Just a heads up: Scott McLeod of Dangerously Irrelevant is hosting a series this week on the question of, "What Do Teachers Need From Administrators." From the first entry, by Brian Crosby: Give us, and advocate for us, more time to plan. Effective teaching requires, more than ever, effective planning. I would love to have as much as 2 weeks (not including a day or two to set up my classroom) at the beginning of the school year. Time to plan as a staff, unit (for example - upper elementary grades), grade level and self. I know this costs money ... ...
Columnist Robert J. Samuelson looks at the anemic results of school reform over the past 50 year and pins the blame on an "almost unmentionable" factor: lack of student motivation.
Dan Brown says that the best teaching books are driven by personal stories as opposed to abstract theories and generic technical illustrations:
Anthony Cody and Kelly Kovocic argue that efforts to evaluate teachers solelyor even mainlyon the basis of standardized test results are ultimately counter-productive.
Teacher-led schools are cropping up at various points around the country.
So I've been been scanning through some teacher blogs to see if there might be any common back-to-school themes. One thing that jumps out: There are a lot of air-conditioning problems in classrooms out there. Poor Epiphany in Baltimore, whose (low-income) school apparently doesn't even have A/C, is really struggling: It hit 93 in my classroom today, and that, coupled with the humidity and a room chock full of kids, just doesn't make for a good learning environment. I do my best, but it's hard not think it's pretty inhumane not to offer a/c in every school when ...
Ariel Sacks worries that the increased focus on "data and test preparation has created a new kind of distance between today's teachers and students.
Education policy writers Andrew J. Rotherham and Daniel Willingham argue that the 21st-century skills movement, despite its obvious relevance to the needs of today's students, risks devolving into a mere fad if reformers don't devote more attention to the infrastructure (both organizational and intellectual) of teaching and learning.
Despite $10 billion in new federal funding explicitly designed to save educator jobs, many teachers who've been laid off may not be called back to the classroom anytime soon
Facebook is suing a yet-to-be-launched social network called Teachbook over the use of the suffix "book" in their name.
The Lodi School District in New Jersey will soon have teachers testing students with formative assessments in the middle of instructional units, to allow teachers to focus on problem spots before moving onto new material.
The Wall Street Journal notes the flaws of test-based teacher evaluations, but proposes ways to incorporate student test scores into teacher evaluations fairly and effectively.
John Merrow of Learning Matters defends the recent L.A. Times series that analyzes individual teachers' effectivenesswith names namedin connection with student test scores
A former classmate of the recently deceased Robert Byrd can't keep out of the classroom, even at 94 years of age.
A new boys' middle school in Berkeley, Calif., has structured its curriculum around the principle that young boys tend to be energetic and always on the move.
After behind-closed-doors negotiations broke down, Seattle Public Schools and their teachers have gone to the public to fight the use of test scores in teacher evaluations.
In tough economic times, schools are asking students to come to class prepared with more than just pencils, paper, and binders.
That Los Angeles Times series that analyzes district test-score data in connection with teacher effectiveness has created an absolute firestorm of controversy. Want to talk about it? Well, we've created a forum where you can do just that. It would be great to hear what teachers themselves have to say about this issue. Chime in. Update, 8/19: The authors of the L.A. Times report will be live chatting at 2 p.m. ET today, on the L.A. Times' website....
Kirsten Olson, author of Wounded by Schools, wonders why the "industrial model" of schooling so stubbornly persists despite being commonly seen as dysfunctional and outmoded.