Back in 1994, UNESCO and Education International marked October 5 as World Teachers' Day, a time to celebrate and appreciate the teaching profession all around the world.


At a conference in Washington on Tuesday, sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, advocates for strengthening new-teacher supports gathered to shift the teacher effectiveness discourse, at least temporarily, from evaluation to induction.


A recent study from the University of Missouri has found that "black teachers who work for a black principal are generally happier with their jobs," according to the Washington Times


In a recent policy brief, the Progressive Policy Institute, a Democratic-aligned think tank based in Washington, proposed preparing a corps of tech-savvy teachers aimed at boosting 4th grade literacy rates in low-income communities, using Teach for America as a program model.


On the New York Times' Opinionator blog, a Notre Dame philosophy professor warns against the inclination to take "immediate and drastic" corrective action based on subpar student standardized test scores. Tests, he suggests, are not always a good gauge of students' applicable knowledge in a particular subject area. And even when they are, there's usually no easy or uniform solution for how to boost the requisite knowledge and skills for all students. In this connection, it's noteworthy that, according to the article we highlighted yesterday, Finland's education leaders seem to take very little interest in the Programme for International Student ...


This month's Smithsonian magazine includes an interesting article exploring the (relatively recent) success of Finland's school system. The author highlights a certain Zen-like quality in the way Finnish schools operate: Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. "We have no hurry," said Louhivuori [a school principal]. "Children learn better when they are ...


Atul Gawande, the surgeon-writer featured in our recent first person piece about using checklists for reading instruction, has written another gripping New Yorker article with provocative insights that apply to both health care and education. This one is about coaching.


Teachers from across the nation recently gathered together in Rockefeller Plaza, and virtually through Facebook, Twitter, and an online chat for the second annual Teacher Town Hall hosted by NBC's Education Nation.


Heads-up for up-and-coming math and science teachers: The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2012 fellowship award. Valued at $150,000, the award includes financial resources (including tuition assitance), professional development, teaching materials, and access to the Knowles network of teachers. It is renewable for five years. The fellowship, which is not need-based, is designed for new or near-future college graduates with strong subject-area knowledge in mathematics or biological or physical sciences. A committment to teaching for at least five years is also preferred. (The FAQs specify that the award is not intended for "individuals who ...


Two years ago, Deanna Jump, a Georgia kindergarten teacher with two kids in college, was struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck. More recently, though, she has found herself rocketing up the tax brackets. Jump is still teaching kindergarten—but she is now also the top seller on Teachers Pay Teachers, the website on which educators can buy and sell lesson plans. In the past year, she has reportedly made $230,000 through the site. She says that roughly $100,000 of that came in the last fiscal quarter alone. "It's unbelievable," she says, noting that when she first...


This is somewhat random but I think noteworthy in light of the generally dismissive attitude toward the teaching profession we've occasionally seen lately ... For completely nonwork related reasons, I was recently watching an old C-Span interview with Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atom Bomb (among other books). At one point, Rhodes, who grew up in an abusive home, was talking about a project he had undertaken to collect the stories of other child-abuse survivors. He noted that one common theme among the stories was the significant role of a person close to the child ...


In an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, authors Saul Rubinstein, Charles Heckscher and Paul Adler use the history of manufacturing in the United States to draw a parallel to the current "blame the teacher" attitude in public education.


The Wall Street Journal reports that a rise in the diagnoses of "hidden disabilities"--those that are debilitating but not visible, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and migraines--is putting a strain on both teachers and already tight special education budgets.


In the New York Times, literary critic and Core Knowledge Foundation founder E.D. Hirsch reasserts his case that the recent drop in SAT reading scores derives not from student demographic changes but from a long-term de-intellectualization of elementary school curricula: The most credible analyses have shown that the chief causes [of the verbal scores decline] were not demographics or TV watching, but vast curricular changes, especially in the critical early grades. In the decades before the Great Verbal Decline, a content-rich elementary school experience evolved into a content-light, skills-based, test-centered approach. For Hirsch, strong reading skills are dependent on ...


StoryCorps, the nonprofit that records and archives the stories of everyday Americans, begins a new oral history project dedicated to teachers on Monday.


Groupon in Chicago was offering a 57 percent discount on a teacher prep course.


Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss takes issue with the College Board's explanation that the decline in the SAT reading scores this past year was caused largely by an increase in the number and diversity of test-takers. She puts the blame squarely on the effects of recent education policy: After all, we've had a decade of standardized test-based school reform under the No Child Left Behind law that educators warned was narrowing curriculum and turning too many classrooms into test prep factories rather than places of real learning. Meanwhile, issues facing the rising number of English language learners and children ...


In a New York Times op-ed piece titled The Trouble With Homework, Annie Murphy Paul writes people should not be concerned with the quantity of homework students are getting--a much-contended topic in education--but rather the quality of that work.


Looking for a new way to help students prepare for entrance exams? Have you tried teaching them to cook? Seriously, there's even a book for it. Charis Freiman-Mendal, an enterprising freshman at Choate college prep, has just published Cook Your Way Through the SAT, a cookbook in which the recipes are generously dolloped with 1000 typically tested words. For example, Freiman-Mendal's recipe for Sweet Potato Souffle includes a brief digression on coconut oil informing readers that, in the 1950s, "After a scientific study ENCOURAGED nixing it due to PERNICIOUS saturated fats, the use of the anything-but-BANAL oil ABRUBTLY DESISTED." Not ...


A retired special education teacher is finishing up piloting a K-5 handwriting curriculum with a new take on letter formation.


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