New Teacher Evaluation Models for New Millennium... →
Article on teacher evaluation by Bill Ferriter at The Tempered Radical. These are actual teachers responding to the call for teacher evaluation reform. As Mr. Ferriter notes, at least we have people who know what they are talking about. Take a look and let me know what you think. What is good and what is, perhaps, not so good about these proposals?
Scary Times for Public Education
Just finished reading an article on the super wealthy and the religious Right and their conspiracy to destroy public education in the USA. My colleagues and I have been discussing this for the last couple of years, and our fears seem to be coming to reality as the new Republican majorities in several states have passed legislation to limit collective bargaining rights for public employees, weaken...
After reading My Employer Has Become My Enemy, I was smirking-in a sad way, about the incredible waste of taxpayer, and teacher’s union money as teachers fight mass layoff notices. Take a look at some of the lines of questioning by school district attorneys. Ludicrous, but sad.
Arne Duncan Appreciates Teachers - Right! →
From the blog assortedstuff comes a great post that says what I’ve been thinking as I read letters, first from Arne Duncan, then from Michelle Rhee, supporting the teaching profession. Both of these people have visions for education that are destructive and anti-democratic. First, there has been a call to reform education, to move it into the 21st century. I don’t have a problem with...
An Administrative View Of Merit Pay →
Merit pay has been tried and it does not work. That is a very brief synopsis of a good article from the NASSP blog, The Principal Difference. Pay teachers a good salary, give them decent working conditions and make them feel like contributing professionals. That is the bottom line in this article. There are no references to skewed studies that show great teachers will flourish with class sizes of...
The Truth About Teacher Salaries →
I his usual, eloquent way, Bill Ferriter expounds on teacher salaries and the pundits who deny teachers should receive a decent wage. Of course, as I log into Tumbler and scan my Dashboard, I see a post by World-Shaker announcing Ohio will become the first state to mandate merit pay for all teachers. As an Ohio teacher, it is hard to contain my pride (dripping sarcasm) for my home state. Over the...
16 Variables That Impact Student Achievement →
Teachers have control over only six of the sixteen variables. Perhaps, as Thomas Hurst contends, we should give teachers more control over their teaching environments. I really like the idea of reciprocal accountability which is talked about in this article. When a teacher is to be held accountable for something, the school/district is to be held responsible for providing the necessary support and...
Arne Duncan, the status quo... →
“What keeps me up at night is the historic lack of urgency, the acceptance of the status quo. We need to change. Anyone who is defending the status quo is part of the problem.” Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education I read quotes like this and cringe. Once again I want to know what the status quo really is. Is it poverty and run-down schools in urban areas? Is it rural schools with graduating...
10 Truths About Education in America →
educationpolicy: By the great Alfie Kohn Hey, Arne Duncan, President Obama, and Bill Gates - are you listening! High stakes testing and privatizing schools is not going to save (let alone help) education in America.
The Race To Self Destruction... →
Yong Zhao of Michigan State tells of the potential harm that may come from putting all your eggs in one basket, in this case high-stakes testing. Citing the story of the destruction of the civilization that once inhabited Easter Island (and built the large statues there) Dr. Zhao draws a link between reliance on test scores to judge a student’s future productive ability and the Easter...
Why the US Is Destroying Its Education System →
“Imagine going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job.” A teacher in NYC who wished to remain nameless. I read this article and nodded...
Diane Ravitch Speaks Out
“It was not local teachers and principals and school board members who decided that states should increase the number of privately managed charter schools. The big foundations made that decision. It was not teachers and administrators who demanded merit pay, but business leaders. It was not educators who demanded that teachers should be evaluated by student test scores, but economists...
Why Have Tenure?
My wife was sitting at the kitchen table this morning and asked me to explain why tenure was necessary for teachers. She had been talking with a friend who who felt tenure protected incompetent teachers and was unnecessary. After all, what other jobs had tenure? I took a deep breath and explained to her that teaching is unique. I told her tenure is really about due process. I then proceeded to...
Teachers Are Beginning To Speak Out →
The teacher-bashing has taken its toll. Now teachers are beginning to speak out with articulate writing which is powerful and to the point. Peggy Robertson is the latest to do so in an open letter to “President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and The Billionaires’ Club.” Ms. Robertson points out the problems of poverty, the weaknesses of high-stakes testing, and the...
Proposed Ohio Plan Would Let Parents Overhaul... →
Another attack on public education in Ohio! Here’s the problem; rank in the bottom 5% for three consecutive years and parents could force a reconstitution of the school, including: • Converting into a charter school. • Replacing at least 70 percent of the staff. • Contracting with another school district, an effective nonprofit group or a for-profit group to operate the school. • Turning...
I'm Sorry I'm A Teacher →
This is a powerful letter written by a hall-of-fame teacher with 45 years of experience.
A Sad Day For Ohio
The Ohio legislature has passed the bill limiting public employees’ collective bargaining rights. It’s another sad day for Ohio, in what seems to be a parade of sad days for this once great state. Cleveland is dying, the new governor is slashing state spending to balance the budget. Money from the federal government for high speed rail service has been refused. The list goes on and...
The Bi-Polar Nature Of The Debate Over Teacher Pay
My local Sunday paper was loaded with commentary on teachers and schools; what is wrong with them and how to “fix” them. I find it humorous in an ironic way that there are articles saying we need to pay teachers more and attract the “best and brightest” to the profession, and other articles saying teachers are paid too much and enjoy “cadillac” benefits. My...
Dr. Jong Zhao - Educators Should Know Him →
Last summer I read Jong Zaho’s book, Catching Up Or Leading The Way. Right away it grabbed me and meshed with my feeling on the reform movement in education. His survey of “reform,” going back to Sputnik, and weaving up through A Nation At Risk, No Child Left Behind, and Race To The Top, is a devastating look at the politicization of education at the expense of public schools and...
Degrees and Dollars from Paul Krugman and the NY... →
“So if we want a society of broadly shared prosperity, education isn’t the answer — we’ll have to go about building that society directly. We need to restore the bargaining power that labor has lost over the last 30 years, so that ordinary workers as well as superstars have the power to bargain for good wages. We need to guarantee the essentials, above all health care, to every...