Following up on a big Washington Post story on interactive whiteboards, Bill Ferriter—noted IWB scourge—amplifies the case that, for all their 21st-century allure, the digital displays essentially preserve an outmoded form of instruction: Our schools have always been defined by a culture of presentation: I'll stand in front of you and give you the information that you need to learn. You sit in front of me and absorb it. While IWBs might make the presentation a bit more flashy, it still doesn't change the fact that we're presenting and our kids are absorbing. ... When you drop kids who...


From the late 18th century through the 20th century, government-run Indian boarding schools attempted to assimilate and Christianize Indian children and, in the process, often left them feeling degraded and abused. But the United States is not the only country with this painful history. Education Week has posted a story about how Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is encouraging its indigenous population to speak out about the horrors they experienced in Canada's government and church-run schools. Stories of sexual and physical abuse, much like those we've read and heard about in this country, are emerging—150,000 Canadian children were...


Two Massachussetts high school teachers have been put on paid leave after holding up an anti-war sign during a year-end school assembly, according to the Cape Code Times. The teacher's silent protest reportedly took place at a point in the assembly when the school was honoring seniors who are entering military service—a ceremony the teachers involved saw as abetting military recruitment in schools. "I think we're supposed to open the door for differences of opinion," said Marybeth Verani, one of the teachers. "We're not all in lock-step agreement on everything." Many parents and students, however, didn't see it that...


In an op-ed published today in the Philadelphia Inquirer, James Sando, a teacher with more than 30 years of experience, argues that education policymakers these days seem to be fixated on reforms designed to hurt rather than help public education. UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: In his piece, Sando quotes approvingly a remark by the Dean of Drew University to the effect that "It has got to stink being a teacher these days." This popped into my mind when I was reading a post by Doug Noon in which he reflects on hitting the 25-year mark as a teacher. Noon ...


A Washington Post opinion writer suggests that the "300,000 impending teacher layoffs for next year" figure has been skewed by teachers and media pundits alike.


Today the Memphis Daily News is reporting that, during recent visit to Memphis for the National PTA Convention, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the paper the current standardized assessment formats do a poor job of challenging students. "Our [student] tests have to become much less simplistic, much less fill in the bubbles," he said. "We have to stop lying to children. In far too many states around the country, we are lying to children. You tell a child that they are on track to meet an arbitrary benchmark, and in fact they are woefully underprepared. We do them a ...


A prosecutor in Wayne County, Michigan, which includes the city of Detroit, is pressing for jail time or fines for parents who skip parent-teacher conferences.


A teacher blogger uses three examples from a recent standardized test to demonstrate the disconnect between a test's stated objective and what a test actually measures.


Newsweek has released its list of the top high schools in the United States, based on how much a school's staff challenges its students.

With standardized tests gaining increased importance in education policy, experts say teachers have increasingly been helping their students cheat on the tests.


Having weathered some 540 teacher job cuts—with more possibly to come—some educators in Clark County, Nev., are wondering why their district still needs Teach for America, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Why are they still coming here?" asks Justin Brecht, a Las Vegas elementary teacher in his sixth year who is—interestingly enough—a TFA alum himself. "If I find out that a Teacher For America [teacher] was placed in the 5th grade and I lose my job as a 5th grade teacher, I'm thinking, 'How is that OK?'" A local TFA official notes that,...


Hobo Teacher describes the scene at his high school on the last day of school: Everybody is rushing around like the last helicopter is about to leave Saigon....


The National Education Association plans on giving its 2010 Friend of the NEA Award to...Diane Ravitch.


A disgruntled Brooklyn teacher blows the whistle on questionable scoring practices on standardized tests in New York.


I've been having an ongoing conversation with a teacher friend about Race to the Top. Her take is that the competition for school reform "violates the idea of equality": Since not every state has applied for the money, not every state has access to the money. And, my teacher friend has noted, that even of the states who've applied, most won't be selected. (There were only two winners in round one, but there could be anywhere from 10-15 in round two.) In an interesting op-ed in the New York Times late last week, columnist David Brooks, a self-described "moderate conservative," ...


Former (as of a few hours ago) White House correspondent Helen Thomas for Hearst publications was scheduled to be the commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High School, in suburban Maryland, a week from today, but the school has rethought its decision, according to a number of sources, including the Washington Post. Thomas' offensive comments about Israelis, following the country's attack on the Turkish flotilla—"[They] should get the hell out of Palestine." "[They] should go home [to Poland, to Germany, and America, and everywhere else.]"—which she shared with a rabbi caused enough of a stink that not only did...


My colleague over at Education Week, Debra Viadero, wrote about an interesting teacher quality study in her Inside School Research blog today. In "Opportunity at the Top: How America's Best Teachers Could Close the Gaps, Raise the Bar, and Keep Our Nation Great," researchers at Public Impact explored what it would take to boost the number of high-quality teachers in the classroom. The researchers concluded that tripling the number of firings of poor-quality teachers from 2.1 to 6.3 percent would mean, after five years, that 70 percent of students across the nation would still lack access to high-quality ...


Epiphany in Baltimore has become so frustrated with his school that he's having a hard time blogging about it anymore: I'm at a point now where I'm increasingly feeling like I can't write about the issues facing an urban high school teacher in Baltimore City, where it seems more and more like "getting the numbers" is more important than educating the children. I posted some things over the weekend that I took down, just because of fears of repercussions. Incidentally, this is just an impression, but it has occurred to me lately that—outside of edutech area—there seem to ...


What if students were the ones teaching teachers about new technologies to be used in the classroom?


In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, author and educator Mike Rose encourages new teachers to stand fast against the "push to define teaching in technical and managerial terms." He writes: You hear little from the federal Department of Education or the local school board about engaging young people's minds or about teaching as an intellectual journey. You don't often hear about the values that brought you into teaching. They are the mind and heart of the work you will be doing....


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