School Reform: Replace the Coaches – Not the Team

No education reform article I’ve ever read accurately identified the two real stumbling blocks to improving our K-12 school system.  The reason is because almost all of them are written by school administrators and not teachers.

Our schools are melting …

How Do We Really Begin To Leave No Child Behind?

A politician running for office was recently asked how she would make sure that all parents are involved in their children’s education.  While she admitted parental involvement is a huge factor in one’s educational success, she also admitted she had …

Sara Ferguson: “I Represented All Teachers”

Sara Ferguson, a teacher from Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania, was a special guest at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address Tuesday.

She says:

I’m a runner, and before every race I write students’ names on …

Get students thinking critically about bullying – through comics

Bullying prevention has been generating lots of discussion lately, but one group that we don’t hear from enough is kids. It would be nice if we could ‘solve’ the problem for them, but top-down directives and zero tolerance policies alone …

Test Scores, Test Scores, Almighty Test Scores

A while back I wrote a blog proposing that teachers finally give in and use nothing but test scores to evaluate teachers.  Since that time I’ve been doing some thinking, and I decided why stop there?  Standardized tests should …

Manufactured Controversies: How Non-Educator “Education Experts” Twist the Truth

There are times, as a teacher of biology, when I suffer what I call “math envy.”  See, none of my math teacher colleagues ever have to defend the fact that 2 + 2 = 4.  This is a well-established fact; …

Bullying Is a Social Justice Issue

We are now hearing reports that Hispanic schoolchildren in Alabama face bullying in the wake of that state’s anti-immigrant law.

A 12-year girl who is a citizen and whose father is from Puerto Rico is called a “damn Mexican” by …

Bullying Prevention: School Support Staff Are Essential

Where do you think most student bullying takes place?  While some bullying occurs in the classroom, the most common places are on the school bus, in the hallways, in the stairwells, in the lunchroom, and on the playground.

What do …

Education Budget Cuts in Florida

Cents and Sensibility… Inside Florida Education

We’ve all heard this expression numerous times this year,“We must tighten our belts” with regards to education. Whose belts are we tightening in the education arena anyways?

Or, did they mean a noose …

A Bullying Myth: Is it Bullying or Character Building?

Bullying is vexing.  Bullying creates anxiety and fear, causes students to avoid coming to school, and affects their ability to learn.  We know too well that it can also lead to despair and students’ taking their own lives

But, we …

AM News: Duncan Criticizes Jindal, CA Predicts Spring Testing Success

Duncan criticizes Jindal The Times-Picayune: Jindal announced late last month that he would sue Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education directly over the Common Core academic standards. The lawsuit followed an initial loss for the governor in state court over the use of …

This Week In Education

Different paths to teaching, different outcomes for students?

Take a quick look at this figure that Gary Henry and coauthors published this summer in Education Finance and Policy. Each line describes the distribution of teacher effectiveness in teaching elementary school math in North Carolina. There’s a different …

Profit of Education

Common Core calls for kids to read books that ‘frustrate’ them. Is that a good idea?

This post is connected to two recent pieces I published about the Common Core State Standards. This post is a transcript of a debate on the Core that was recently held in New York; arguing for the Core were Carmel…

Answer Sheet

Common Core calls for kids to read books that ‘frustrate’ them. Is that a good idea?

This post is connected to two recent pieces I published about the Common Core State Standards. This post is a transcript of a debate on the Core that was recently held in New York; arguing for the Core were Carmel…

Answer Sheet

Go Home

I came across this article by Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard… because I happened to be trolling around right wing sites and thought he had a provocative, interesting idea. I also found a site that castigated Progressives for Palin

A New Jersey Farmer Blog: Where Democracy Lives

Learning That Matters

The other day I posted the following statement on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, "When was the last time any of us had to take a standardized test in our careers? Answer = never. So why is this done to kids …

A Principal's Reflections

40

A number with meaning today. It was a Saturday then, today it is a Sunday. It was late afternoon, September 21, 1974.   I was at the Bryn Mawr train station, heading into Philadelphia for a friend's party. I knew …

teacherken

A request in the form of a very different diary

I often devote a diary to the writing of another person because I think it worthy of the attention of this community.  In doing so, to entice the reader I offer quotes. Only once before have I done so without …

teacherken

Evening Saturday morning reflection on teaching

Yes I know my title is somewhat contradictory, but I had too much else that had to be done this morning in order to draft one of my periodic reflections upon what it means to be a teacher, so I …

teacherken

What’s the Matter With Music Students Today?

MI journalist Tim Skubick blasts weak-sister school music teachers who reject competition, suggesting that public ranking of ability is a fine old academic tradition, grumbling like your cranky old neighbor about giving every little Tom, Dick and Harriet an undeserved…

Teacher in a Strange Land