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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

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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


December 8, 2010

TLN member receives PD Book of the Year Award



They're still NSDC to us (smile) but we're beginning to adjust to the new name of the National Staff Development Council:Learning Forward. At their annual conference in Atlanta this week, the professional development association honored TLN  charter member Bill Ferriter and co-author Parry Graham with their award for Staff Development Book of the Year.

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Ariel Sacks

December 6, 2010

Mind map: Career path of a teacherpreneur


I am at the Big Ideas Fest, a progressive education conference in Half Moon Bay California.  It is such a creative environment here that last night as I finished preparing for the presentation I gave this morning, I created a visual map in my notebook of the career trajectory of a teacherpreneur.  Initially, I did this to help me understand it better, but it came out rather well and so I included it as a slide in my presentation. Some people were asking for it, so for now, here it is. 

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Dan Brown

December 3, 2010

Actionable solutions for Improving teacher quality


We need teachers to be good and we need them to stick around and continue to be good. Education can’t improve unless this happens. Most of what I read or hear about education reform doesn’t directly address how to pursue these goals on a large scale.

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