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 ...


In a Washington Post op-ed this morning, Eva Moskowitz, the founder and chief executive of the Success Charter Network, argues that class-size reduction efforts take away from schools' capacity for innovation and teacher support: Obsession with class size is causing many public schools to look like relics. We spend so much to employ lots of teachers that there isn't enough left to help these teachers be effective. According to the city's education department, New York public schools spend on average less than 3 percent of their budgets on instructional supplies and equipment (1 percent), textbooks (0.6 percent), library books ...


Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who also attended the International Summit on Teaching in New York last week, has posted a blog post highlighting positive rhetoric used by the foreign guests in reference to teachers. In a statement rarely heard these days in the United States, the Finnish Minister of Education launched the first session of last week's with the words: "We are very proud of our teachers." Her statement was so appreciative of teachers' knowledge, skills, and commitment that one of the U.S. participants later confessed that he thought she was the teacher union president, who, it turned out, ...


An incentive program aimed at bringing National Board certified teachers to high-poverty schools in Washington state is not working as intended, according to a new report from the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education. The finding comes on the heels of Gov. Christine Gregoire's proposal to suspend the bonuses paid to NBCTs—including the $5,000 they receive for having the certification and the additional $5,000 awarded to NBCTs who teach in "challenging" schools. She projects the cuts would save the state nearly $100 million in the next two years. Since the incentive program began four years...


Here's your business news of the day: TeachersPayTeachers, the website that lets teachers sell their lesson plans and materials, reportedly paid out $1 million dollars to teachers last year. To cite another measure, the company is generating $2 million in gross sales. According to Business Wire, one unnamed teacher makes as much money selling her stuff on the site as she does—well—teaching. (But then, maybe that's not saying all that much, right?) In any case, the company's apparent growth would seem to tell us two things: 1) that what teachers do and create has value; and 2) that—at...


In a post on the Harvard Business Review's Innovations in Education blog, a Harvard-trained social entrepeneur discusses an initiative his company created to improve teacher quality in India by developing a "recipe for good teaching." Part of this involved creating a 'micro-process' for teaching that essentially anatomizes the instructional protocals for different concepts. As he describes the finished product (in a sentence that kind of boggles the mind): We created a teachers' toolkit that mapped every concept in the Indian K-8 syllabus into 8000-plus detailed experiential teaching plans ... The author claims that implementing this toolkit—in addition to providing ongoing...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference in New York Bullying is a serious school issue that every classroom teacher will have to confront at some point—and the presentation schedule here reflected that. I attended the last of the four bullying-related sessions, which addressed the need for schoolwide efforts to prevent cyberbullying. Patricia Agatston, who has written cyberbullying prevention curricula and is a consultant for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, explained that conventional bullying and cyberbullying have many similarities—they are both aggressive, repetitive, and difficult for the victim to defend against. But cyberbullying, which occurs through...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference in New York Great friend to Teacher Kathleen Cushman gave a presentation based on her book Fires in the Mind (our last Teacher Book Club title) today—and drew quite a crowd. By the time I arrived, it was standing room only. Seems we were lucky to snag Kathleen while we could! She played some of the audio clips from the interviews she conducted for the book about what motivates and inspires kids. I also popped into a session with David Kirp, education policy expert and author of Kids First: Five...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference in New York This morning, developmental psychologist Niobe Way answered questions about why boys are struggling in school. It's a topic I wrote about a few years ago, after Peg Tyre published The Trouble With Boys. Way's take on the situation is that boys experience a "crisis of connection." Stereotypical notions of masculinity assume that boys aren't expressive and don't have—or perhaps even need—close friendships. But boys both need and want deep connections, said Way. And in her research, she's found that many boys have close friendships that are...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference in New York One school that's come up again and again here at the Celebration is Brockton High School in Massachusetts. The school gained nationwide attention in September, when The New York Times published an article about its remarkable turnaround. Susan Szachowicz, the school's principal, explained at an early session today that Brockton had a 75% failure rate on state tests 10 years ago. She and a group of other teachers who were dissatisfied with those results began to work on a restructuring plan. "Leadership isn't about a position," said Szachowicz, ...


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