Education Week will hit the big Three-O this year. To mark the occasion, our stellar Web Team—with help from the editors—has put together an excellent interactive timeline of the past 30 years in U.S. education. The timeline tracks key events and developments and includes applicable links to the archives. It's a must-see if you're into documentary sources of recent policital history. Plus, it's a good way to brush up on the background of current issues facing schools and educators. As you'll see, the more things change ......


Just in time to get you motivated (or terrified, depressed, etc.), a sampling from recent teacher blog posts from around the Web: Nick Provenzano, on Edutopia, offers some ice-breaking tips for the first day of school. (Our favorite: "I love to tell an embarrassing story from school.") Middle school teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron runs through her back-to-school checklist, which—just to give you a taste—includes both breaking into a file cabinet and speaking to a NASA representative. Ms. Cornelius reprises her tactical tips for new teachers (e.g., "Never threaten a consequence to a student unless you are actually...


Interesting advice: High school English teacher Epiphany in Baltimore explains that he always teaches with a view toward what students will retain from a lesson 10 years later: I always teach books with the "ten year" goal in mind, asking myself what will this kid remember in ten years? I hope some of the themes—all about injustice, doing the right thing and growing up -- are part of their blueprint. And I want them reading. I want to run into them on the street and be able to talk to them about what's on their bookshelves, and what they're...


An assistant superintendent for Wake County Public Schools in Cary, N.C., has been demoted but will continue to earn his annual salary of $131,122 to teach English, according to The News & Observer. David Holdzkom, whose contract runs through June 2013, will be the highest-paid teacher in Wake, reports the regional paper in North Carolina. The superintendent Tony Tata told the paper that confidentiality issues prevent him from being able to discuss the reasons behind Holdzkom being reassigned. However, the The News Observer reports that Tata and the school board vice chairman have "expressed frustration about getting data from ...


The recent banning of Facebook friendships between teachers and students in Missouri has raised questions about the pros and cons of using social media to engage students. But in an article for Mashable, Dan Klamm writes that the new law "shouldn't discourage the opportunities presented by social media in the classroom." To illustrate, he offers teachers tips on how they might effectively use Twitter, Facebook, and other online networks for classroom use, while establishing clear boundaries with students on what kind of engagement is appropriate. Klamm, the marketing and communications coordinator for Syracuse University Career Services, suggests that educators survey ...


The Washington Post's Jay Mathews is taking a thrashing from some commenters following a blog post touting the benefits of having teachers visit student homes.


Elementary school principal Lyn Hilt praises Learning Forward's newly revised Standards for Professional Learning. In particular, she thinks the emphasis on "professional learning" (as opposed to the customary "professional development") could be transformative: Teachers are not to be treated as vehicles through which schools deliver programs and policies. This, in my opinion, has been the focus of traditional professional development frameworks for way too long. ... Teachers, like students, are first and foremost individuals who have passions, interests, and an inherent desire to learn. The goal for administrators should then become how to foster the learning spirit in each and every ...


DonorsChoose, the online charity for classrooms, recently announced the results of its Hacking Education Contest, which challenged developers to create interactive apps to help engage the public in classroom projects. The winner—selected by judges Arianna Huffington, venture capitalist Fred Wilson, and TFA's Wendy Kopp—was Michael Nutt of New York City, who developed the DonorsChoose Signature. Rather elegant in its simplicity, the app dynamically adds urgent classroom projects from the DonorsChoose database to users' e-mail signature lines. Other contest finalists are shown here. Speaking of DonorsChoose, an article from The Gainesville Sun (Fla.) notes that, as school budgets ...


Blogger Mr. Foteah writes that while getting rid of the "imposing teacher's desk" seems to be all the rage (in fact, our own Coach G recently recommended it), he's just not ready to go deskless himself. Mr. Foteah says: Yes, I want this to be a year in which I maybe, just maybe, speak less and listen more. I want to begin developing a truly student-centered classroom the best I can. I just feel I'd be lost without a desk. Where else would I find an open drawer in which to lean my lunch? How would I ever replace the ...


In a commentary piece in The Christian Science Monitor, Justin Martin argues that one of the major problems with the public education system is that "states often make it unconscionably difficult for qualified teachers to work." He cites his wife as an example, an experienced private school teacher with a master's degree in education and several years of conducting education research under her belt. Martin's wife, however, could not secure a job in a Maine public school because she did not take the required undergraduate courses or obtain public school certification in another state. She would need to pay for ...


A frustrated student wrote in to Slate's advice columnist, Emily Yoffe (aka Prudence), asking how to deal with an oft-sidetracked math teacher.


A new study finds that schools with more bullying may also have lower test scores.


International education news over the last few days has spanned from scary, to depressing, to downright weird. But here's a tidbit that should be overall heartwarming: The embassy of the United Arab Emirates is donating $500,000 to schools in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., to help supply every high school student there with a laptop, reports The Joplin Globe. The embassy has also pledged to match up to another $500,000 in outside contributions. According to the Globe, UAE embassy official Dana Al Marashi said, "When we saw the devastation that took place, the ambassador (of the UAE) decided that we ...


The Sacramento Bee recently interviewed a few male teachers in the Sacramento, Calif., area, on their thoughts about showing affection toward kids at school. According to kindergarten teacher Paul Ferreter, his teachers' union instructs educators to refrain from touching students, which means that even a pat on the shoulder is out. But Ferreter says that he still gives his students what he calls a "sideways hug." "I'm taking that risk because I think it's important," said Ferreter. Bryan Nelson, founder of the national nonprofit Men Teach, which aims to recruit more males into the teaching force, said hugs are appropriate ...


Hopefully, Bill Ferriter of The Tempered Radical found shelter in a comment-proof safe house before, in a recent blog post, calling graphic novels "the literary equivalent of Jersey Shore." He argues, with some anecdotal evidence, that graphic novels take away the need for students to think while they read. Further, he wonders (and worries): Will students who are hooked on graphic novels ever be terribly excited about picking up a text where they've got to do the imagining on their own again? Think about it: Can YOU imagine trying to imagine—or wanting to imagine, or seeing a need to imagine—after...


School districts across the country will soon welcome Chinese teachers into their schools once classes begin. According to the Los Angeles Times, 176 teachers from China have been chosen to participate in a guest teacher program put together by the College Board and Hanban (the Chinese government's Chinese Language Council) in order to help "expand Chinese instruction in the United States." The program, which started back in 2007, aims to assign Chinese teachers to schools in the U.S. that lack a pool of teachers who can teach the language, culture, and history of China. UCLA recently hosted workshops and ...


Are some principals really handing out iPads to teachers without any plan for how they are to be used in the classroom? Appears so from an inquiring e-mail Bill Ferriter recently recieved from a language arts teacher friend. Always ready to lend a hand, though, Ferriter comes to the rescue with some nice advice on using the iPads (and presumably other tablets) in combination with a Google Docs forms tool for observation-based formative assessment: Wouldn't it be cool to carry your iPad around with you while student groups are working? Then, every time that you interact with kids and learn ...


The SOS March in Washington has ended, but Kevin Carey, the policy director at the Washington think tank Education Sector, is still in a state of confusion about what it was really all about.


In an op-ed piece in the L.A. Times, Ellie Herman, a charter school teacher in South Los Angeles, takes on the now-trending argument that great teachers can make up for larger class sizes. That view, she says, essentially romanticizes the practice of great teaching and disregards the diversity and complexity of students' needs: Our children--even our children growing up in poverty, especially our children growing up in poverty--deserve to have not only an extraordinary teacher but a teacher who has time to read their work, to listen, to understand why they're crying or sleeping or not doing homework. To ...


Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently signed a bill that prohibits teachers and students from "friending" each other on Facebook. KSPR, an ABC affiliate in Springfield, Mo., reports that Senate Bill 54 forbids any kind of social networking activity between teachers and students in which they might exchange "private" online communication. However, the law does not prohibit all teacher-student contact online. ABC says that teachers can set up fan pages that are open to the public, and students can "like" their page. According to Governor Nixon's website, the bill, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, is meant to ...


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