Need an excuse to take your students on a cultural outing or to organize a multiethnic potluck lunch for the class? This would be the time to do it. International Education Week, an annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education that started back in 2000, runs through the end of this week.

In a recent keynote address, Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, made some unsavory remarks about Education Secretary Arne Duncan, including a joke about him having a lisp.

In a satirical "guide" to foreign tourists about the nature of inequalities in the U.S.--those that are socially acceptable vs. inacceptable to call attention to--David Brooks eventually picks on the teaching profession.

NYC Educator is appalled by the way teachers in New York's absent-teacher reserve pool (that is, teachers who've lost their permanent positions and are reassigned to fill in at other schools) are being treated by the higher-ups. A female ATR was instructed to do secretarial duties. For those unfamiliar with the concept of contract (for example, the administrators who issued this instruction) secretarial duties are to be performed by secretaries. The teacher declined, saying she was a teacher and wanted to teach. The administrator's conclusion? "This is why none of you guys are able to get a job." NYC Educator ...

Hobo Teacher takes offense when his school, with air of magnanimity, informs teachers that they can have their pick of some old desks that have been salvaged from a renovation project: I've always been a little sensitive about this, but I feel like the perception of teachers is that they will take anyone's crap. It's like we're grateful for anything as long as it is free. I can't help but to think that the conversation at Admin before the e-mail that was sent out went some thing like, "Hey these desks won't fit into the dumpster. What should we do?" ...

Yesterday, a 3rd grade teacher in Galloway, N.J., walked out of what she had assumed would be a regular school Veteran's Day assembly with a $10,000 check, according to Galloway Patch.

Cindi Rigsbee at The Dream Teacher recalls the moment she found out she'd become a National Board Certified Teacher.

An article in Slate recently looked at differing feminist views of single-sex schooling, and concluded that co-education is more beneficial for girls.

Seems like things in Tennessee are far from settling down over the new teacher evaluation system. Michael Winerip follows up on the controversy in a recent New York Times piece.

Will Richardson says that teachers urgently need to redefine their professional role in light of advancements in technology and prevailing expectations for schools. If teachers' main purpose is seen as improving student achievement as reflected in test scores, he argues, they will soon be displaced, for all practical purposes, by technology. To punctuate his point, he highlights a new data-driven personalized learning program being developed by Pearson. "Technology," he adds ruefully, "will soon provide a better 'learning' experience to kids needing to pass the test than a classroom teacher with 30 (or 50) kids." Thus, to avoid being reduced to ...

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the independent nonprofit organization that bestows advanced certification on qualifying educators, has named Ronald Thorpe as its new president and CEO. Thorpe, who is a well-known education advocate, began his career as a private school teacher and administrator working under Theodore R. Sizer, and was later a program director at education foundations. Since 2003, he has been vice president for education at WNET, New York City's public television station. In that position, he helped create and direct the annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning conference. Thorpe joins the NBPTS at a complex juncture in ...

California schools feeling the accountability squeeze are spending less time teaching science, despite the fact that educators say they recognize the importance of science instruction, according to a new report.

A 9th grader named Annie sent a letter to Ira Glass, producer of NPR's This American Life. "I just escaped the whitewashed brick-walled iron-gated prison that is commonly known as middle school," she wrote, "and I'm finally out for good." She asked him to devote an episode to the inside world of middle school. This weekend, Glass aired an absorbing segment in which he did just that.

Last week, we highlighted a study finding that minority teacher shortages are caused largely by unsatisfactory working conditions in schools. In response, a teacher now working abroad sent us an email amplifying the point: My thoughts are that many minority teachers have probably had to struggle so hard to overcome bias and stereotype throughout their education, that by the time they finish teachers' college they truly are the "cream of the crop" and are highly sought out by industries which pay much more and in which they are much more appreciated that they would be in education. My guess is ...

Arizona State University's new education program, called Engineers Serving Education, is introducing the field of engineering to elementary and middle school students in metropolitan Phoenix.

As part of a contract dispute, teachers in British Columbia have been working on a limited-duties basis—or, depending on your perspective, you might say a focused-duties basis. They are still teaching in their classrooms, but they are refusing, among other things, to communicate with administrators, attend staff meetings, or do playground duty. (Nice work if you can get it, right?) But what's really fraying nerves now is that they are declining to write report cards, the first of which are scheduled to be sent home next month. From some of the commentary, you'd have thought they cancelled Christmas....

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bill and Melinda Gates expound on their foundation's efforts to identify and improve teacher effectiveness. In doing so, they offer a comparison to the practices they used in running a software giant: At Microsoft, we believed in giving our employees the best chance to succeed, and then we insisted on success. We measured excellence, rewarded those who achieved it and were candid with those who did not. Teachers don't work in anything like this kind of environment, and they want a new bargain. As evidence for this, they cite a survey the Gates ...

Four teachers remain in a competition for a $10,000 classroom grant, which will be decided by a public online vote.

The National Council on Teacher Quality released a study today examining the "changing landscape" of teacher-evaluation policies--which have proliferated in the last two years--across the states.

At the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Los Altos, Calif., you might notice something missing from every classroom—computers!

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