A "learning walk" is a simple but potentially game-changing idea that some say can weed out ineffective teachers and help great teachers spread their best practices.


A retired teacher argues that data-based observations are an accurate and unbiased method for evaluating teachers.


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta. Congratulations to an accomplished teacher leader and great friend to Education Week Teacher, Bill Ferriter, for receiving the 2010 Learning Forward Staff Development Book of the Year Award. Bill was given the award for Building a Professional Learning Community at Work in an early morning, pomp-and-circumstance-filled ceremony here at the conference. The book is a guide for schools in their first year of implementing professional learning communities. Bill was beaming yet humble when I chatted with him after breakfast (amidst a small crowd of fans that had come to congratulate him, ...


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta. Back to a recap of my second session on Monday: I walked in late to a presentation about Project RISE (Rewards and Incentives for School Educators). Administrators from Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Fla. spoke about the Teacher Incentive Fund-sponsored grant, which is awarded to high-needs schools to improve teacher and administrator effectiveness. It requires placement of two National Board Certified Teachers at participating schools to serve as models and lead professional development. The NBCTs receive financial incentives for administering PD, and, at least in Miami, all other teachers can choose ...


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta. Douglas Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center in Englewood, Colo., gave the second keynote during lunch. His talk included a lot of big data-driven ideas - why schools should focus on one task at a time, the importance of direct modeling for teachers, the need to spend more time teaching non-fiction writing - accompanied by some bells and whistles (a clip from Steve Carrel's "Get Smart" with lots of explosions included).


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta. This one's a bit of a teaser, but... I was pleased to see our new Teacher Book Club book - which we will unveil next week - on prominent display in the exhibit area. The bright cover and catchy title make it hard to miss! The publishing rep told me he knows of a few schools in Connecticut using it for professional development book studies. I'm hoping to get in touch with those schools and bring them into the January discussion.


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta. I sat in on a couple intimate morning sessions - quite a difference from the enormous several-hundred-person breakfast and keynote this morning.


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta Good morning! A quick post before I head into my first "concurrent session" here at the Learning Forward conference. Beverly Hall, Atlanta Public Schools superintendent, just finished a keynote address about her district's major turnaround since 2000 and how professional development played a part. Ten years ago, she said, 50 percent of students were not meeting the standards, based on state standardized test scores. Since then, scores have shown "double digit increases" and the high school graduation rate has gone up about 25 percent. She said that the use of mentoring ...


Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta Just got down to Atlanta for the Learning Forward annual conference. (Formerly known as NSDC, Learning Forward is a nonprofit professional organization focused on staff and school improvement. The group will actually be starting to blog on our site in the coming weeks.) The conference is a gathering of school administrators, superintendents, learning coaches, and pd coordinators. Most of the sessions revolve around best practices for staff development. As it looks, it should be an interesting few days. The conference is taking place between two massive downtown hotels—and I mean...


A teacher who has to have his jaw wired shut after a former student assaulted him remains concerned about the teen and says he needs help, not jail.


Should parents be graded just like schools and teachers?


A new report lays out steps policymakers can take to bring technology-based learning to every student.


A small group of New York City teachers marched into the Hearst Corporation headquarters to apply for Cathie Black's job as chairperson.


Despite opposition from anti-gambling groups, one northern Virginia high school is using poker to teach math.


In his latest column, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter highlights—quite uncritically—Bill Gates' campaign to curb teacher seniority pay, which appears to offend the Microsoft founder's business sense: "Is there any other part of of the economy where someone says, 'Hey, how long have you been mowing lawns? ... I want to pay you more for that reason alone." In a lengthy response, NYC teacher the Reflective Educator (in addition to taking offense at the lawn-mowing analogy) argues that removing seniority, nice as it may sound, would only diminish the overall quality of education at many schools by heightening the already ...


New research provides further evidence that assigning personal-values essays can help narrow achievement gaps.


A sigh-inducing story from the wires: A principal of a Hudson Valley high school has been placed on leave after another administrator accused him of making threats during a public discussion of violence at the school....


A Baltimore City teacher blames Teach for America for her difficulty finding a job, and says the program "pretends to have the solution."


Liana's post this morning about the NY Times article on how kids today may be "hard-wired for learning differently" made me think of this video clip I came across recently (maybe you've seen it) of a kid completing not one but two Rubik's Cubes while playing Guitar Hero and, of course, hitting all the notes. There's got to be some message in this for educators, right? I guess the question would be: Are schools leveraging or building on this kind of aptitude? Can they? Should they? Obviously this kid is a special case, but I suspect he's also representative in ...


A somewhat polarizing article in the New York Times says there's research suggesting that kids these days—immersed in technology that rewards small doses of attention—are hard-wired for learning differently than previous generations. The piece profiles a talented 12th grader who spends late nights making short films for YouTube and playing video games, and whose grades are suffering because of it. Some educators are embracing kids' new skill-sets by incorporating the technology they use at home into the classroom environment. One principal "asked teachers to build Web sites to communicate with students, introduced popular classes on using digital ...


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