The 30-year-old classrooms without walls experiment might be coming to an end in Maryland, The Baltimore Sun reports. Born out of the progressive cultural shifts of the 1970s, classrooms without walls were part of a movement to rethink the traditional structure of schools and to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. But today the experiment is being looked at as a "failed relic" out of keeping with new academic objectives and mandates. Many teachers and students simply find the open space loud and distracting. Several Maryland counties are advocating an end to the program and are allocating funds for the major ...


More than 2,000 students were bussed to a rally for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on Thursday morning in Defiance, Ohio, according to The Crescent-News. In a letter sent home with students asking for parental permission to attend the rally, Defiance City Schools Superintendent Mike Struble said the rally offered a historic opportunity in a town not known for being in the national spotlight. “Putting party affiliation aside, I believe that this is a once in a lifetime educational opportunity for our students to see a presidential candidate in person,” Struble wrote. “It is a unique occasion to ...


A California ballot measure, Proposition 8, seeks to overturn same-sex marriage in the state, which has been legal since May 15 of this year. The California Teachers Association has donated $1 million to the No on Proposition 8 Campaign to help defeat the initiative, reports the Union Tribune. In a statement on their Web site, the teachers’ union said, “California’s constitution should guarantee the same freedoms and rights to everyone – no one group should be singled out and have their rights taken away.” Not all members of the union are happy with the $1 million donation. California teacher Randy ...


Dallas schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa apologized to 375 teachers for recent layoffs to help offset an $84 million budget deficit, reports The Dallas Morning News. Critics say that the announcement came too late, and to the wrong audience—a group of business, community, and education leaders at an event sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association. Hinojosa told the group that he wanted “to apologize to all the teachers that left and the teachers that stayed. Everyone was affected." Dale Kaiser, president of the NEA-Dallas employees association, said the apology should’ve been delivered directly to the teachers, parents, and students ...


On Oct. 21, edweek.org provided a live Webcast of a debate at Teachers College in New York between the top education advisers to the presidential candidates—Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond for Sen. Barack Obama and former Arizona schools superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan for Sen. John McCain. The event provided one of the most detailed examinations to date of the candidates' education initiatives and philosophies. Perhaps not surpisingly, some of sharpest exchanges centered on issues related to teachers and, more specifically, boosting teacher quality. (Indeed, "teachers" and "teaching," along with "kids," were the most oft-uttered words in the ...


Teacher pay for performance is no longer just a theoretical idea. USA Today reports that at least eight states, and dozens of districts, are experimenting with basing teacher salary increases and bonuses on student test performance. Some districts are using higher wages to attract teachers to hard-to-staff schools and teaching positions. In Chicago, for example, teachers in select schools can earn as much as $8,000 in annual bonuses for improvements in students’ test results; while in Nashville, an incentive of up to $15,000 is being used to target middle school math teachers. More dramatically, teachers in Washington, D.C....


The Community School, a tiny school in Decatur, Ga., with a student body of ten, all of whom have autism spectrum disorder or related disorders, is achieving breakthrough results through use of a relatively new teaching method known as D.I.R./Floortime, according to a recent New York Times Magazine article. D.I.R./Floortime –D.I.R stands for developmental, individual differences, relationship-based approach—was developed by professors of child psychology and behavioral science at George Washington University. The basis of the method is individualized development: Teachers and parents aim to build on an individual student’s interests ...


Faced with the extinction of their language, the Northern Arapaho have opened a language immersion school, reports The New York Times. Only about 200 of the almost 9000-member Wyoming Native American tribe are fluent speakers of their language and none is younger than 55. The Arapaho Language Lodge, now serving 22 students in pre-kindergarten through 1st grade, plans to add classes annually as students graduate. The school's sponsors hope it will help generate interest in Northern Arapaho traditions. The tribe's low fluency is influenced by more than a century of U.S. Native American policy that attempted to “Americanize” native ...


The election can be a touchy subject to broach in the classroom. In Wisconsin, however, teachers are making an effort to discuss the election with their students, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. A recent workshop at the University of Wisconsin exploring how to engage students in healthy political debate drew 180 classroom and student teachers from 30 school districts across the state. David Ross, a government teacher at Madison High School, has his students talking about campaign issues that are not for the faint of heart, including same-sex marriage, abortion, and health care. His students are required to research ...


A Miami-Dade County charter school is reaching out to students in unique ways, from hostage simulations to military-style fitness drills, reports The Miami Herald. Hialeah Educational Academy preps students for careers in law enforcement and fire rescue, one of dozens of public vocational academies cropping up across Florida. “Career academies give students a niche,” said Gene Bottoms, vice president of the Southern Regional Education Board. “They connect them to a group of teachers, to a career focus. It’s very beneficial for the students who have not been able to find a place for themselves in high school.” The students ...


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