Some teachers, students, and parents in Florida are less than satisfied with the virtual classrooms that are being used to deal with class size limitations, according to the New York Times. In response to a 2002 amendment restricting the number of students in classrooms—but not virtual labs—the Miami-Dade school district placed 7,000 students in e-learning labs for core subjects, such as math and English, starting at the beginning of this school year. Instead of teachers, each classroom has a "facilitator" who monitors students' progress and assists with technical problems, says the Times. Although this means more computer...


There's a way to improve students' test scores and it only takes ten minutes, according to a study released in the journal Science and reported on by the Chicago Tribune.


Five Ponds Press, which published two error-ridden Virginia history textbooks— leading to a media feeding frenzy—said it will distribute the corrected Second Edition books at no cost to the school districts.


Somewhat ironically, the success of Chinese students on recent international tests has been met with a mixture of embarrassment and soul-searching back home, according to a Los Angeles Times story.


This week Education Week released its annual Quality Counts report. The focus this year is on the "new economic reality" in education. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, you should. And I'm not just saying that because it's an Education Week publication. Reading it this morning, I was struck by how important this topic is to teachers (though admittedly that seems pretty obvious in hindsight). It's not something that should be of in-depth concern only to the report's target audience of administrators and policymakers. I especially encourage you to read the overview article by Sean Cavanagh. ...


Teachers should spend less time worrying about students' problems at home and more time creating a positive learning environment at school, wrote Edutopia blogger Ben Johnson. He raised the concern that some teachers, especially those in training, "think that their number one calling in life is to dig deep into the lives and homes of their students, ostensibly, so they can better understand them to teach them." But rather than doing the work fit for a school counselor or social worker, Johnson said, teachers would benefit students more if they focused on giving them the best education possible. "Of course ...


In discussing a proposed new alternative licensure program, a Minnesota legislator—chair of the House Education Reform Committee, no less—makes reference to the qualms of the "teacher Gestapo", i.e, the Nazi Germany secret police. After a deluge of negative reaction, she apologized....


A new public television multimedia project for teens combines algebra instruction with hip hop, fashion, video games, and reality television.


The Council of Chief State School Officers has announced the four 2011 National Teacher of the Year finalists.


The National Association of Headteachers in the United Kingdom says it is receiving an increasing number of calls from its members saying they are being defamed by parents on social networking sites.


A high school student has proven there's a way to reduce chronic absenteeism—and it's not by taking parents to court. In the Huffington Post, 15-year-old Zak Kukoff describes TruantToday, a Web application he originally created for a science fair project. The program sends text messages and e-mails to parents when their kids skip school. Exactly how the parents deal with the information is not prescribed, but when Kukoff tested the program at a high school in Staten Island, N.Y., it proved effective. Half of the chronically absent students returned to class that day, and 75 percent of student's...


Commenting on an NPR story on the disparity in language exposure between poor children and children in professional homes, urban educator Dan Brown questions how much individual teachers can do close student achievement gaps. He writes:


Last week, six middle school girls in Nevada were arrested for planning to participate in a "Teacher Attack Day" organized through Facebook.


After the Washington Post exposed dozens of errors in Virginia history textbooks, several districts removed them from schools to prevent the impairment of learning. But Post ed columnist Jay Mathews thinks the mistakes would actually enhance learning. "We might even encourage publishers to salt their volumes intentionally with a few mistakes. (Don't be horrified. Each could be identified in the teacher's guide.)" Then the students' task could be to identify the factual and conceptual errors, which "would motivate careful student reading and lively discussion," wrote Mathews on his blog. Mathews argues that finding the faults in required reading would not ...


Will Richardson highlights a new book co-authored by innovationist John Seely Brown, "A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change."


Something is missing from most early childhood and elementary school curricula, according to a growing number of educators, psychologists, and scientists: play time. The New York Times uncovered a growing movement to restore play time to school days. Studies, such as one by the Kaiser Family Foundation finding that children spend more than seven daily hours looking at a screen, suggest that "the culture of play in the United States is vanishing," according to the Times. This past October, more than 50,000 people flocked to Central Park for what the Times called a "giant play date," sponsored by the ...


Last week we highlighted some news about how South Korea is introducing robot teachers in kindergarten classes. This week, Education Week reported on a teacher-training program that uses virtual, computer-generated "students." Makes you wonder: Maybe eventually we could do this whole schooling thing without actual people....


On Doug Noon's Borderlands blog, high school teacher Karl Fisch defends the use of conceptually-oriented math programs like Everyday Math in elementary schools.


The 1998 British study linking autism to childhood vaccines--a finding that caused a wave of panic among parents and led to a sharp drop in vaccination rates--has been declared a fraud.


Weary of her participation in the "teacher wars," Cindi Rigsbee resolves to de-stress in 2011.


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