Recent Blog Posts
Let’s start with a simple truth that everyone seems to like to wave in the faces of public school teachers: Our schools are struggling to prepare graduates for the increasingly complex workplaces that they are going to inherit.
As Tony Wagner writes in The Global Achievement Gap, the results of this failure have the potential to be catastrophic:
“In short, our young people are now in direct competition with youth from developing countries for many of what traditionally have been considered our ‘good middle-class white-collar” jobs.
While some of our students are learning skills...
It's been eight years since the interview that got me a job with the Edmonds School District. I have no recollection of what was actually said in that interview. But I wish there was a record of it: What kind of teacher did I say I wanted to be? Did what I expect of myself match who I have become?
I started thinking about this thanks to Bill Ferriter's recent post "Innovation Interview Questions". In it, he argues (with the help of Dyer, Gregersen and Clayton Christensen's book The Innovator's DNA) that people in charge of...
No, the kids are not worse-behaved this year than last. The problem is me.
You see, I have a birth defect that caused the sockets of my hips to be too shallow. As if to make up for this, the balls of my femurs have a lot of extra bone growth. The combination of which has led me to wear down the cartilage in my hips at an alarming rate over the past forty years. While I still had plenty of cartilage left, I didn’t even notice the problem. Now that the cartilage has worn completely down, I’m in pain… a lot of pain… every day.
At first, I hid this from my students. It’s not a part of our curriculum; this isn’t a health class. It’s certainly not on either the state standards or on the state-mandated tests that are used to...
So I don't have a ton of time to write today -- I'm sitting in an airport on the way home from Solution Tree's Authorspeak conference and am about to board a flight home to my family -- but I had to get something off of my chest:
I'm sick of simplistic #edpolicies built around the idea that teachers need cash incentives in order to produce.
The fact of the matter -- as Daniel Pink argued convincingly in his Tuesday morning keynote presentation -- is that the notion that cash incentives work in creative professions like education is nothing short of "American folklore."
We like to believe it, right?
By Meredith Kohl
In this guest post, Meredith Kohl, a former teacher and current CTQ policy assistant, reflects on the new education documentary Mitchell 20, as well as her own teaching experience.
I've been thinking about the issue of teacher retention--from a different angle than the one I usually do. I want to keep on teaching. I'm usually focused on what I need to stay in the classroom just one more year. I'm thinking ahead of now, down the line for myself. What conditions do I need to feel like I could stay in classroom teaching pretty continuously through my career? I'm also looking at the accomplished...
What does it mean to be a “highly accomplished” teacher?
That’s what National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) calls teachers who have achieved its advanced certification in their respective subject areas.
National Board Certification® is a comprehensive process that requires teachers to show “clear, convincing, and consistent evidence” that they meet a set of scientifically developed, pedagogically sound, rigorous standards that have been proven to lead to high levels of student learning.
In other words, a highly accomplished...
In response to your video I went looking for a video about the future for children in the year 2030. I stumbled on a vision for the future made about 20 years ago. In 1993 AT&T produced the following ad. I was amazed at how accurate the predictions were.
I feel like I lived this ad campaign. For example, last winter I attended an online meeting with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in my bare feet and pajamas. I told him about the need for diversified roles in the teaching profession so that teachers can spread their expertise. That online meeting and several others produced the policy report...
Washington State is cutting its budget. Again. On Thursday Governor Christine Gregoire released a list of potential cuts to be considered when the state legislature returns to Olympia to plug the latest $1.4 billion hole in our state budget. To do so they need to cut roughly $2 billion dollars (to have a reserve) from the state budget. That means that roughly 20% of the state's discretionary budget needs to be cut. Among the largest possible cuts to education are:
- Eliminate State Need Grant financial aid to students - $303 million (when college tuition has jumped 8.3% in the last year...
How to hold teachers who teach “non-tested” subjects accountable is a complex, but necessary question. Some may be shocked to know that these subjects are, in fact, tested…but not in a fill-in-the-bubble-while-your-palms-sweat-standardized-test type of way. I know there are assessments for these “non-tested” areas because I teach one of them. As an art teacher, I test my students on understanding concepts by using multiple measures in a variety of ways, which I believe leads to a more accurate evaluation. This may not be ideal for a quick assessment state-wide, but from my experience, this "portfolio assessment" yields more accurate results for a subject like art, where the concepts are demonstrated through project- based learning.