Really tragic: "Bullied Minnesota Girls Reportedly Hang Themselves in Apparent Suicide Pact." The two middle schoolers, both 14, reportedly saw themselves as outcasts in school. The aunt of one of the girls says she was frequently teased about being overweight by her classmates....


These days it seems like every politician and pundit has a strong opinion about how to improve the teaching profession. But, in a piece for Time, Andrew J. Rotherham points to some recent research to show that we're actually a long way off from easy or one-size-fits-all solutions: [T]he reality is that because of years of inattention to teacher effectiveness, we still know relatively little about what makes a teacher great and how to build systems full of great teachers and high quality instruction. That frustrates policymakers -- and it should terrify parents. But it's also an enormous opportunity ...


A new poll of young adults ages 18 to 24 finds many unimpressed with the help their high schools provided.


A high school teacher in the Bronx who had a miscarriage after being pushed down while trying to break up a fight in her classroom explains why she didn't press charges against the students involved: They're so young, and for something like that to follow them for the rest of their lives? I think they were already stressed enough with the fact that they felt they caused the death of someone's child. I can't put anybody through that. After a brief leave of absence, she's back teaching in the same classroom....


Is it fair to ask teachers to implement differentiated learning for their students when many school systems don't customize professional development learning experiences for their teachers? Bill Ferriter explores this topic in his latest blog post in The Tempered Radical, in which he argues that "learning isn't the priority for most teacher professional development programs." Ferriter, a 6th grade language arts teacher and veteran when it comes to technology integration, recalls a "bizarre" moment in his professional career when he was required to take beginner technology lessons in order to fulfill the PD credits required to renew his teaching license ...


Will Richardson is seriously aggrieved by the curious spectacle of school standardized testing pep rallies: You have to wonder, is this really what we've come to in schools? That we have to remind kids that they are "bigger than the test" and show pictures of kids with captions like "6th Grade: Not Afraid" in an effort to steel their nerves? That showing what they've "learned" in schools is something they have to mentally prepare themselves for instead of just naturally exhibit? Really? For Richardson, these events send kids all the wrong messages about learning. But what's your view? Can they ...


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....


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