Congress’ work on revising the No Child Left Behind Act is going right down to the name, according to The Washington Post, with lawmakers saying they are considering a new title for the law. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House education committee, says the “No Child Left Behind” brand is too closely associated with an unpopular president and, if that weren't enough, is demeaning to schools and teachers. “People find it an incredible insult … that we are deliberately leaving children behind,” he explains. There appears to be no shortage of suggestions for a new name for the legislation. ...


They say diversity is the spice of life—and apparently it’s also the key to greater achievement in the classroom, according to recent studies. Research conducted by professors at the University of Sussex, in London, found that children placed in mixed--ability math classes outperformed those grouped by ability. One four-year study followed 700 U.S. teenagers in three high schools, and examined the results of different math-teaching methods. The approach that gave students a “shared responsibility for each other’s learning” saw significant improvement among both high- and low–achieving students. The mixed grouping also saw improved social skills, ...


What can you learn from zero gravity?What does it feel like to be weightless? The Northrop Grumman Foundation gave teachers from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania the chance to find out. Its new 2007 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program offers the opportunity for teachers to experience simulated gravity. The program hopes to inspire teachers to use technology in the classroom and students to pursue math and science. During the zero gravity experience, teachers completed experiments that they had started in class with their students. (To demonstrate mass and acceleration they tossed M&M’s and each other.) They ...


Men who express physical affection for small children could be accused of being pedophiles. Men who are caring and nurturing are sometimes assumed to be gay. Men cannot make sufficient money as teachers. These perceptions, says a Newsweek.com article, are among the reasons why the number of male teachers is at a 40-year low. Only a quarter of the nation’s teachers are men, and that number drops to just 9 percent in elementary schools, according to the National Education Association. Bart Tittle, a 24-year-old preschool teacher who makes about $25,000 per year, says it would be difficult ...


This just in: Good teaching matters. Indeed, a new study out of Pittsburgh suggests that improving teacher quality across the board may be the surest way to close the racial achievement gap. The study, which looked at Pittsburgh students’ test scores over a two-year period, found that a student’s teacher was a better predictor of his or her performance than race. The scores varied widely depending on the teachers’ ranking, the study says, regardless of students’ race. “These … are not random effects,” said Robert P. Strauss, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who led the study. “In Pittsburgh, the teachers ...


While education-reform organizations typically occupy themselves with high-level policy and research issues, one group in Washington is gaining notice by working directly with the people who actually run the classrooms. The Center for Inspired Teaching, which opened in 1995 as teacher-training service, has recently begun working in partnership with individual schools in the Washington area to help teachers hone their practice. “The most important thing that happens in a school is the quality of instruction,” says founder Aleta Margolis. “If you want to influence that, who do you work with? Of course you work with teachers.” That philosophy is showing ...


For an entire year, Chicago Tribune education reporter Stephanie Banchero and photographer Heather Stone followed an 8th grade class at Sherman School of Excellence, a struggling school on the city’s South Side. The “failed” school was closed in June of 2006 and reopened three months later with an entirely new staff, according to NCLB regulations. Montie Apostolos, an uncompromising veteran with a record of raising reading scores and changing attitudes, was brought in to teach the 8th graders. Among her injunctions to the class: “Don’t blame Ms. Apostolos for your failures. I’m sorry your lives are hard, ...


Are children with mental health illnesses like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder being overtreated? No, according to a recent Washington Post article citing a mental health study that says most children who meet the criteria for ADHD do not receive medicine consistently enough. “There’s a perception that ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated, so we wanted to see if that was true among those who met the disease criteria,” says Tanya Froehlich, a doctor at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and lead author of the study. The study found that more than two million participating children ages eight to 15 met the ...


Nashville’s 75,000 public school students must now adhere to a strict dress code. Collared shirts are mandatory; hoodies and jeans are no longer acceptable. But what about teachers? Nashville parent Rebecca Willocks thinks there’s a double standard. "I saw a teacher’s navel piercing last year and was surprised," she says. "Students can’t get away with that." Nashville’s school board doesn’t think teachers should either. They’ve suggested a teacher dress code, but some, including the union, think it’s excessive. Lisa Soronen, an attorney with the National School Boards Association in Alexandria, Va., ...


Vocation programs in New York public high schools have sharply decreased over the past decade due to a lack of funding and an NCLB-driven curriculum. In 1992, 41 percent of the state’s public high school students completed at least one vocational course, compared with 25 percent last year. “We started raising standards and adding more requirements, and something had to fall off the plate,” Buffalo Schools Superintendent James A. Williams told the Buffalo News. The Buffalo school system has seen a drop of 29 percent enrollment in vocational classes since 1999, forcing local businesses to fill apprentice positions with ...


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