November 2009 Archives

The New York Department of Education awarded $3.5 million worth of teacher bonuses on Thursday to 23 high schools across New York City. Some of the money went to under-performing schools that continually receive poor grades on their school progress reports, according to the New York Times. The teacher bonus program was started in New York City by Chancellor Joel I. Klein, who intends on moving towards performance-based pay, the Times reports. Under the bonus program, schools meeting 100 percent of their targets receive $3,000 per member of the teachers' union. Schools that reach 75 percent of their ...

A Memphis 6th grader returned to her former elementary school a hero last week, after having convinced Hewlett-Packard to donate 67 computers to her alma mater, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. As part of a persuasive writing assignment for her 5th grade class last year, Kristina White wrote to the executive vice president of HP's $42 billion personal systems division, suggesting that HP could generate community support in Memphis by donating computers to her school, Sherwood Elementary. HP responded in spades, donating 67 HP Thin Client computers to the school, along with sufficient electrical conduit to allow the school ...

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation delivered a $40 million offer to the Pittsburgh Public Schools this week to boost teacher effectiveness, reports the According to officials, it is the largest direct grant ever made to the school district. Pittsburgh is one of four "intensive partnership sites" that could soon receive money from the Gates Foundation for their efforts to improve teacher effectiveness. "For us, it's the perfect partnership at the perfect time," said school Superintendent Mark Roosevelt. The district, Roosevelt acknowledged, sees the foundation's support as an endorsement of its initiatives to improve teacher effectiveness and school ...

With online trading communities such as Craigslist and eBay facilitating millions of transactions, teachers have entered the online marketplace with personalized lesson plans in hand, according to a much talked-about story in the New York Times. These "teacher-entrepreneurs" place their own lesson plans for sale online, either on their own blogs or on commercial sites, such as Teachers Pay Teachers or We Are Teachers. (See Teacher Magazine's 2006 profile of Teachers Pay Teachers.) But school administrators have begun raising questions about whether or not teachers have full ownership of the material. "To the extent that school district resources are used, ...

Many struggling students in high schools throughout New Jersey must take test-prep classes in place of electives like music or art, according to The Record

With policies aimed at separating students based on ability flourishing in schools, educators have noticed a correlation between ability-based grouping and the continuation of the minority achievement gap, according to NPR. Schools like Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., which place struggling students in remedial classes, have created an environment where predominantly minority students continue to end up in the lower-level classes, while their white counterparts succeed in higher-level classes. "What you're seeing in suburbia and how it is playing out along racial lines is testimony to the fact that race still matters quite a bit in a society ...

In response to the sickening news of gang rape occurring outside a Calif. high school's homecoming dance, a USC professor is calling attention to role of student tips and reports in efforts to stop school violence. Ron Avi Astor, Ph.D, a professor in USC's Schools of Social Work and Education, writes an opinion piece on that says instead of asking questions such as "Why are our kids so messed up?" and "What's happening in our schools?," we should be asking, "What can we do to prevent such heinous acts from happening?" Astor believes that students themselves hold ...


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