The culture war continues to find its way into science classrooms, with the flare-ups moving from evolution to global warming. In Utah, for example, a parent recently objected to an in-class showing of Al Gore's “An Inconvenient Truth,” saying that film’s thesis that human activity is the prime contributor to the earth’s rising temperature is not a scientific fact and should have been countered with opposing views. Utah’s academic standards require high school science teachers to introduce the topic of global warming, but appear to leave a lot of gray area. They don’t require teachers to ...


The increasing trend of cyber-bullying has transcended the playground, according to a study cited by the Christian Science Monitor, as over a quarter of teachers and principals are the subject of mocking blog posts or doctored images. This new brand of bullying tends to be more malicious than normal schoolhouse pranks, and can undercut a teacher’s ability to perform in the classroom. Says one Missouri alderman whose town saw the suicide of a young cyber-bullying victim, "[W]e're starting to look at [bullying] from a whole other angle. People can't just say, 'Sorry, it was a joke,' anymore.’” ...


Recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Education don’t bode well for the financial health of teachers, according to the MiamiHerald.com. Sixteen percent of this country’s K-12 educators, the DOE reports, work at least one other job outside their school. And the presumption is that the percentage is even higher in urban school districts, like Miami-Dade where the cost of living exceeds a teacher’s salary now averaging $43,095 in Florida. Second jobs at restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, and insurance companies are helping teachers meet their shortfall, but are also prompting feelings of shame. Several ...


At first glance, the T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria seems like a shining beacon on a hill. The school cost nearly $100 million to build, equipped every student with a laptop connected to a wireless network, gave teachers LCD projectors for their classrooms to use instead of chalkboards, and increasingly, encouraged the administration to rely on email for interaction with faculty instead of meeting face to face, writes Patrick Welsh, a teacher a the school, in an op-ed published in the Washington Post. But T.C. Williams’ teachers, even the young and computer savvy, have hit the tech ...


Looks can be deceiving, as the old adage goes. When principal Shimon Waronker first showed up at J.H.S. 22 in South Bronx, parents and students alike weren’t quite sure what to make of his long beard, black hat, and yarmulke, characteristics of his faith as a Hasidic Jew. The school boasts a student population that is predominantly black and Hispanic, raising concerns about the potential for culture shock. After graduating from the New York City Leadership Academy, Waronker took on the task of overhauling the school. He instituted a number of controversial changes, such as a school ...


Teachers eager to step into a New York City classroom will now have to submit an essay with their job application, according to the Daily News. This information was revealed at a “contentious” New York City Council hearing on retention and recruitment yesterday. New York school officials say the essay requirement will weed out unqualified applicants by assessing communication and writing skills and give principals more information about prospective teachers. Applicants will have to react to a hypothetical teaching situation and write about their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. The writing requirement for teachers follows on the heels of a new ...


Pressured by a state mandate, the Polk County school district in Florida has devised a new teacher-evaluation system that relies on student course grades, according to a local news site. The change means, by all appearances, that teachers who have better students—or who are just easier graders—would have a greater chance at getting a good review. Critics note that special education teachers and teachers of low-income students, in particular, could be unfairly penalized. “They [teachers] hate it,” said Marianne Capoziello, the local teachers’ union president. “They don’t hate it because they are afraid of performance being assessed; ...


It’s being called the election of our lifetime. On this Super Tuesday, record turn-out is expected at the polls with a cache of delegates at stake for presidential candidates. Around the country, students are being given opportunities to join parents at the polls and vote in mock classroom and online elections. Some teachers are using the moment for civic lessons, others must attend staff development at their closed schools. And according to an ABC Denver affiliate, some parents and teachers were almost faced with a Super Tuesday choice: attend parent-teacher conferences or caucus events. The principal from Denver’s ...


Conventional wisdom once held that the second semester of 12th grade was a period of care-free exuberance, punctuated by long lunch breaks and trips to the beach. Times change, however. According to Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, the increasingly competitive college admissions process, abetted by a culture of academic “fear mongering,” has transformed such harmless frivolity into a diagnosable disorder—senioritis. Mathews wants no part of that thinking. Suggesting that learning to mix work and play is as important as any AP test, he encourages educators to give their seniors a break, and tells seniors themselves to get a grip....


Teachers unions and parents in many states have been butting heads for the last several months over the growing popularity of online schools. Commonly known as “virtual schools,” these programs combine the benefits of parent-led home-schooling with state-subsidized instruction by certified teachers. Students download assignments and communicate intermittently with teachers on the internet or over the phone, but their day-to-day reading, arithmetic, and other work is supervised and directed by their parents. The approach enjoys its most enthusiastic support in geographically dispersed rural areas, because students can enroll in classes that their local schools might not have the resources to ...


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