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CTQ bloggers write about transforming teaching. Share their posts and chime in!

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

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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. 

Featured

Speak Less, Act Right

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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.

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Advice to Myself as a New Teacher

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Dear Mr. Barnwell (version 2004),

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

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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. 

Featured

Simple Truth: Hashtags Can Save You Time

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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

Featured

Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?

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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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Bill Ferriter

January 4, 2011

Read this: 'Highly qualified' Is highly misleading

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Last week, an "anomaly amendment" was inserted into Congress's Continuing Resolution (a stop-gap that allows the government to continue functioning in the absence of an official budget.) The amendment in question allows teachers who are in an alternative certification program, regardless of the amount of time they've been teaching or whether or not they've obtained licensure in their respective states, to be considered "highly qualified" under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) regulations.

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Renee Moore

December 31, 2010

Read this: "Should parents have a voice in teacher evaluation?"

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We talk about using multiple measures of teacher performance other than test scores. Well, are we ready for real parental involvement?

In his EdWeek blog, Justin Baeder riffs on an editorial in the Athens Banner-Herald that asks a provocative question and draws this conclusion:

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Ariel Sacks

December 31, 2010

Responses to the top 5 reasons teachers stay away from education policy

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Recently on the Teacher Leaders Network, I landed in a discussion about the many great teachers we know who, for a variety of reasons, stay far away from education policy. In this post, I'm trying to respond to what I see as the top five reasons teachers tend not to get involved.

One: It's not my job to be involved in education policy.

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Bill Ferriter

December 29, 2010

What DOES effective teaching look like?

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I’ve spent a bunch of time recently engaged in webinars with a bunch of brilliant members of the Teacher Leaders Network who have been providing feedback to the Department of Education on all kinds of education policies. 

One question that keeps coming up again and again is:

What does effective teaching look like? How would an outside observer know if he/she were in an effective teacher’s classroom?

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Ariel Sacks

December 28, 2010

Preparing the heart for teaching, 2011

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I've been in a contemplative place this holiday break. One thing that's come up for me is how quickly the year is going by. I remember several times lately when, at the end of the school day, I've experienced this strange feeling of slight disappointment that the day is over! The disappointment is there because I realize I've let the day go by without fully appreciating every moment I spend working with my students.

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