Diane Ravitch argues that "value-added" ratings of teachers based on test scores badly underestimate the impact of out-of-school factors on students' performance from year to year.


Today is Michelle Rhee's last day as school chancellor in D.C., and Bill Turque at the Washington Post says Rhee took the opportunity to issue a final warning to the city's teachers.


The scientific method portrays science as a clean, linear process, when in reality it's a creative and social endeavor, says one blogger.


Here's pretty scary vision of a school collaborative planning meeting. (I really hope that the transcript is made up and not adapted from an actual meeting. ... ) (HT: The Answer Sheet.)...


Just in case you weren't aware: Our Teacher book club discussion of Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe is going on all this week. I'm biased, of course, but it's a pretty powerful discussion so far—one that really takes you up close to the challenges that immigrant students (and their teachers) face. Here are some short, selected quotes I've pulled from the conversation so far—just to give you a taste: •Author Helen Thorpe: "Unlike other readers, teachers typically understand that the two students who lack legal...


Ariel Sacks ponders the connection between memory and reading comprehension, and wonders how our increasing reliance on digital technology will affect it: There are so many things I don't have to remember, because they're readily available on the internet, through my phone or computer, that I wonder how it's affecting my memory use in general... and what about my students' memory use? How do the changes in the way we are using memory affect the new generation with their reading process? If we can identify these changes, how can we address these shifting needs in our teaching?...


Young adult African-American males interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times reveal some common themes about their school days: They recall feeling disenfranchised, trapped in stereotyped roles, and lacking in meaningful connections with their teachers and other adults. "I feel like I intimidate most of them," one current high school senior says of his teachers. "They expect us to fill a seat, that's all." (HT: Education Equality Project, via Twitter.)...


A special education teacher is running 50 miles across the state of Florida today to raise money for basic school supplies.


The president takes a moment to reach out to gay students who have been bullied: "You didn't do anything to deserve to being bullied. And there's a whole world waiting for you filled with possibilities." Watch:...


A Pittsburgh high school that is singled out for criticism in the film "Waiting for Superman" is working to salvage its reputation.


NYC Educator says that it's not even close to worth the risk for teachers to friend their students on Facebook: I don't friend students on Facebook, and I'd advise you not to do so either. Simply having done that could potentially bolster a false claim against you. Now that there's no rubber room, I suppose they send you to file papers somewhere. But in the case of a sexual accusation, you could be sitting home without pay or health insurance. To me, it's not worth the risk. Also, I don't really want to know what my students do on Facebook. ...


A Cincinnati public school took three vanloads of voting-age students to the polls during school hours and gave them sample ballots--which only showed Democratic candidates.


Advertisement/Shameless Plug: These days, for better or for worse, teachers have to start thinking about testing on Day 1. Our colleagues over at Education Week have put together a set of articles on assessment as part of their Spotlight series. The bundle contains four stories and five commentaries, addressing topics such as computer-adaptive testing, using multiple measures of achievement, and the debate over standardized testing. The online package is available for $4.95. Check it out, especially if you're still trying to figure where the future of testing is—or should be—headed....


The Washington Post's Jay Mathews reports on an "Expectations of Integrity" code distributed by AP History teachers at a Virginia high school that essentially restricts students from using any resources outside of their course textbook and other classroom materials. The code bans students not only from using the Internet but, apparently, even from talking to their own parents or classmates about their assignments. The rationale for the policy is that it will keep students on a level playing field—but it seems reasonable to wonder, as Mathews does, whether it's really the best way to foster the spirit of historical...


Proponents of a pilot teacher-performance assessment hope it will one day be used as a requirement for teacher licensure nationwide.


In an op-ed piece roundly attacking teachers' unions, economist Erik A. Hanushek argues that recent school reform manifestations—e.g., Race to the Top, the L.A. Times teacher-effectiveness rankings, "Waiting for Superman"—constitute not a "war on teachers" but a growing recognition of the importance of effective teachers over highly ineffective ones. He writes: My research--which has focused on teacher quality as measured by what students learn with different teachers--indicates that a small proportion of teachers at the bottom is dragging down our schools. The typical teacher is both hard-working and effective. But if we could replace the bottom...


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging just to let you know that Teacher is currently looking for a new editorial intern. And it's a paid position. Please see the ad here. Background as a teacher (or student-teacher) is a huge plus. Pass it on if you know someone...


According to a new Canadian study, 13 percent of male teachers said they have been "wrongly accused of inappropriate contact with pupils."


A growing number of public schools are blending traditional, face-to-face teaching with online learning environments.


Even a photo op with the president couldn't save one Ohio kindergarten teacher's job.


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