Archive for the ‘Educational Reform’ Category

  • Tennessee Education’s Perception Problem

    on Jul 9, 14 • in Educational Reform, Policy • with Comments


    My 10th grade girls are all into HUGE purses, the size of backpacks. They can be very distracting as the girls rustle through the bag’s cavernous depths on a quest to find any and all manner of items. This spring I decided to institute what I thought was a fair and simple policy where purses would be placed in designated areas around the room before class began to eliminate this distraction. The outcry was immediate and strong. The girls didn’t see the need for the new system and thought I didn’t understand them. (I’m a non-purse-toting

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  • Let’s Talk School Start-Up–Again

    on Jun 26, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Educational Reform, Featured, From the Front Lines, Instruction&Curriculum, Opinion, Parents • with Comments

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    Ever since I wrote my first piece about starting my own school I receive at least four emails a week asking for more information as to how other individuals can start schools. I never really thought this type of idea would take off, it seems that more and more teachers are reaching the fork in the road and having to decide whether to keep doing something they love by staying in the classroom and just ‘sucking it up’, or taking a huge risk and diving into the adventure of school start-up which may or may

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  • The Post Assessment Doldrums

    on May 29, 14 • in Educational Reform, Instruction&Curriculum, Policy, Social Studies • with Comments


    So the test is taken, now what?  National standardized tests are given all over the country within the same time frame, ending the school year for some regions, New England being an exception. Long winters extend our school year for a few weeks which provides the extra challenge of keeping staff and students motivated after the AP, IB and NECAP assessments. I wish I could say that our school has a unique, organized, master plan of helping students finish on a high note but we do not. Instead we fill the remaining weeks with a few

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  • Why Our Nation Needs Student Growth Measures

    on May 12, 14 • in Educational Reform, Featured • with Comments


    Mark, one of my former students, was rocking algebra 1.  He had the highest grade in his class and regularly scored 80 percent or higher on his practice End of Course practice tests.  He was on pace to score advanced (the highest score he could make) and in the end, he did! The only thing was that Mark (not his real name) was never supposed to achieve this. At the beginning of the year when I looked at the projected growth data for all my kids, Mark’s chances of achieving advanced were in the single

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  • Asking vs. Training for Common Core

    on May 5, 14 • in Common Core, Educational Reform, Instruction&Curriculum • with Comments

    An ad supporting the Common Core State Standards posted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation featured a Missouri Teacher of the Year, Jamie Manker, saying, “I support the Common Core because it’s asking kids to think.” Manker  is asking kids to think, but what does asking mean? According to the Free Dictionary online, the first example given after defining the verb ask is a little ironic: 1. To put a question to: When we realized that we didn’t know the answer, we asked the teacher. Those who wrote the Common Core State Standards should cringe at this interpretation, an example of students who turn to the teacher for

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