ESSA and rural teachers: New roads to retaining teachers?

Education|

A renewed focus on innovation and flexibility under ESSA could provide a recipe for establishing new ways to recruit, develop, and retain teachers in rural schools. By Douglas Gagnon Of all the unique contexts overlooked by the last decade of education reforms, those of poor, rural communities were particularly underappreciated — perhaps because the dais [...]

To reach girls in classroom, align practices to specific learning needs

Education|

Lessons with hands-on learning, elements of creativity, multimodal projects, and class discussions all worked to stimulate girls’ interest in the classroom. By Charlotte E. Jacobs, Peter J. Kurioff, Shannon H. Andrus, and Amanda B. Cox Boys’ struggles in schools have generated ongoing discussion for more than two decades. Girls continue to outperform boys academically in [...]

All sizzle and no steak: Value-added model doesn’t add value in Houston

Education|

  Houston provides a cautionary lesson for districts making high-stakes decisions with flimsy tools. By Audrey Amrein-Beardsley and Tray Geiger In 2011, the Houston Independent School District terminated 221 teachers because they did not demonstrate, with surefire evidence, that they were contributing enough to student achievement. This happened shortly after a new superintendent came to [...]

Reading in a digital age

Education|

Even millennials acknowledge that whether you read on paper or a digital screen affects your attention on words and the ideas behind them. What are the implications for how we teach? By Naomi S. Baron The digital revolution has done much to reshape how students read, write, and access information in school. Once-handwritten essays are [...]

BACKTALK: Motivating students to turn the page on reading

Education|

Threats and quizzes won’t motivate students to invest in reading, but showing them how it contributes to a meaningful life just might make it click.  By Lauren Porosoff I have an embarrassing confession: I’m a middle school English teacher, but when I was in middle school, I didn’t read a single assigned book. Not one. [...]

Be an effective change agent at your child’s school

Education|

Don’t just get mad. Organize a group of like-minded people, focus on the problem, and put forward workable solutions. By Sarah M. Stitzlein Being engaged in education change is inherently a political process involving a struggle over the distribution of resources and power, which are at the heart of school improvement. Good parent political dissent [...]

Research and teacher self-inquiry reawaken learning

Education|

Some of the most useful research and thinking about education can happen with teachers in the classroom. By Megan Blumenreich and Beverly Falk  Teachers learn a lot from their everyday work as teachers. Encouraging teachers to think and act like researchers can build capacities for learning — for both teachers and students — when teachers [...]

Helicopter parents can be a good thing

Education|

Overprotective and overinvolved parents generally get a bad rap, but they can be a teacher’s ally and asset. By Julie Hiltz I work at an elementary school where helicopter parents are as ubiquitous as gold stars and untied shoelaces. There are parents who arrive for Meet the Teacher night an hour early before you’ve gotten [...]

Student discipline: The shame of shaming

Education|

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 [...]

For teachers, a better kind of pension plan

Education|

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 [...]

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