Gwen Mueller is an IT Professional, #dnd Gamer-girl, #coffee drinker, geek in Secondary Education, editor on tumblr #education, curating #science, and #tech resources to inspire lifelong learning with 1/4 cup of #fun.
The school reform crowd often tells us regular folks that they are willing to have a dialogue with us. I think we should take them up on their offer with one caveat. I have done fairly extensive reading into their ideas as well as about their actions, and something struck me while I was rereading the Broad Foundation’s School Closure Guide (yes, It really exists): it is like an English-speaker reading Voltaire in the original French. It is pointless without a translation dictionary.
What does, for example, “for the children” and “status quo” really mean?
Poverty (noun): The worst curse word ever known to Reformers. Never, never, ever, ever say the word “poverty” out loud. If nobody ever mentions it again, it will magically cease to exist.
It’s not about this new agenda that we have to have or adopt or add on. It’s the recognition that you are already in the presence of genius. Schools should cherish and cultivate the natural passion and curiosity in young children throughout their school careers.
That said, in that sense, it’s a bad study, because they didn’t go to campuses, they didn’t sit in on classes, they didn’t have the participation. They read course catalogs and syllabi. It’s a little bit, Jeff, like going to the doctor for your physical and she says, oh, you don’t have to bother coming into the office. Just walk by my window and I will give you your physical.
I want my students to see that history is not just a jumble of dead facts lying on a page. History is the product of human choice—albeit in conditions that we may not choose. Tragically, the United States consistently chose to side with elites in Vietnam, first French, then Vietnamese, as our government sought to suppress self-determination—perhaps most egregiously in 1954, when the United States conspired to stonewall promised elections and to prop up the dictator Ngo Dinh Diem.
Forty-two years ago this month, Daniel Ellsberg allowed himself to be taken into custody, with no clear outcome in sight. A reporter asked Ellsberg whether he was concerned about the possibility of going to prison. Ellsberg replied: “Wouldn’t you go to prison to help end this war?”
No one expects that kind of integrity from textbook corporations. But educators needn’t confine ourselves to the version of history peddled by giant outfits like Pearson and Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt. Right now, every high school student is learning either to accept or to question the premises that lead our country to wage war around the world.
People. Don’t work for free. The structure in unpaid internships can be goofy and just not ideal as a bullet point on a resume.
I don’t mean to be overly analytical or looking something which isn’t there but Kanye West’s song “New Slave” comes to mind. In this context, I think about buying into the college system and what people try to do to be successful i.e. unpaid jobs as opposed to the vanity and wealth Kanye was talking about.
I would not urge you simply to get off the PlayStation. I would urge you to understand who made the game. I would not urge you to take down your King James poster. I would urge you to think about the business that makes him possible. Perhaps you’d like to be part of that business some day. I would urge you think about what Kendrick is doing in his lyrics, to think about music. Do you know how to read music? Have you learned an instrument? Would that interest you? How about poetry? Have you ever read any? Would you consider trying to write some of your own?
If you’ve been looking for a way to do a better job at resonating with your students or simply want to spend this summertime break figuring out how to be an even better teacher, then this visual guide is for you.
The vast majority of the 1,430 education programs that prepare the nation’s K-12 teachers are mediocre, according to a first-ever ranking that immediately touched off a firestorm.
Released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based advocacy group, the rankings are part of a $5 million project funded by major U.S. foundations. Education secretaries in 21 states have endorsed the report, but some universities and education experts quickly assailed the review as incomplete and inaccurate.
“We know generating explanations leads to better educational outcomes generally. When children explain events, they learn more than when just getting feedback about the accuracy of their predictions,” said Cristine H. Legare, an assistant psychology professor and the director of the Cognition, Culture, and Development Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
The same heavy-handed, top-down policies that forced adoption of the standards require use of the Common Core tests to evaluate educators. This inaccurate and unreliable practice will distort the assessments before they’re even in place and make Common Core implementation part of the assault on the teaching profession instead of a renewal of it. The costs of the tests, which have multiple pieces throughout the year plus the computer platforms needed to administer and score them, will be enormous and will come at the expense of more important things. The plunging scores will be used as an excuse to close more public schools and open more privatized charters and voucher schools, especially in poor communities of color. If, as proposed, the Common Core’s “college and career ready” performance level becomes the standard for high school graduation, it will push more kids out of high school than it will prepare for college.
This is not just cynical speculation. It is a reasonable projection based on the history of the NCLB decade, the dismantling of public education in the nation’s urban centers, and the appalling growth of the inequality and concentrated poverty that remains the central problem in public education.