of the University of California, Los Angeles, reports the "somewhat surprising" finding that spending extra time studying tends to negatively affect high school students' academic performance in school the next day. But there's also a perfectly logical explanation for this: When students study more, the researchers found, they tend to sleep less.


In a thought-provoking blog post, middle school teacher and writer Heather Wolpert-Gawron describes her approach to answering a weighty and potentially offensive student question.


While kids today have a seemingly innate facility with technology, they are quick to become impatient and discouraged when faced with complex tasks involving digital tools, according to the authors of an article in Scientific American.


By guest blogger Stephen Sawchuk This item originally appeared on Education Week's Teacher Beat blog. Unable to reach a contract with the school district, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union today filed a notice of intent to strike with the state's labor relations board, a move that allows the union to form the picket line as soon as 10 days from now. While no strike date is set as yet—the union's governing body will meet next Thursday to decide those steps—the 10-day authorization would make Sept. 10 the first workday in which a walkout could occur. To...


A recent nationwide survey conducted by AdoptAClassroom.org points to the types of out-of-pocket expenses that teachers spend on their students and classrooms, which include school supplies, clothing, food, and personal items that their students' parents cannot afford.


In a heartfelt post about dropping his son off for his first day of school, education writer and activist Sam Chaltain explains that, despite his instinctive parental desire for his son to have a perfect classroom experience, he recognizes that teachers, "like the rest of us ... are works in progress." It's easy to lose sight of the fact that classroom teachers face "monumental, sometimes insurmountable challenges"—and that they are not in teaching for the money. He goes on: We know this. Yet we also tolerate or participate in conversations about school reform that paint teachers into a two-dimensional corner—you're...


As we reported in 2009, Tony Danza, the actor best known for playing the loveable housekeeper in the 1980's sitcom "Who's the Boss," spent a year teaching at a public high school in Philadelphia. And now—surprise, surprise—he's written a book about the experience. In a related opinion piece in USA Weekend, Danza shares some of the lessons he learned from having "gone toe-to-toe with a class of Philadelphia 10th-graders for an entire year." The piece is not an attempt to guide policy or even stake a claim in the reform debate. The takeaways are few and simplistic....


As educators head back to school, what are they most excited about? What are their biggest fears? What are they planning to change this school year? We polled Education Week readers to find out. Read more here....


Continuing his search for answers to schools' writing-instruction problems, Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews profiles Rick Cannon, a renowned English teacher at an all-boys Catholic high school in Washington. For more than 30 years, Mathews reports, Cannon has been getting glowing results from an "uncompromising," old-school approach to teaching composition. Among the master's tactics: Cannon insists, with parents' help, that students do their writing in long-hand as much as possible (as a way of slowing them down); he is near-fanatical about the importance of constant revision for anyone who is not at the approximate level of Shakespeare; he warns ...


The Associated Press reported this week that a former teacher who is now running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in Michigan was issued a written reprimand this past June by his school for "intimidating and threatening students by grabbing their desks, yelling in their faces and slamming his fists on their desks."


Here's a unique news item: At a time of widespread budget-cutting and job uncertainty in education, the St. Paul, Minn., school district actually added 110 teaching positions this summer. The new positions, according to the Pioneer Press, are part of a district reform effort that, among other things, aims to even out class sizes and give teachers more time to work together on planning and examining student data. Funding for the new positions (in case you're wondering, as I was) comes from a whopping $17 million increase in the district's budget—paid for, according to the Pioneer Press story, by an...


Echoing TLN blogger Ariel Sacks, Memphis teacher Brittany Clark wonders why well-respected teachers are so often encouraged by their own districts to leave the classroom: I've seen this pattern. I'm frequently encouraged to move into school administration, instructional leadership and district-level teacher preparation. This sentiment comes not just from my peers, but also from school district leaders and administrators who actually encourage me to leave the classroom. This does seem kind of ironic, doesn't it? Clark, for her part, says it would make much more sense for schools to give top educators leadership positions (with appropriate pay increases) that allow ...


We knew there was a lot interest/trepidation out there about the planned common-core assessments, but this headline (from our Education Week colleague Catherine Gewertz) puts things in a whole new light: "Sample Common-Assessment Items Released, Traffic Crashes Server." So what will the tests be like? Catherine, our resident common-core expert, says that it's too soon to tell for sure (sorry), but that both assessment groups—the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium—are aiming to place an emphasis on "synthesis and application" as opposed to rote responses. She also notes...


Ever been to a children's museum? Perhaps like this one or this one? They tend to be colorful, friendly buildings. Now contrast that with an image of a typical public elementary school. Remove the bulletin boards and posters at the school, and you're likely left with a dark, dank, monochrome edifice. But not all public schools fit that profile. The pop culture website Flavorwire recently did a feature on the 20 "most beautiful and imaginative public schools in the world"—and indeed, it's worth a look. The list includes only two U.S. schools, both of which are located in California....


According to the Ayn Rand Institute's Books to Teachers Program, teachers requested more than 400,000 copies of the author's books in the 2011-12 school year, a 30 percent increase in requests from the 2010-11 school year.


A piece in The Shreveport Times recently described the challenges that elementary school teachers are facing with back-to-school expenses. In Caddo Parish Schools in Louisiana, the stipends that teachers usually put toward supplies were recently halved to $100 per teacher.


One of the inevitable first-day-of-school tasks for elementary teachers (and many secondary teachers) is introducing the class rules. So it's no wonder teacher-bloggers have taken up the topic this week. Patricia Hensley, author of the Successful Teaching blog, laments educators' use of vague language in rule-making. She writes: Too many times we tell our students to behave and they have absolutely no idea what that entails. When my daughter was young, I remember her coming up to me and asking if she was have (with a long a sound). I couldn't understand her until she told me that I told ...


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