Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

  • Urban Schools for Sale

    on Jan 29, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, Policy • with Comments

    Urban Schools for Sale

    There is a great deal of “education reform” going on in the United States today. In the name of reform the first targets are urban schools and districts. If you are not in one of those districts, you may have no idea of what a dangerous precedent is being set up or how it could someday come to your district. I am going to share with you the tale of a “distressed” school district that is fighting against a takeover by the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania does not have an equitable format for funding public

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  • Drive: Debunking Standardized Tests & Merit Pay In One Book & Video

    on Jan 13, 15 • in Featured, Opinion, Policy • with Comments

    drive

    I’m going to admit – I’ve been a bit flummoxed lately. Perplexed. Bemused. Set back. I tussle with many of life’s questions, but one of the greatest is — How do I help my students achieve more? As a 9-year teacher, I stand in front of the classroom with a wide variety of tools on my belt, but to  that I’m about to retire are the “carrot” and the “stick.” I’m doing this because these seem to be the only two tools used on me, as a public servant and proponent of education and our

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  • Resolutions for a 1:1 iPad Pioneer

    on Jan 12, 15 • in Literacy, Policy, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments

    IS A HABIT

    Just before the December recess a senior stopped me in the hall enthusiastic over his acceptance into college. He impressed upon me sincere gratitude for the letter of recommendation I had written. We exchanged compliments and I was given to reflection on two years we shared in history studies. In the recommendation I had highlighted his impassioned argument and subsequent research into the results of the use of the atomic bomb as evidence of academic excellence. Why had this student, usually overlooked for his average participation, risen to write an essay on par with our most advanced? I recall two factors

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  • The Math Wars

    on Jan 9, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Featured, Policy • with Comments

    Math Wars

    The math wars began in the 1990’s in California. At that time reforms were being made to mathematics curriculum for high school students which focused on moving from concrete instruction to abstract mathematical thinking. Many of the reform programs were being funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the hope that more students would become interested in taking higher level math classes. The reform programs had barely gotten off the ground when backlash began. During this phase of the math wars, the backlash came from several mathematics professors who taught at some of California’s most

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  • 5 Tips for Being a “YOLO TEACHER” in 2015

    on Jan 7, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Policy • with Comments

    YOLO

    When I was a first-year teacher many years ago, I stumbled upon a trick that almost always seemed to work as long as it was done with the “right” group of students: learn and occasionally use (I stress the word occasionally) the expressions, euphemisms, and slang of popular culture. The students find it amusing and, if a teacher is lucky, somewhat endearing. This practice can pay great dividends as long as it is done sparingly while maintaining an unflinching aura of authority and maturity. The latest expression to gain traction in the lingua franca of

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