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....

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof points to a new Harvard study finding that good teachers—as defined by value-added test score analysis—have a profound long-term effect on students. According to the study, he notes, an average-size 4th grade class with a strong teacher will go on to earn $700,000 more in their life times (in total) than a class with a poor teacher. Gleaning the potential policy implications, Kristof says the study demonstrates 1) that we need to provide higher pay to good teachers and 2) that value-added ratings do in fact "reveal a great deal about...

A Georgia elementary school has gotten a flurry of unflattering media attention over the last week, since 3rd graders took home a math assignment with questions about slave beatings and cotton-picking. The worksheet, created by a 3rd grade teacher at the school, went home with four different classes. According to ABC News, one of the assigned word problems asked: "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?" Another read: "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?" A third question asked students ...

Teachers in Pennsylvania's Chester Upland School District have agreed to continue working even though the district can no longer afford to pay them.

More than half of Americans believe that U.S. teachers are underpaid, according to a national telephone survey by Poll Position.

On his blog Borderland, teacher Doug Noon laments the reading assignment he was given over the winter break—Ruby Payne's Framework for Understanding Poverty. He writes: This is to prepare us for the indoctrination session [part of his school's improvement plan] to follow upon our return from our break. I'm going to read the book since I opened my mouth at a staff meeting and said that many people disagree with Ruby Payne, and "Would we have a chance to air dissenting points of view?" Referencing a number of other poverty experts, Noon takes particular issue with Payne's reported thesis...

School librarians in California are being forced to defend the continued viability of their trade.

Over the past year, Education Week Teacher published a mix of stories on teacher issues, including first-person opinion pieces written by teachers, articles offering practical classroom tips, and write-ups of the latest studies and research on the teaching profession.

From reflecting on their classroom experiences to commenting on the latest education news and teaching trends, our bloggers here at Education Week Teacher shared with us their thoughts and insights on the teaching profession over the past 12 months.

As 2011 comes to an end, we look back at our top five most popular Teaching Now posts of the year.

In her blog, Teachers At Risk, special education teacher Elona Hartjes claims to have picked up "second-hand stress" from her students.

Colleges are increasingly exploring the use of student "data"—including everything from grades to instructional-prompt responses to online "click" patterns —to customize instruction and learning opportunities.

Surely this tells us something significant about the current education climate (among other things): It seems that the most powerful person in New York City right now might just be one Elisabeth Krents, the 61-year-old admissions director of the Dalton School on the Upper East Side. It is she, as a New York Times story explains, who decides the fates of the hundreds of over-achieving toddlers each year whose parents are trying to get them into one of the country's most esteemed kindergartens: Power brokers fear her, well-heeled mothers seek advice on how to dress for her, wads of money ...

In an effort to improve their students' standardized test scores, a school in New London, Conn., has hired three behavioral specialists to help reduce classroom disruptions.

Gene Marks, a public accountant who writes about the business of technology, recently posted an item on Forbes' site entitled "If I Were a Poor Black Kid." Marks, as he discloses upfront, is actually a middle-aged white man from a middle-class upbringing. I think it might be about time for some self-identified teachers to jump into the feeding frenzy—excuse me—discussion that the post has generated. (I'm fairly certain teachers will have comments on more than just the ungrammatical first sentence below.) In the piece, Marks writes: If I was a poor black kid I would first and most...

A teacher in Nanuet, N.Y., recently made headlines after she told her 2nd grade class that there is no Santa Claus.

Siobhan Curious posts an e-mail from a fellow English teacher who, try as she might, is having a difficult time stomaching all the poor usage and grammer on Facebook and other social-networking sites.

A new study reports that college students who chewed gum prior to taking a test exhibited improved memory function and performed better than their non-gum-chewing counterparts. The theory behind this, according to one of the study's authors, is that the chewing motion improves blood flow to the brain. Ready to break out the Bazooka in class? Well, there are—as usual—some caveats. Apparently, the cognitive-enhancing effects only last for 15-20 minutes after the gum is chewed. And prolonged chewing—for example, throughout the testing period—seems to negate the benefits as well (because, curiously, it requires extra brain...

Full-time public school teachers working in Title I schools can now apply for a $25,000 cash award sponsored by The New Teacher Project.

A National Education Association commission today issued a report today with specific recommendations for upping pre-service requirements, establishing career paths for teachers, and developing new evaluation systems.

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