Recently in Education reform Category

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November 16, 2011

Chicago Reformation: Q&A with CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard (Part 2)

Urban school districts across America are grappling with how to improve their education quality while also cutting programs to fix their massive budget deficits. In Illinois, the failure to win a $400 million Race to the Top grant exacerbated the problem because well-intentioned but expensive refor...

November 08, 2011

Chicago Reformation: Q&A with CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard (Part 1)

I first met CPS chief Jean-Claude Brizard in August and then wrote the blog post "Ready or Not, Here We Reform." One of my teacher-friends was so upset that I called Brizard "a very smart leader" that he wouldn't read my blog for a month. Controversy is nothing new to Brizard: From his $250,000 sa...

November 02, 2011

Race to Inflate: The Evaluation Conundrum for Teachers of Non-tested Subjects

In honor of my last post which chronicled my personal perils under Chicago's teacher evaluation system, I thought it would be interesting to take a deeper look into the reform measures being considered to replace the current evaluation system. Quantifying quality teaching on a large scale is a comp...

October 26, 2011

A Tale of Two Teacher Evaluations

As one of my opening lessons on science lab safety, I use a scenario of students who create utter mayhem in the lab with glimpses of them also being safe. This anticipatory set is fun to read and students quickly identify things they should never do. By the end of the lesson they have internalized a...

October 05, 2011

Charter School Teacher Dines With Union President

Last night I met Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis at a Teach Plus roundtable discussion and sat right next to her at dinner. Lewis is a fascinating figure, a former high school chemistry teacher whose humorously blunt personality helped catapult her to the union's top spot in 2010. She...

September 28, 2011

Here's Why I Teach, Brian Williams

It was a provocative question: Is the role of a teacher to educate students for college or for the wider world? That was the first question that NBC newsman Brian Williams asked on Sunday at the second annual Education Nation Teacher Town Hall. Now I know that college has become the new high schoo...

August 31, 2011

Dead Child Walking

Some friends from church and I periodically do a community prayer walk, engaging people on the streets to find out what's going on and how we can pray for them. On the evening of August 26, I approached a group of teenagers and asked them how things were going. That's when I met Monique (not her rea...

August 17, 2011

Ready or Not, Here We Reform

On August 11, I had the opportunity to meet with Chicago Public Schools' new CEO Jean-Claude Brizard on his listening tour. Brizard and Dr. Noemi Donoso, his Chief Education Officer, spent more than an hour discussing education reform with me and several classroom teachers selected for the two-year...

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