Saturday, August 30, 2014

All Week @ The Answer Sheet 8-30-14

The Answer Sheet:

All Week @ The Answer Sheet

Can a $1 million global teacher competition (backed by Bill Clinton) boost the profession?
There’s no question that many teachers feel demoralized amid a punitive school “reform” movement and that their profession could use a boost, but is a $1 million global competition for a single “exceptional” teacher really the way to go about doing that? The $1 million Varkey GEMS Foundation Global Teacher Prize contest is underway, with Oct. […]

‘Shut your lips and stand in line’ — what no kid should hear on the first day of school
Veteran educator Matt Fiteny is the social studies education manager at the non-profit Center for Inspired Teaching in Washington D.C., which trains educators at all stages of their careers to improve their ability to raise student achievement. He worked for 12 years as a teacher, teacher-leader and administrator. This is a short post about an […]

State education board slams Obama administration’s testing policies
Vermont’s Board of Education recently passed a resolution on assessment and accountability in public education (see full text below) that slams some of the Obama administration’s key school reform policies. Adding its voice to the growing chorus of critics who have called on the Education Department to reduce its focus on using standardized testing as […]
Does ‘restorative justice’ in campus sexual assault cases make sense?
Meg Mott, a professor of political theory at Marlboro College in Vermont, recent wrote a post published on this blog about how  many colleges are mishandling cases of sexual assault on campus. The issue has been getting attention, with with a bipartisan group of senators recently introducting legislation in Congress that would force school officials […]
‘We have a message for you, Secretary Arne Duncan’
Earlier this year, Washington became the first state to lose its waiver from the most onerous parts of No Child Left Behind, flexibility that the U.S. Education Department had granted to a number of states that promised to implement specific school reforms acceptable to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The reason given by the department was […]

AUG 28

Assistant principal who secretly changed son’s grades gets $7,000 fine
Teachers can lose their jobs if their students don’t do well enough on standardized tests. An assistant principal in New York City who secretly changed 11 of his own son’s test scores and class grades received a $7,000 fine but still remains employed by the Education Department. The New York Daily News explains in this […]
Florida county opts out of all state-mandated testing in ‘act of civil disobedience’
Florida’s Lee County became  on Wednesday night the first school district in the state to vote to opt out of all state-mandated testing, including exams that are being designed to assess student knowledge of new state standards based on the Common Core. The Board of Education voted 3 to 2 in favor of opting out […]

AUG 27

The quote that reveals how at least one corporate school reformer really views students
For years now, the U.S. public educational system has been the guinea pig for what many call “corporate education reform.” What is it? It is both a mindset and  a group of specific measures foisted on school districts, including standardized test-based “accountability” systems, the spread of charter schools and vouchers, and the overall privatization of […]
What new Common Core test scores really show
New York officials recently released the results of the state’s 2014 Common Core State Standards-aligned exams. In this post information award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School  in the Rockville Centre School District, explains what they mean. Burris has been writing about problems with the controversial school reform efforts in her state for […]

AUG 26

Too much tech? An argument for keeping schools low-tech
It almost seems verbotin to suggest that high technology doesn’t belong in the classroom. But in this post, author  Annie Murphy Paul does just that. Paul is a contributing writer  for Time magazine, writes a weekly column about learning for, blogs about learning for a number of websites and contributes to various publications.  She […]
School district bans classroom discussion on Michael Brown, Ferguson
The superintendent of a school district in Illinois has issued a directive banning any discussion in classrooms of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen killed Aug. 9 by a white police officer, or the civil unrest that followed in Ferguson, Mo. KMOX-TV reports that Superintendent Ed Hightower of Edwardsville District 7 Schools made the decision […]
The problem with the ‘problem with tenure’ for teachers
Attacking tenure and job protections has become the rage in school reform circles. In recent years some states have either eliminated tenure or cut back on teacher job protections by legislative means, and the courts have become a new battleground since a California judge last month declared unconstitutional state statutes that give job protections to […]

AUG 25

‘Is it winter break yet?’ and other first-day-of-school tweets
#FirstDayOfSchoolThoughts don’t walk into the wrong classroom — Jeffrey (@Superiorly_J) August 25, 2014 It’s raining on the first day of class. Better stay home. #FirstDayOfSchoolThoughts — Dylan Rockafellow (@D_Rockafellow) August 25, 2014 Nothing says you’re a freshman more than wearing your Class of 2018 shirt #FirstDayOfSchoolThoughts — JusMitch (@Mitchelldeyong) August 25, 2014 #FirstDayOfSch
Superintendent tells parents what matters most — and it’s not Common Core
Here’s a rather unusual back-to-school letter. It was written by Superintendent Mark R. Cross to the parents of students attending Peru Elementary School District 124, which serves the community of Peru in north-central Illinois with three schools: Northview Elementary School (grades PreK – 1), Washington Elementary School (grades 2 – 4), and Parkside Middle School […]
U.S. doctors urge later school start times for teens
The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a new policy statement recommending that middle and high schools start class no earlier than 8:30 a.m. because adolescents have unique sleep rhythms that make it harder for them to go to sleep and wake up earlier than other people, and that sleep deprivation can affect academic achievement […]
A school system’s stunning standardized test schedule for 2014-15
Classes for the 2014-15 year began for students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest district in the country, on Monday, Aug. 18.  And so did student standardized testing. Yes, it’s time not only for class but also for a new slew of standardized tests in Miami and everywhere else in the country — […]

AUG 24

Next: #PayMyTuitionChallenge
There is no end to the ingenuity of Twitter users. After the success of the  #IceBucketChallenge on Twitter to raise awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord), some enterprising young people decided to challenge people, generally people they don’t know, to pay […]

AUG 23

Are the Success Academies really so successful?
There was a big to-do recently in New York when new standardized testing results were released and the controversial Success Academies charter chain received very high scores. What, exactly, do the scores really tell us about the schools? Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Washington D.C.-based Albert Shanker Institute, explains. This post appeared […]
Back-to-school stress: How to recognize it and help kids manage it
  Yes, kids get super-stressed, too, but it isn’t always easy to tell what is bothering them because they hide symptoms or explain them in vague ways. As the 2014-15 school year gears up, it’s a good time to learn how to identify stress in children and teens and help them manage it. Here are […]
Every school should have this classroom door
29 awesome #classroom doors for #backtoschool #elemchat #edchat — WeAreTeachers (@WeAreTeachers) August 22, 2014