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


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.

Latest Blog Posts

Ariel Sacks

December 20, 2010

The fantasy and reality of teacherpreneurism (and Arne Duncan)


Nerve-wracking though it is, there is nothing like speaking an idea to an audience face-to-face. This photo is of me speaking about teacherpreneurship at the Big Ideas Fest in Half Moon Bay California. Because I was talking about a concept from our book, Teaching 2030 (which will be in stores in just a couple of weeks!!!), I decided to speak as myself in the year 2030, with 27 years of experience.

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John Holland

December 18, 2010

What teaching in the present looks like


I don’t think that smart boards make kids smarter. I do think that smart boards help smart teachers, teach smarter. The teachers talking in this PBS video are living in the present. Most teachers are living in the past. I have never seen a SMARTboard in a pre-k classroom. This particular teachnology reform never made it to pre-K. This was likely for more than one reason.

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Bill Ferriter

December 15, 2010

New slide: Decorating the Christmas tree with initiatives


There's no one thing that frustrates me more than the constant parade of initiatives that seems to make its way through our schools and our conversations on reform in education. 

Most long-time classroom teachers are simply exhausted by the list of programs that our districts attempt to implement all at once.  While we can see potential in almost every program embraced by the school leaders, we also know that we can't possibly implement every initiative well when they're all heaped on at the same time.

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Renee Moore

December 13, 2010

The price of pretending we don’t know what works


While the recent PISA results showing U.S. students to be average in comparison to their international peers may be a blow to American national pride, the fact is given how poorly we treat our teaching force and many of our students, it's amazing the results aren't worse. The really good news is that doing better is fully within our power and resources.

The PISA standings shouldn't come as that much of a surprise; America was running in the middle of the pack at the 2003 release of those same tests, behind countries such as Finland, South Korea, and Canada.

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Bill Ferriter

December 9, 2010

Still tired of education's glass ceiling


Blogger's Note:  I'm in the middle of final revisions on my third book right now and I'm slammed with writing!  That means getting new content here on the Radical today proved to be too much for me.  As a result, I'm posting a column I wrote several years ago for the Wake County website.

What's frustrating is that I feel no different about education's glass ceiling today than I did when this piece was originally written. 

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