In sharp contrast to last summer's celebrity-attended rally and march to the White House, the Save Our Schools gathering this year proved a quiet, 150-person affair. Held this weekend in the regal Wardman Park Marriott in downtown Washington, the convention featured presentations on an array of topics including advocacy, social justice, and elevating student voice, and a keynote by author and activist Jonathan Kozol. Attendees also attended workshops during which they crafted official policy stances to eventually present to policymakers (though these sessions were closed to the media). Mike Klonsky, Chicago-based educator and activist who is a first-year member of ...


Writing in the Deseret News, Theresa Talbot, a Utah teacher in her 25th year, says that the real problem with education today is that students are, well, lazy and recalcitrant. Among the examples she cites: It is the students in my math classes who, when I showed them how to work a multiple step problem, called out, "I'm not doing that; it's too much work." It is the students who "complete" and turn in every assignment and still score less than 30 percent on the test covering that material because they are not the ones who actually did the work ...


The U.S. Department of Education has declared that August is Connected Educator Month, a "celebration," as the website says, that is part of the Office of Educational Technology's Connected Educators initiative to support online professional learning. During the next four weeks, the department will bring together 100 education organizations to highlight professional online communities and networks of relevance to educators, the goal being to "broaden and deepen educator participation in online communities" and allow for more teacher collaboration, according to a department press release. The Connected Educator Month website provides a listing of the events offered this month, including ...


Miss Eyre, a unionized teacher, surprises even herself by reacting favorably to the new report on teacher attrition by TNTP, a group that has been critical of policies supported by the unions.


In an interview with the MinnPost, Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group the National Center for Science Education, says that science teachers are increasingly coming under fire for teaching about climate change.


Our latest Storify gives some context to the ongoing media coverage of the Khan Academy. At first almost exclusively heralded as having the potential to be an education game-changer, the videos—and Salman Khan himself—have recently come under fire for what some say is questionable pedagogy. Read more here....


In a post last month on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution education blog, a Fulton County, Ga., high school teacher named Jordan Kohanim wrote about her decision to leave the classroom on account of what she felt were unsustainable and deteriorating working conditions. In a follow-up post published today, Kohanim offers some thoughts on what schools and communities could do to stem departures like hers. Among other recommendations—e.g., giving teachers greater acknowledgment and at least some semblance of financial gain—she discusses the need to root out the "martyr mentality." This, she explains, is the public perception that teachers...


Middle school teacher Jose Vilson says that, as a teacher, he finds it difficult—if not pointless—to form an opinion about the Common Core State Standards without knowing what the assessment components will look like.


Ray Fisman, a professor of social enterprise at the Columbia Business School, points to recent research suggesting that—pace the heated rhetoric of some school reformers—'there may be perfectly viable ways to improve overall instruction in schools without firing low-performing teachers.


While I've seen signs for "unconference" sessions at some of the large organizations' annual conventions, I have never attended one. In fact, I admit that I wasn't even sure what an unconference entailed until reading this illuminating post by Monique Flickinger, a director of instructional technology for schools in Fort Collins, Colo. Turns out an unconference is a democratic and informal affair—a sort of counter to the banquet hall presentations by ed-celebrities at regular conferences. On Edutopia's Technology Integration blog, Flickinger explains that the first unconference she attended began with attendees writing potential discussion topics on a poster board...


I'm going to venture to say that not too many teachers are reading Forbes.com, because otherwise this post would be steeped in teacher comments. ... In it, Michael Horn, cofounder of the nonprofit think tank Innosight Institute, makes the argument that many of the teaching techniques comprising Doug Lemov's popular guide Teach Like a Champion, will soon be "rendered irrelevant" due to the growth of online learning. (For more information on the book, see our book club discussion with Lemov from last year.) Horn explains: Take the first technique in the book, for example: No Opt Out. As Lemov writes, "One...


Last month, we highlighted a story on the reported decline of grammar skills in the workplace. Now we can add Kyle Wiens, CEO of the online-repair-manual company iFixit, to the list of executives who believe this is not merely an academic issue. In a fiery post for the Harvard Business Review, Wiens says he flat out won't hire people who are careless with grammar. And to ensure that no offenders slip through, both of his companies—Wiens is also the founder of the documentation-software maker Dozuki—have instituted mandatory grammar tests as part of the hiring process. Wiens explains...


In November, I wrote about a seminar at the left-leaning Center for American Progress where researchers and educators advocated for expanding local grow-your-own teachers programs to increase the numbers of minority teachers. Grow-your-own programs take local community members and help them become teachers, so that the demographics of the teaching corps better reflect that of the student body. A program-manager for an Oakland program in its third year touted early retention rates. But while the panelists agreed that increasing diversity among teachers is beneficial to students, they also conceded that more research was needed on the effectiveness of these programs. ...


In a new ad attempting to illustrate the decline of U.S. schools, the nonprofit advocacy group StudentsFirst, founded by former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, plays off both the wave of excitement about the upcoming summer Olympics and the arguably overdone "fat man dances" slapstick routine. Take a look: Twitter is abuzz with both praise and disparagement of the ad, which Rhee proudly previewed yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press. "Funny and yet sad," said one proponent by tweet. Meanwhile, blogger Gary Rubenstein, dependably critical of anything Teach For America-related (Rhee was once a TFAer), deconstructs the ad's ...


The passing of Donald J. Sobol, the author of the popular Encyclopedia Brown series, recently prompted the editors of Flavorwire to dig up some of their favorite book series and post their version of the 10 greatest young-adult series of all time.


In Inside Higher Ed, Jonathan Golding, a psychology professor at the University of Kentucky, recounts a successful experiment in using a Facebook group page as a kind of community hub for one of his larger classes. Though skeptical at first, Golding says he was impressed by how enthusiastically his students took to the page and, without much prompting, began using it to exchange ideas and help one another in the course.


The satirical newspaper The Onion went after Teach for America today, with predictably comic results.


The American Civil Liberties Union has filed what it calls a "groundbreaking" class-action lawsuit against the state of Michigan for failing to educate students in a Detroit-area school district. The suit hinges on a "right to read" provision in Michigan's constitution, which says students who do not pass the 4th and 7th grade state reading tests should receive "special assistance" to bring them up to grade level. In the Highland Park School District, 65 percent of 4th graders and 75 percent of 7th graders are not proficient in reading, the ACLU documents. The case also has an interesting instructional technology ...


Here's a teaching idea from an English teacher in Scotland that may come as a surprise: using spam emails to teach persuasive writing and other lessons to your students.


The search for reliable methods of gauging teacher effectiveness, a dominant education policy issue over the last several years, has centered on classroom observation tools and value-added measures. But another potential indicator has emerged and is starting to pick up momentum: student surveys.


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