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 absenteeismand 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.
With a growing Muslim student population, Minnesota schools are struggling to fill their shelves with books these students can relate to.
In part to counteract its gradual disappearance from school reading lists, the publisher NewSouth Books plans to release a version of Mark Twain's Adventures Huckleberry Finn that eliminates the "n" word.
Ariel Sacks, an English teacher in New York City, says that, despite what you might think, the time is ripe for teachers to be heard on education policy issues:
Two teachers in Hawaii have found a way to make lessons about centuries-old people and events relevant to their high school students: Teach them to the tune of Lady Gaga. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Amy Burvall, a history teacher, and Herb Mahelona, a technology curriculum coordinator, joined forces four years ago to create history-themed music videos to the tune of today's most popular songs. Their repertoire includes Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," which they've turned into an origins and events of the French Revolution, and Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," which they use to address the Bubonic Plague. According to ...
Several weeks ago, we reported on a wonkish panel discussion in D.C. in which Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in proping up the performance pay idea, lamented that school systems currently treat teachers like "interchangeble widgets."
In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan highlights several areas where Democrat and Republican lawmakers should be able to agree when it comes to revamping the No Child Left Behind Act.
Recognizing it had a cheating problem, with students covertly texting each other answers from their pockets during a state exam, the Mississippi Department of Education paid a company to analyze tests using "data forensics," according to the New York Times. The result? Cheating went down 70 percent, said a state ed department director. School districts in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., have all contracted with Caveon Test Security, which was founded by a former chief developer for the SAT, to implement data forensics. The company uses computers to analyze answer sheets and spot signs of cheating, such as ...
This year, blog posts about teacher pay, test scores, and 'Superman," as well as alarming videos and sarcastic headlines, got our teacher-readers' attention.