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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.

Latest Blog Posts

Ariel Sacks

October 25, 2010

NYC to publish teacher records of student test scores--What's the purpose?

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Just wanted to write some quick thoughts about the recent political decision to publish teacher records of student test scores in the newspaper.  In addition to the questions I have about the validity and usefulness of this data, I really find it strange that the city is so keen on publishing teacher records of student test scores without first showing these records to teachers themselves.

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John Holland

October 24, 2010

Some thoughts on "Waiting for Superman"

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The film “Waiting for Superman” has some cinematic elements but mostly it seems like propaganda. The insertion of a failed bike jump to illustrate U.S. students over-confidence, is just one of the funny, effective, and ultimately sad, propaganda elements. I saw the film the other day and I left feeling a little pissed off but [...]

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Bill Ferriter

October 23, 2010

Teacher evaluation is fatally flawed

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Are you ready for an interesting admission:  I don't think I'm a very effective classroom teacher. 

Crazy, huh? 

How could a guy who has earned broad recognition for innovative thinking and instruction, been recognized as an accomplished teacher by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards twice, and placed in the top 8 of the state Teacher of the Year competition doubt his own abilities?

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Bill Ferriter

October 21, 2010

Read this: Report says we need smarter teachers

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For some time, I've been hearing (and doubting) the argument that the majority of American teachers were themselves lower academic performers, than college students who entered other professions. Here's yet another report that makes this claim.

Below is a link to the report and an excerpt. I would love to hear others views on this. How accurate is the report? (I was one of the tops in my class, but apparently, I'm a minority--in more ways than one).

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Ariel Sacks

October 21, 2010

On reading, memory and the new generation

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I've been thinking lately about how much memory is involved in the process of reading, especially in reading a story. I've been discussing this with the students in my reading tutorials.  They noticed that we must remember what came before in the story, in order to understand the meaning of what's happening now, and what will come next.

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JohnNorton

October 20, 2010

Cool idea: Ed Week's teacher book club

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The folks at Education Week and Teacher Magazine have a great idea for those of us who don't have time to gather in living rooms over coffee, cokes and cake to discuss professional books: an online Teacher Book Club.

Their virtual club kicked off over the summer with some excellent discussion of charter school principal Linda Nathan'sThe Hardest Questions Aren't on the Test (check out the archive here and see how it all works).

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