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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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Dan Brown

March 10, 2011

The best teacher education model nobody talks about: Urban teacher residency


How do we prepare teachers to be good at their jobs and stay in the profession long enough to really make an impact? This is the zillion dollar question.

Alternative certification programs, most prominently represented in the media by Teach For America, recruit altruistic-minded applicants and throw them into the toughest classes with barely a summer of preparation. I was a New York City Teaching Fellow (cohort 6) and the trial by fire model prematurely pushes out a lot of would-be great teachers.

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Bill Ferriter

March 8, 2011

TWIT: Parents really DO notice


You know, I've been bringing a lot of pessimism to the party lately. 

Don't get me wrong:  that's definitely my niche.  Without guys like me, people would think that educators were one big heaping pile of sunshine and candycorn, right?

But I've been SO pessimistic that I've even got myself down!

That's why the following email----which landed in my inbox the other day---meant so much to me:


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Renee Moore

March 4, 2011

What teachers want from ESEA reauthorization—part 3


We want: More emphasis on equitable school funding; rather than increased reliance on competitive grants. 

The need for more public and civic engagement on the front-end of education decisions is long overdue. It is ironic that while some deride poor parents for their seeming lack of concern over their children’s education, the policies which were supposed to ensure and encourage their involvement have been underfunded and unenforced.

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Bill Ferriter

March 3, 2011

New slide: Teachers, chainsaws and the dreaded interactive whiteboard


While I cringe to send any attention to the Tech Learning website after their derogatory jab at educators who question the usefulness of Interactive Whiteboards---apparently anyone who hasn't chugged the Promethean Kool-Aid is nothing more than a "hater" to the Tech Learning editors---I really think everyone needs to read this Gary Stager bit.

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José Luis Vilson

March 2, 2011

Powering the future of education conferences


John, It seems like we’ve become some of the cool kids on the block, with all the conferences we’ve been invited to and the ones we’ll be participating in. This weekend, for instance, I’m lucky to be a part of the TEDxNYED conference, an offshoot of the famed TED conferences. It’s my second year going. [...]

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