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March 30, 2012

Ellen Holmes: NEA's Priority Schools Focus on Teacher Expertise, Parent and Community Involvement

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This week I have been looking at the issue of Turnarounds and the Department of Education's School Improvement Grants, drawing from a conference I attended sponsored by the Education Writers Association. One of the speakers there was a former teacher named Ellen ...

March 29, 2012

Flipping the Script on Turnarounds: Why not Retain Teachers instead of Reject Them?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody At the Education Writers Association conference on School Improvement last Saturday, I was a bit of a contrarian. Many speakers suggested we need to "break the culture" at failing schools. A number suggested that the reason federal policies were not working was ...

March 27, 2012

Spinning the Numbers on Turnarounds: School Improvement Grant Controversy Brews

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody It has been said that "numbers tell the tale." But at the Education Writers Association forum on School Improvement Grants in Chicago Saturday, I saw the same numbers being used to tell some very different stories -- raising serious questions about efforts to i...

March 22, 2012

Teachers and Parents Prepare to Occupy the Department of Education

Last summer many of us marched to protest the US Department of Education's policies at the Save Our Schools march in Washington, DC. While there, I met two activists, Pennsylvania parent Tim Slekar and Florida teacher Ceresta Smith. They are now working to organize an "occupation" of the Department ...

March 18, 2012

A Million Teachers Prepare to March Out the Classroom Door

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The Metlife survey of American teachers has been much discussed in recent weeks. The biggest red flag I see waving here is the 70% increase, over the past two years, in the number of teachers who are likely to leave the profession in the next five years (from 17...

March 13, 2012

John Thompson: New York Reformers Show Their True Colors

Guest post by John Thompson. If nothing else, the controversy over publicizing New York City teachers' value-added scores has revealed the essence of test-driven school "reform." The contemporary data-driven accountability experiment was begun by idealists, who sincerely sought a "civil rights move...

March 10, 2012

Teacher Evaluation: Should we Look at Evidence of Learning?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody In the mistaken belief that test scores are adequate reflections of learning, we have created vast systems to extract test score data, and now are requiring that this data be incorporated in teacher and principal evaluations across the country. Can we return to...

March 09, 2012

VAM gets Slammed: Teacher Evaluation Not A Game of Chance

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Teachers in New York City have been slammed by the publication of VAM ratings for 18,000 of them. But something new is happening this time, and it was not what proponents of the use of these ratings for evaluative purposes intended or wanted. People are actually...

March 08, 2012

Vince Marsala: Politicians are Wrecking Our Schools

Guest post by Vince Marsala. As election season nears, grandstanding Democratic and Republican politicians will discuss the importance of educators and not teaching to a test. Then, with their empty rhetoric still in the air, they will enact laws that base evaluations on test scores, weaken due pr...

March 06, 2012

Jack Hassard: Are Science Standards Taught as if they were Bricks?

Guest Post by Jack Hassard. In the last post we used science education research to show how accountability standards in science education today pose barriers to meaningful learning in science. Today, we extend this theme, and show that the theory of learning underlying the accountability standards...

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