The good news for New York City teachers is that Dennis Walcott, the newly named schools chancellor, wants to bring greater civility to school-reform discussions and has pledged that "you will never hear me say a bad thing about [teachers]." The bad news is that he's still planning to lay off thousands of teachers. On NYC Educator's blog, Miss Eyre finds this to be a peculiar form of goodwill-building, while NYC Educator himself charges Walcott with blatant hypocrisy: If you want to do better, Mr. Walcott, we're all ears. Please don't insult our intelligence by placing a ribbon on the ...


In an interesting Wall Street Journal article, Salman Khan describes the development of the Khan Academy, a free online library of K-12 math and science video lessons and practice exercises. Begun as a way for Khan to help tutor his younger cousins from afar, the service now houses more than 2,200 videos and is used by teachers and parents the world over. The beauty of the platform, Khan argues, is that it lets educators "change the basic rhythm of their classroom." Rather than giving one-size-fits-all lectures, teachers can have their students view the lessons outside of class, at their ...


While the Flip cam may be on its way out, a new kind of camera is debuting in classrooms, according to California Watch, an investigative reporting news site. Teachscape Reflect is a panoramic camera that takes 360-degree video images of a classroom. It was invented by Teachscape, a San Francisco-based for-profit company, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in order to "improve instruction and evaluate how effective teachers are in reaching all the students in their classrooms," says California Watch. The camera is operated remotely and can capture both the teacher and students at once. So far, several ...


Brooklyn middle school teacher Ariel Sacks reports on a meeting with fellow Bank Street College of Education alums addressing the topic of the future of teacher preparation. The one thing the group definitively agreed on, she says, was that teacher prep programs need to do a better job of helping prospective educators understand the communities in which they will work: Most notably, we all believed that preparation to work in the specific neighborhoods in which we ended up teaching was very much needed, but we'd had to go about this task ourselves in our own ways. We agreed that understanding ...


A new survey by the American Red Cross finds that only one in five U.S. youths between the ages of 12 and 17 is familiar with the Geneva Conventions, the international law standards for humanitarian treatment of prisoners and other victims of war. Presumably as a result, youths are more likely than adults to condone certain illegal wartime activities. For example, according to the survey, 59 percent of youths believe it is acceptable to torture enemy soldiers to get important military information, and 56 percent would support killing enemy prisoners in retaliation for the killing of American prisoners. At ...


Tech blogs are abuzz today with the news that Cisco will stop making Flip video cameras. Coincidentally, we've heard from a number of teachers over the last couple months who use these devices.


Today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and schools and education organizations across the country are finding ways to commemorate the historic event.


Is it a good idea for schools to give iPads to kindergartners? According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, that's the hot topic of conversation right now in Auburn, Maine, where the school committee recently voted to give kindergartners the tablet computers in the fall. That decision will cost $200,000 and a five percent hike in the school budget, reports the Sun Journal. Nicole Fortin, a parent, disagreed with the vote. "It's crazy," she said. "I look at all of the budgetary restraints we have. Our school system loses money every year to certain things. This is a lot to ...


Many teachers are of the mindset that to raise student achievement, you have to raise the bar. A study of a program piloted in 11 North Carolina school districts takes that ideology to a new level: It concludes that "at-risk" students perform better academically when taught as if they are "gifted." As reported in The Cary News, a Raleigh, N.C., newspaper, the U.S. Department of Education evaluated Project Bright IDEA, a program in which teachers at schools with a high percentage of low-income students received intensive training in strategies for teaching gifted children. Within three years, the study ...


Heads up: Our opinion blogger Anthony Cody, a science educator in Oakland, Calif., has made the NY Times with his dogged questioning of the seeming disconnect between President Obama's recent statements on testing and the U.S. Department of Education's policies. A must read....


Another teacher has garnered national attention as well as a suspension for posting a comment about her students on her Facebook page.


Joseph A. Aguerrebere, the president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, will step down June 30 after eight years of service, the organization announced in a statement.


New research shows that Algebra II, above any other high school class, is the "leading predictor of college and work success"—and many states are consequently beginning to make it a requirement for graduation, reports The Washington Post. One study, by Anthony Carnevale and Alice Desrochers at the Educational Testing Service, found that "of those who held top-tier jobs, 84 percent had taken Algebra II or a higher class as their last high school math course. Only 50 percent of employees in the bottom tier had taken Algebra II." Achieve, a nonprofit education group organized by governors and business leaders,...


Bill Ferriter at The Tempered Radical offers advice for teachers who are "trying to figure out how to unleash their inner-author." He suggests these steps for "getting your foot in the educational publishing door": 1) Start a blog. 2) Tweet your blog content. 3) Write a book proposal. 4) WAIT. It worked for Ferriter, who co-authored the award-winning book Building a Professional Learning Community at Work. We're big fans of teacher-writers here at Education Week Teacher, and we want to hear your stories. So blog away! And let us know about it....


Throughout National Poetry Month, instructional technologist (and former language arts teacher) Bud Hunt will be posting a "photo poetry prompt" on his blog every day. Readers are encouraged to share their poems in his comments space or elsewhere online. Hunt has hosted this interactive literary project the past couple Aprils as well. He writes: Poetry and poets are important, and I hope that this month you can take some time to read some poems, write some poems, and think about the role that language plays in your life. Incidentally, Hunt will be with us on Monday at 4 p.m. ...


Renee Moore decries the persistent resource gaps between schools in poor and well-off areas: My teachers and most of those with whom I have taught here in the Mississippi Delta have done amazing work under often disgraceful conditions. I wondered then and now, how much more they could have done if they had the resources and support of their better situated colleagues? Shouldn't ending this longstanding inequity be a top priority of education reform and ESEA reauthorization? How can we seriously address determining which teachers are or are not effective when even the best teachers in poor schools are forced ...


Patrick Riccards at Eduflack warns educators not to be fooled by vendors' cart-before-the-horse claims that their products are "Common Core certified" or "approved." It's true that most states have signed on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative and that it will likely play a role in ESEA reauthorization, he writes, but: ... [W]e still don't know what Common Core looks like in the schools and THERE IS NO ONE TO APPROVE ANYTHING ON BEHALF OF COMMON CORE! No one is certifying or approving on behalf of CCSSI. At a time when states and districts are worried about Common Core...we...


This is kind of cool: Skype just officially launched a network dedicated to teachers, called Skype in the Classroom. Teachers have been using Skype's free videoconferencing software to bring experts to class, connect foreign-language students to native speakers, and hold virtual field trips since the service began in 2003. But it hasn't always been easy to find other teachers to connect with. The new network allows users to post and search for projects to collaborate on and find other teachers by location on a map. Skype in the Classroom began beta testing in December 2010 and, as of now, the ...


Will Richardson, the teacher-turned-tech-expert who was featured in our previous Teacher PD Sourcebook, recently gave a presentation for TEDxNYEd, a spinoff of the renowned yearly TED Talk conferences. Richardson says kids today, in the era of smartphones and constant connectivity, learn differently, and that schools need to adapt to stay relevant. He discusses the ills of test prep, saying "this system is killing our kids. It's taking all the imagination, all the creativity, all the initiative, all the engagement right out of them." Check out the video for yourself (it's 14 minutes well spent). A rising-star math teacher who is ...


In The New York Times' Room for Debate feature, education experts address a hot-button question that many policymakers believe speaks to the major difference between the U.S. and countries with higher performing education systems (in fact, it's the very question I asked Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession): How do we raise the status of teachers in the U.S.? While so much of the dialogue around this topic has been, well, hazy, the answers provided by these experts are, for the most part, impressively specific. Kati Haycock, president of the Washington-based think ...


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