Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

  • Children Are Not Widgets

    on Apr 16, 14 • in Educational Reform, Opinion, Policy • with Comments

    courtesy teachertreasures.wordpress.com

    In an effort to improve education, many reformers suggest that we use a business approach to evaluate teachers.  To do this they suggest that teachers must be rated based on what they “do” for the children that they teach.  For many, this means judging the quality of a teacher based on the improvements students make on standardized tests in a given school year. Essentially this requires us to look at children as a definable product.  But children are not widgets. Let me explain what a business defines as a widget.  A widget is the placeholder

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  • Math Principles to Actions: An Invitation and a Demand

    on Apr 11, 14 • in Instruction&Curriculum, Mathematics, Opinion • with Comments

    mathematics

    I heard a refreshing voice today. One that silenced the annoying diatribe I have encountered in the past regarding the mathematics dilemma. (Caution: a moment of personal trajectory coming in 3…2…) As an African-American woman, I am twice marginalized by the discipline of mathematics, and yet access to it has catapulted me to levels of privilege that would not have been afforded to me otherwise. So in a way mathematics changed my life experience. For this reason alone I am always driven by the idea of providing students access to rich mathematical experiences; opportunities for

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  • 10 Myths and Facts about Teacher Unions

    on Apr 1, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, From the Front Lines, Opinion • with Comments

    manos-union-color2-1113fg-v-554

    I admit that I sign up for education haters’ email lists, and one thing that seems to be trending is differentiating truths and myths. Most recently in the cross hairs are teachers’ unions. It’s time you heard from someone in the field about some honest truths. Myth 1: Teachers are forced to join unions Fact: Teachers can make the choice to join their union or not. I recently heard a State Senator in Pennsylvania debate me the validity of this myth. Certainly, some states and districts have non-union members pay a Fair Share fee, meaning

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  • The Student Deserving of an “A” (and Other Grading Policies)

    on Apr 1, 14 • in Management, Opinion • with Comments

    Success Failure Buttons Show Successing Or Failing

    When I was in an interview for the job at the school where I now work, one of the questions they asked me was what I thought about the importance of grades.  My answer? Grades are merely a tool. They don’t always represent the heart of a child, or the effort that was put forth or where they will end up in life. Where do you fall on the side of grades?   Are they a measuring stick or an implication? Are they even needed at all? One thing is certain, they can and often are, a source of argument and

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  • Scratching the Wall of a Condemned Cell: Teaching Humanity

    on Mar 31, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Educational Reform, Opinion, Policy • with Comments

    classroompainting

    “Tastes change; truths become clichés; whole art forms disappear. Even the greatest art’s triumph over death is risibly temporary. A novelist might hope for another generation of readers—two or three if lucky—which may feel like a scorning of death; but it’s really just scratching on the wall of the condemned cell. We do it to say: I was here too.” — Julian Barnes, Nothing to be Frightened Of A few years ago I decided to read Julian Barnes’s highly acclaimed book Nothing to be Frightened Of, a collection of learned reflections that I think can

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