Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teacher: Step-by-step guide to how ‘reform’ is harming public schools - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

Teacher: Step-by-step guide to how ‘reform’ is harming public schools - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post:


Teacher: Step-by-step guide to how ‘reform’ is harming public schools

This was written by Elizabeth Walters, a proud graduate of Central Columbia High School in Bloomsburg, PA, Smith College, and the teacher-certification program of the University of New Orleans. Walters is a journalist and a teacher at Chalmette High School in St. Bernard Parish, LA. This was originally published in CounterPunch , a provocative political newsletter and website.


How can we improve public education for our children?
The answers to this question — and the perspectives on the current quality of public education in the United States — are as varied and individualized as the 55 million students who attend public school in this country. Recently, legislators in Louisiana, like their counterparts in many other states, have sought to improve their state’s educational climate. They have good reason for doing so — in its annual Kids COUNT ratings, meant to evaluate quality of life for children in each state and based on measurements that include educational indices, the Annie E. Casey Foundation consistently ranks Louisiana as 49th (thank you, Mississippi).
As a public school teacher in Louisiana, I can think of many ways to improve public schools here, and I heard the same sentiments voiced by fellow teachers during a rally outside the Capitol in Baton Rouge as the legislation was being debated on April 4. It seems self-evident that one of the best ways to to improve public education would be to allocate more resources for public schools — to improve technology, to expand professional-development opportunities for teachers, to buy classroom supplies, up-to-date textbooks and all the other materials that come with a good education.
Perhaps one of the best ways to improve public education would be to loosen the strictures that tie student and school evaluations to test preparation and instead to allow teachers to instruct students in the sort of project-based units supported by educational research and the sort 



Top 5 factors to weigh when picking a college (by May 1st deadline)

Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet - 1 day ago
This was* written by Danielle Moss Lee, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. The fund is a supplemental education and youth leadership nonprofit that turns high-potential but underserved New York City public school students into high-achieving college graduates.* Read full article >> [image: Add to Facebook] [image: Add to Twitter] [image: Add to Reddit] [image: Add to StumbleUpon]

Friday the 13th: Things you should know

Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet - 2 days ago
Today is the day for people who suffer from *paraskevidekatriaphobia* to try to keep their cool — but it won’t be easy. Why? The condition is a deep, blinding fear of Friday the 13th. And however irrational the fear may seem, it has some concrete consequences. Read full article >> [image: Add to Facebook] [image: Add to Twitter] [image: Add to Reddit] [image: Add to StumbleUpon]

The newest problem with graduation rates

Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet - 2 days ago
This *was written by Úrsula Casanova, asssociate professor emerita at Arizona State University.* By Ursula Casanova School administrators across the country have been expressing their concern over the federal government’s changes in reporting graduation rates. Starting with the 2010-2011 school year, all high schools have been required to provide data based on the four-year “cohort” rate. In some states this method has already resulted in graduation rates as much as 20% below those formerly reported. Read full article >> [image: Add to Facebook] [image: Add to Twitter] [image: ... more »

What teachers know vs. what education policymakers do — Ravitch

Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet - 3 days ago
*This* * was written by education historian Diane Ravitch for her Bridging Differences blog, which she co-authors with Deborah Meier on the Education Week website. The item was first published on March 6. In their blog, Ravitch and Meier exchange letters about what matters most in education. Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” a critique of the flaws in the modern school reform movement that she just updated.* Read full article >> [image: Add to Facebook] [image: Add to Twitter] [image: Add to... more »

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