June 2015 Blog Posts (66)

Symbols in Our Schools: What Messages Do They Send?

Symbols are powerful things. Just try to change one that has been around for a long time. Let it be associated with athletic teams or school names and its power is even more profound. Just ask anyone whose district has lived through decisions about keeping or changing a Native American school identity like Indians, Braves, Red Skins or Chiefs.  Grades can be considered symbols. Those letters and numbers can communicate "you are smart" or "you are not smart".  Those messages may not be the…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on June 30, 2015 at 7:10am — No Comments

Education: What Fareed Zakaria Missed

Education: What Fareed Zakaria Missed


Dr. Jonathan T. Jefferson



The title of this opinion piece may lead one to believe that I am going to be critical of Fareed Zakaria.  Far from it.  I am an avid watcher of his television…


Added by Jonathan T. Jefferson on June 29, 2015 at 3:11pm — No Comments

John Hattie Releases 'The Politics of Distraction' By Peter DeWitt

John Hattie Releases 'The Politics of Distraction'


Added by Michael Keany on June 29, 2015 at 8:49am — No Comments

Downshifting to Summer by Tricia Ebner



I’ve done this now for 24 years. I’d love to tell you I’ve gotten better at each year. Sadly, I haven’t. This is just as big a challenge for me now as it was after my first year.



Added by Michael Keany on June 28, 2015 at 10:39am — No Comments

Use The Summertime to Rethink Teaching and Learning

Summertime is upon us, and a change of pace, bright sunlight, and a time for reflection accompanies it. Summertime is often when data is reviewed.  It invites us to look at mastery rates, failure rates and, now, maybe, a projection for teacher and principal evaluations.  We think these can be helpful only if they are part of a larger data set. There many options before us and so much information available in the extraordinary number of websites and books published that we may not know…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on June 28, 2015 at 7:04am — No Comments

A "Teachers' Principal" by Christopher Wooleyhand, Ph.D.

I had the fortune of hearing Todd Whitaker speak this week. Two years ago I attended his keynote at NAESP in Baltimore. His message never gets old. Having him at our district’s leadership conference this week was a great way to bring closure to the school year and provided motivation in planning for next year.

After listening to his words of wisdom, I am even more committed to being a “teachers’ principal.” What is a teachers’ principal and why does it matter? The term “players’… Continue

Added by Debbie Wooleyhand on June 26, 2015 at 3:24pm — No Comments

Using Socratic Seminars in Middle School By Sarah Tantillo

Sarah Tweaks Her Socratic Seminar Recipe

Sarah Tantillo extends her wildly popular 2013 MiddleWeb post, Socratic Seminars in the Middle, with a variation suggested…


Added by Michael Keany on June 26, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

The "Opt-Out" Movement Could Provide the Seeds for the Revolution We Need

The movement of parents to "opt-out" is exciting. Parents are coming together and standing up for what they believe is good for their children. It is democracy in action, a revolution of sorts. But, the stakes are unclear and misunderstandings abound. Parents are paying attention, asking questions, and investigating what is happening in classrooms. We have wanted this for a long time...right?  We need to capture and harness this energy so that it doesn't dissipate when the crisis of…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on June 25, 2015 at 6:03am — No Comments

The Education Wars: A Prescription for Peace by Arnold Dodge

Arnold Dodge Headshot

Added by Michael Keany on June 24, 2015 at 3:10pm — No Comments

Football or Music? What's the Best K-12 Investment? By John R. Gerdy

Football or Music? What's the Best K-12 Investment?

Article Tools
  • Ed Week

In a perfect world, all high school activities would be fully funded. But to educators struggling to find the financial means to establish and pay for educational priorities, it is clear that we…


Added by Michael Keany on June 24, 2015 at 11:38am — 1 Comment

The Common Core Is Not The Problem

We don't deny the necessity of accountability and the need for targeted support for teachers to address the needs of their students by learning how to fill their own gaps in teaching and learning. In schools, the continuously developing skills and knowledge of  is the goal.  Teachers need to be learning about the standards and content, the assessments, their students. At the nexus of these, teachers do their work. Standards are important and national standards in a country like ours,…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on June 23, 2015 at 6:29am — No Comments

After Charleston: Our Actions Will Determine the Future of Racism

Every teacher and every school leader, remember today that racism detected in schools can more easily be eradicated than that which seeps, undetected, into and through the growing years of a child.  While we celebrate diversity, let's be sure the children know we are all members of the human race and our actions will determine its future. Our heads and hearts and hands are extended in this time and in this purpose to those will lead Charleston out of this night into a new light...one…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on June 21, 2015 at 6:05am — No Comments

Vergara: careful what you wish for

Vergara: careful what you wish for

A new article by Kevin Welner from the National Education Policy Center weighs whether the Vergara plaintiffs, in their eagerness to take on teacher unions, have invited litigation from policy and reform rivals. When the Vergara decision was first handed down, it was celebrated by advocates who sought a revision of the teacher dismissal process, particularly of teachers with low results from value-added models of student…


Added by Michael Keany on June 18, 2015 at 10:24am — No Comments

Too demanding too soon?

Too demanding too soon?

Do the Common Core Standards ask too much of 5- and 6-year-olds in reading? asks Liana Heiten in Education Week. The debate is heated, at its heart the standard stating kindergartners should be able to "read emergent-reader tests with purpose and understanding." Experts agree it's a more advanced expectation than previously, but have less agreement about whether it's an overreach. Critics argue the standard is not "developmentally…


Added by Michael Keany on June 18, 2015 at 10:21am — No Comments

To play or not to play

To play or not to play

As American classrooms focus on test scores, younger students have gotten more instruction and less time in sandboxes, writes Motoko Rich for The New York Times. Nationally, schools have curtailed arts and recess in favor of longer blocks for reading and math. A study by the University of Virginia comparing federal surveys of kindergarten teachers in 1998 and 2010 found the number of teachers whose students had daily art and music…


Added by Michael Keany on June 18, 2015 at 10:20am — No Comments

Question the Meaning and Purpose of Evaluation

 We find ourselves in a time when no matter the intention of the assessment of performance, whether of student, teacher, or principal, the result is an evaluation that is most often received as a judgment of and a stopping place for the evaluated...When principals, teachers, and students are being supported, encouraged, and motivated rather than graded and labeled, the path toward success for all is cleared.



Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on June 18, 2015 at 7:25am — No Comments

How to Grade a Teacher by Joe Nocera


Added by Michael Keany on June 17, 2015 at 8:52am — No Comments

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