March 2010 Archives

A new reality TV show has British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver landing at an elementary school in America's "unhealthiest city" to help the students clean up their act.


A science teacher in the U.K. faked his own death on his school's playground for a science project, but not all student witnesses were in the know.


In the midst of a bracket-busting first weekend of the NCAA tournament, one autistic 17-year-old still has a perfect bracket going.


A recent study led by an MIT professor reveals troubling statistics for students who copy a large percentage of their homework from their peers.


The debate over the Texas Board of Education's adoption of new social studies guidelines has kicked up a flurry of coverage in the national media--most of it not very positive.


While 48 states and President Obama's administration are backing a recent draft of common standards for public schools, the Texas Board of Education has opted for a more conservative-leaning route in their standards discussions.


Note to readers: We were blogging from WNET's Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference in New York this weekend. Among the highlights: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talked teacher job security and vowed to "fix" NCLB; Yale University professor Mark Brackett highlighted the role of emotional literacy in effective classroom instruction; Nancie Atwell extolled the power of independent reading and self-expression for middle school students; Bobby McFerrin revealed his reservations about some of the music kids listen to today and provided some CD picks; Jim Simons, founder of Math for America, said we are in the midst of ...


More on the Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference in New York this weekend There were some rumblings in the conference press room that Queen Latifah might not show after all. But rest assured, she appeared as scheduled for the final event on Saturday, donning a conference t-shirt and exhibiting an ease on the ballroom stage matched only by McFerrin. Alas, she didn't sing. Her role was to moderate a "Youth Voices" discussion with six distinguished inner-city high school students. I can't do justice to the range and nuance of the students' observations, some of which were quite shrewd. But ...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference, New York By far the most sobering session I attended at this conference was a conversation between PBS journalist David Brancaccio and Jim Simons, the founder of a teacher-recruitment program called Math for America. Simons is a mathematician who made a fortune as the CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a private investment firm. In his retirement, he told Brancaccio, he has dedicated himself to wrestling with the "issue of why we do so poorly as a nation in high school math." Simons actually thinks the answer to that question is pretty straightforward: "We...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference, New York. Nancy Flanagan will probably be disappointed in me but I was only able to catch the tail end of Bobby McFerrin's session here, though I did get to see him do a brilliant 3-minute rendition of all of the Wizard of Oz. Let's see Arne Duncan or Linda Darling Hammond top that. ... Before that, during the Q&A session, someone asked McFerrin what he thinks the music that today's young people listen to tells us about our time. His response was surprisingly pessimistic, I thought, given his typically upbeat ...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning, New York I just got back from a talk by Nancie Atwell, a 7th and 8th grade English teacher at nonprofit demonstration school in Maine and author of The Reading Zone, among other books. Atwell told the story of a former student of hers named Mike, an 8th grader who'd been transplanted to her school from California (apparently after a divorce) and who had severe ADHD. When Mike arrived in Atwell's class, he had very little interest in reading and writing--indeed had indicated on a start-of-the year survey that he was a "bad"...


Live from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference, New York. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Celebration of Teaching and Learning, I want to give some quick background. It's a really very impressive conference put on every year by WNET, the PBS affiliate in New York. There are some 8500 people in attendance, about 65 percent of whom are teachers. Most of the attendees are from the New York area, but I'm told there are folks here from all over the country and beyond. The conference organizers take great pride in the electicism and breadth of ...


Live from WNET's Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference, New York Speaking before hundreds of K-12 educators gathered this afternoon at the Celebration of Teaching and Learning conference in New York, U.S. Secretary of Arne Duncan addressed a range of hot-button school issues, including teacher job security and possible changes to NCLB. Duncan said with some pride that federal stimulus money saved as many as 300,000 teaching jobs in the past year, but he acknowledged that cutbacks still loom in many school districts. "I worry a lot about this next school year," he said. "Layoffs are no good ...


A primary school teacher in Colombia, South America, has been spending his free time on his "biblioburro"--a mobile library of 120 books on a donkey--to help fight illiteracy in rural areas of his country.


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