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September 15, 2011

State Interventions Can Help Create Inclusive Schools

"While the intersections of social class, race, gender, sexuality, and religion vary for each person, their existence and importance within our culture are, for those who do not share membership in the dominant groups, social facts with social consequences" (Sears, 1991, p. 55). School codes of ...

September 13, 2011

Will New Rules Curb High Stakes Cheating?

Recently there have been a few high profile cheating scandals in Atlanta and Philadelphia. The school systems blamed their behavior on school leaders who created a culture of fear all in an effort to make sure their school system would not remain on a "failing" list. These recent stories about che...

September 11, 2011

State Assessments: The Only Data That Matters

Schools are working very hard on establishing data points for students to follow their progress during their school years. We research formative and summative assessments and look into what tools other school districts are using so we can try get a better understanding of our students. However, it s...

September 10, 2011

The Little Chapel That Stood: Remembering 9/11

Around the Chapel, Of Old St. Paul, Blow the dancing leaves Of the coming Fall. In the morning breeze They leap and fly Beneath the towers That scrape the sky (The Little Chapel That Stood, 2003). The summer is a great time to reflect on past, present and future practices as we sit in ou...

September 06, 2011

Creating an Inclusive School Culture

Officials need not endorse any particular student organization, but federal law requires that they afford all student groups the same opportunities to form, to convene on school grounds, and to have access to the same resources available to other student groups (Duncan, 2011, p.2).* Some schools c...

September 03, 2011

Impressive Empathy: An Interview with Michael Fullan

"One of the biggest barriers to improvement in school systems is the presence of punitive accountability. If you fail you will be put on a watch list. We have already seen that punishment (and even its opposite, reward) can never lead to intrinsic motivation to put in effort to solve a problem and...

August 31, 2011

Conflict Resolution for Adults and Students

"When it comes to deep divisions, resolution and empathy must be combined if change is to occur (Fullan, 2011, p.50)." Recently, I had a conversation with internationally known educational leadership expert Dr. Michael Fullan. Dr. Fullan has a new book entitled Change Leader, and our conversation f...

August 30, 2011

A Picture Walk Through Gender Differences

When I taught first grade, I introduced a new book to my students during calendar time. The book was entitled First Snow by Caldecott Award Winner Emily Arnold McCully. It's a wordless picture book that I had never used before but I loved the illustrations. Pauline, the school librarian suggested I ...

August 28, 2011

Building a Creative Classroom Environment

"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin As our new school year approaches, I inspect the building to make sure everything looks fresh and clean for our students and teachers. My custodians, Maggie, Mary and Garry, work hard during the ...

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The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt's Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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