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So far michele has created 45 blog entries.

Student discipline: The shame of shaming

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A review of policy documents from nine leading charter management organizations reveals support for disciplinary practices that entail the shaming of students. By Joan F. Goodman  The ancient practice of shaming in school — remember dunce caps? — has recently resurfaced in the press. According to the New York Times, students who owe money to [...]

The big picture: How many people influence a student’s life? 

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Schools must connect the strands across dozens of teachers, thousands of lessons, and 15,000 hours of schooling to ensure that each student leaves as a well-educated, decent human being. By Kim Marshall The graphic below shows a hypothetical student’s journey from kindergarten through 12th grade. In each year, the width of the rectangles represents the [...]

The medium is us

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“We become what we behold  . . . We shape our tools and, afterward, our tools shape us.” — Marshall McLuhan Periodically, I see a query about what person, living or dead, you would most like as a dinner partner. High on my list is Marshall McLuhan. In college, I was captivated by the ideas [...]

Using Advanced Placement as a lever for social justice

col - Starr|

Encouraging and allowing students to enroll in rigorous courses is a critical first step in providing more equity in high schools.  The former school superintendent of Hartford, Conn., Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, once told me that “the public education system is the great sorting mechanism for American society.” I use that line often, as it succinctly conveys [...]

The privacy of a student’s backpack

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  Does a student have a reasonable expectation of privacy when he leaves a backpack behind? Is the school behaving reasonably when personnel open an unattended backpack? School personnel must often balance a student’s right to privacy with a school’s interest in protecting all students. A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court brings to [...]

Could American support for public education be slipping?

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According to this year’s PDK poll, many parents would be willing to abandon public schools if a voucher were dangled before them. Is this really a shift in public opinion or just a reflection of what might be best for their own child? Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to participate in an international [...]

For teachers, a better kind of pension plan

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Public school teachers deserve a compensation system that puts them on a secure path toward retirement. Right now, that’s not what they have. By Marcus A. Winters Teachers unions often defend defined benefit (DB) retirement plans on the grounds that they ensure retirement security. For teachers, it might be comforting to know that upon retirement [...]

The distracted student mind — enhancing its focus and attention


Due to the constant temptation to check their smartphones, today’s students are spending less time focused on their schoolwork, taking longer to complete assignments, and feeling more stressed in the process. Just how big of a problem is digital distraction, and how can educators respond? By Larry D. Rosen For more than three decades, I’ve [...]

Teacher wonders if she should give in to double standard

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a female high school history teacher, and I’ll freely admit that I’m demanding. I don’t let my students dial it in, whether it’s a class discussion, an essay prompt, or an exam question. I insist on rigorous analysis and critical thinking. I don’t inflate grades, and I don’t give extensions without good reason. I [...]

Moving readers from struggling to proficient 

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Changing teacher practices can help children build new relationships with books and improve their reading ability. By Deborah Wolter Too often, when children struggle to read, educators assume the problem lies within the children themselves. But, in fact, decades of research have shown that whatever children’s innate skills, strengths, and abilities may be, what really [...]

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