Monthly Archives: July 2017

How about pro-teacher teachers unions?

On August 1, Celine Coggins, a former classroom teacher who founded an organization called Teach Plus, will publish a new book about the importance of engaging teachers in policy development. It’s called “How to Be Heard.” I have just begun reading it, and I am hopeful it will drive dialogue about the role teachers, and especially teachers unions, play in… Read more →

A deep dive into a well-heeled suburban CO district, where $1 billion buys a lot of mediocrity

There are not a lot of  folks in the educational advocacy space who have taken on the sacred cow of the suburban school system. Some of it is because there bigger issues to resolve around urban schools, and part of it is because so many parents in well-resourced suburban schools have a vested interested in promoting and protecting the status… Read more →

Our suburban snowflakes aren’t any smarter, they just have higher GPAs

Let’s add this to the mountain of evidence that suggests our nation’s suburban high schools are rewarding mediocrity. A new study by two researchers and reported here by USA Today indicates that teachers are increasingly handing out easy As to high school students who don’t deserve those high grades — and are learning less than they were two decades ago. The… Read more →

Still a skeptic: Schooling Sec. DeVos on teacher retention and Black educators’ ‘invisible tax’

A former North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford recently joined a small group of accomplished educators to meet with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and talk about teacher retention. An education activist and nonprofit program director, Ford has been a frequent critic of the administration and DeVos’ appointment. He writes here about his experience here at the meeting. As I arrived at… Read more →

Top Ten: What teachers do that drive students crazy

We’re in the heart of summer, a time when teachers are knee deep in professional training and contemplating how to improve their practice for a new school year. One piece of homework I’d love to assign is an eminently practical list of tips offered by a teacher writing for the Center for Teaching Quality called “Five Things Teachers Do That… Read more →

How rural schools can inspire students to value their small towns–not just flee them

This is an interview with Gary Funk, the founding Director of Rural Schools Collaborative, based in Cambridge, Wisconsin. The interview was conducted by Ryan Fowler of TNTP. A longer version of this post appeared on the TNTP blog.  Q: Can you talk about your background in rural education, and how you got involved with Rural Schools Collaborative? A: I began as an elementary school… Read more →

As I leave my suburban school, lessons I’ve learned on what makes or breaks a principal

So many say that the principalship is the hardest job in education…and I couldn’t agree more. Being the inspiration, visionary, coach, sounding board, disciplinarian, advocate, negotiator, face and voice of the school is a tall order. I have left out so many other technical aspects of the job like building management, finances, marketing, recruitment, Human Resources, and local politics. And… Read more →

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