Arizona state Senator Lori Klein recently introduced a bill that would punish K-12 teachers for their use of profanity in the classroom.


Education officials in Tennessee seem to be making good on their promise to find alternate student-achievement measures to be incorporated into teacher evaluations for teachers in nontested subjects—though it's teachers who are doing much of the heavy lifting in getting the idea moving. The state jumped into a new teacher evaluation system this school year after just a few months of piloting, much to the chagrin of the teachers' unions and overwhelmed educators. Under that system, 35 percent of a teacher's evaluation score is based on student-growth measures. The temporary solution for teachers in nontested subjects was to give...


Earlier this week, The New York Times—which in the past has been criticized for negative coverage of educational technology—reported on a student-laptop program in the Mooresville, N.C., school district that has led to impressive gains in achievement and student engagement. The secret? By assimilating the Apple devices into their pedagogy and classroom routines, the story says, Mooresville teachers are able to provide more one-on-one instruction and allow students to work at different paces. Many teachers are also moving away from standard lecture formats and allowing students to do more collaborative and independent work. In general, the article...


Cross-Posted from Teacher Beat, by Education Week's Stephen Sawchuk Could teacher evaluations begin to offer us the best portrait yet of what instruction actually looks like in America's classrooms? And what changes might such information spur in teacher preparation and on-the-job training? Those are implications raised by a couple of different papers looking at teacher evaluations. I've written about them on this blog before, but only from the technical aspects of the systems. In reviewing the reports again, it strikes me that they also have a lot to say about instructional quality--some of which seems frankly troubling. First up is ...


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, never one to shy a way from expressing contempt for teachers' unions, is calling for the executive director of the New Jersey union to resign for comments he made regarding poor families, reports NorthJersey.com. During a discussion about vouchers on NJTV, New Jersey Education Association chief Vincent Giordano responded to the host's comment that many families can't afford to pull their kids out of underperforming public schools by saying, "Life's not always fair and I'm sorry about that." (NJEA has historically opposed school vouchers.) According to NorthJersey.com, the Republican governor said he was "disgusted"...


Ward Elementary School in Winston-Salem, N.C., has created a unique program to promote reading and exercise by having students do both at the same time, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.


Last month, the Chicago Architecture Foundation launched DiscoverDesign.org, a free Web-based learning tool aimed at getting students excited about architecture.


Over the last few years, the teacher-evaluation debate has revolved mainly around whether—or to what extent—value-added scores should be involved. Since most researchers and educators agree an evaluation system needs multiple measures, there's also been some discourse around observations—how often they should occur and who should perform them. But for the most part, the same proposals for revamping evaluation systems have been recycled over and over. However, just this week, two somewhat novel teacher-evaluation ideas crossed our desks here at Teacher. (A bizarre but pleasant surprise—not unlike the string of 60-degree days we've been enjoying...


In a lively podcast, Jeffrey Wilhelm, a professor of English Education at Boise State University, discusses the preliminary research behind his forthcoming book—the wonderfully titled Let Them Read Trash: The Power of Marginalized Texts to Promote Imagination, Satisfaction, and Social Action. Wilhelm's bottom line, as his title suggests, is that the types of narrative works teens are drawn to outside of school, while often "scary" and even "loathsome" to the adults in their lives, can have deep educational and developmental value. Drawing on interviews with students, he says that such works—ranging from dystopian novels to vampire sagas to...


Having just finished scoring a batch of state English exams, NYC teacher Mrs. Eyre expresses sympathy for an ELL student who wrote one of the required essays in her native language: This student was clearly not ready for the challenge of writing an entire essay in English. [That] was someone's decision in Albany, someone who has never met this child or knows anything about what it's like to be forced to sit for 4.5 hours (with extended time) and take an essay in a language one understands well enough to slog through a fairly insulated and well-supported school day, ...


Google in Education recently launched its redesigned website in an effort to make navigation easier for teachers, schools, and students.


On the New York Times Room For Debate blog, Florida high school English teacher Scott Sterling questions the feasibility—and wisdom—of a newly enacted New Hampshire law that requires schools to provide alternative lesson options to students whose parents or guardians object to assigned content. Given the elasticicity of what parents find "objectionable" these days, he writes, the law will essentially create a new layer of Individual Education Plans for teachers to deal with: Instead of just having to accommodate the students with documented learning challenges, the teachers will now have to tailor lessons for Johnny, whose parents ...


Teachers in the Chester Upland School District, who had agreed to work for free when the district announced it was facing bankruptcy, will continue to receive paychecks.


Both Alyson Klein and Stephen Sawchuk have great roundups of President Obama's comments on education during his State of the Union address last night.


Just a quick heads-up: The Council of Chief State School Officers has announced the finalists for the 2012 National Teacher of the Year. They are: • Gay Barnes, an elementary school teacher in Alabama with 21 years of experience; • Alvin Aureliano Davis, a high school music teacher in Florida; • Rebecca Lynn Mieliwocki, a 7th grade teacher in California; and • Angela Wilson, a teacher with the Department of Defense Education Activity who is currently working in a middle school in Italy; The winner will be announced this spring. More on the finalists and the process here....


At a gathering held by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank in Washington, the panelists touched on teachers' practical instructional concerns as well as more general problems associated with school leadership, professional development, and curriculum.


In case you haven't heard yet, Apple Inc. announced yesterday that, in partnership with major textbook publishers, it has developed a series of digital textbooks designed for the iPad. (Don't say we didn't warn you.) The textbooks, to be listed at $14.99 or less, include multimedia elements such as video, audio, 3-D graphics (for features like study cards), and highlighting functionality. Here's a demonstration of the Life on Earth science textbook by a YouTube tech reviewer....


As you probably know by now--thanks to either the widespread media coverage or a failed Internet search this morning--Wikipedia and several other websites instituted a 24-hour blackout today in protest of two anti-piracy bills under consideration in Congress.


Will Richardson brainstorms towards a working definition of "bold schools" (as distinguished from "old school"): ...schools that really are trying to move toward a technology-rich, student-centered, inquiry-based learning practice that effectively prepares kids for the required skills and dispositions and realities of the world today and yet also prepares them to pass the test and satisfy the current expectations of parents and policy makers. Places, importantly, where those two things are not mutually exclusive ideas. He also lists nine qualities (from "learning-centered" to "provocative") that he believes are associated with such schools. (I guess coming up with an even 10 ...


Heads-up: Starting next month, the Kids in Need Foundation, in partnership with Elmer's Products Inc., will be accepting applications for "Teacher Tool Kit" grants of $100 to $500 to support creative classroom projects. The projects must be selected from a database of award-winning lesson ideas compiled by the foundation. (The database looks like it could be a pretty useful resource in and of itself, incidentally.) Grant determinations will be based on financial need, the applicability of the chosen project, and the number of students who will benefit....


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed On Teacher

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments