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Apples & Oranges: Why This Year's State Test Was a Waste of Students' Time


Last week a group of CTQ-Colorado teachers attended and offered comments at the State Board of Education meeting. The following post is a written version of my remarks. While the board passed a symbolic resolution (in a 4-3 partyline vote) to withdraw from PARCC, one state board member boldy and publicly supported the standards and advocated for the aligned system our students deserve. If we must insist on a standardized test, I want the best one for my students. Core advocates (and skeptics!) -- I hope you'll park your thoughts on PARCC (& Smarter Balanced) here. 


Speak Less, Act Right


The first time I read these words by a Holocaust survivor, they haunted me. “My eyes saw what no person should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. So I am suspicious of education. My request is: Help your children become human.” To fulfill that request, our actions matter far more than our words.


Advice to Myself as a New Teacher


Dear Mr. Barnwell (version 2004),


Chào mừng bạn đến Quốc Hoa Kỳ (Welcome to the United States)


Opening up my e-mail and sipping on my third coffee of the morning, I read the following message:

“Hello teachers.  Please welcome a new 10th grader, Ngoc Trinh, coming to us from Vietnam. We will have to do our best to support this student with her limited English skills.”

“Uh oh…” was my first thought. 


Simple Truth: Hashtags Can Save You Time


If there was ONE thing that I'd want every practicing educator to know about learning in social spaces it would be that no matter what field you are working in, there are TONS of folks who are sharing resources t


Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?


Hypothetically speaking, let's say a subset of all teachers decided to go against their district's wishes, teaching their curriculum according to a mix of research and expertise, but masking it under the name of the latest district buzzword. Would you blame them for not outright fighting against their administration's wishes or congratulate them for "owning" their profession?

Of course, that's a trick question because it largely depends on your lens.

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John Holland

March 17, 2014

9 Takeaways of an NBCT from the Teaching and Learning 2014 Conference


Nine years ago, I attended the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards conference in Washington, D.C. It was the most important thing I have ever done, after becoming an NBCT, for my professional soul.

I just got back from this year’s conference, and it was awesome. It was the conference I hoped to attend nine years ago. Here are my nine takeaways from the 2014 Teaching & Learning Conference.

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Bill Ferriter

March 13, 2014

Is Stocking Library Shelves with Nonfiction Content a Waste of Money?


I've been thinking a lot about the school library this week and I've come to a conclusion that might just be half-baked and is definitely going to rile more than a few book lovers up:  The cash that schools spend stocking nonfiction titles in the library is wasted and would be better spent on classroom devices that can be used to access the web.

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Renee Moore

March 11, 2014

NCLB-Style Accountability---Coming to a College Campus Near You!

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Increasingly, Regional Accreditation Agencies are requiring colleges to show evidence of student learning outcomes as part of their re-accreditation process.  While much of this is common knowledge and practice to elementary and secondary teachers, the language of accountability is relatively foreign to many colleagues in the post-secondary world.

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Ariel Sacks

March 9, 2014

Teacherpreneurs Panel and How We Benefit Students


On the Teacherpreneurs Panel this week at the Ford Foundation, I found myself in the unusual situation of speaking publicly about the intricacies of engaging in a range of leadership work in education while teaching full time. Normally I’m talking to people who know me in one capacity or another—as a teacher, a teacher leader, teacher-blogger, author, or workshop presenter—but being asked about the connections between all of these things was unique. 

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