Stephen Krashen reminds America to quit scapegoating teachers and public schools for low achievement due to poverty. We have one of the highest rates of childhood poverty in the industrialized world – nearly one-fourth of our children. Where are the policy makers who take their share of the responsibility for our failure as a nation to take care of our children?
by Stephen Krashen
Poverty means food deprivation, lack of health care, and lack of access to books. Each of these has a strong negative influence on school performance. Let’s forget about developing new ways of evaluating teachers, fancy databases, and the other Gates ideas that have no support in research or practice. Instead, let’s invest in making sure no child is left unfed, no child lacks proper health care, and all children have access to quality libraries.
John Oliver takes on the abuse and corruption in the charter school industry. (NOTE: The video contains language some people might find offensive).
by John Oliver
The problem with letting the free market decide when it comes to kids is that kids change faster than the market. And by the time it’s obvious a school is failing, futures may have been ruined.
Terry Springer is a former high school English teacher from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s one of the founders of the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education, a public education advocacy group (Full disclosure: I’m a member of the same group).
In the linked article she discusses Indiana’s voucher program.
by Terry Springer
…[Executive director of Indiana Non-Public Education Association, John] Elcesser’s argument that voucher parents are taxpayers and their tax dollars should go to the school of their choice is rather like the argument that my tax dollar should only go to repair the roads and bridges I travel on or to pave my driveway. Public education benefits the whole community; private education does not. The arguments for the money following the child fly in the face of that perspective…
Are teachers “in it for the money?” Are teachers holding back, instead of teaching well in order to get more money?
by Stuart Egan
I do not need a carrot stick. If getting a bonus to get students to perform better really works, then this should have been done a long time ago. But it does not. I do not perform better because of a bonus. I am not selling anything. I would like my students and parents to think that I work just as hard for all of my students in all of my classes because I am a teacher.
This article discusses the teacher shortage facing Dodgeville, Wisconsin. In the comments below the article, Tim Slekar, Dean at nearby Edgewood College, explains why there’s a teacher shortage.
by Tim Slekar, Dean at Edgewood College’s School of Education, Madison, WI
Dodgeville is just ONE example of the exodus. Teachers are leaving the classrooms in droves all across the state and enrollment in teacher education programs is plumetting. We have a teacher exodus problem.
Our elected officials will use this as evidence of a “teacher shortage” and then bitch to lower standards to let any jackass teach.
There is no “shortage.” Those that have been waging the war on teachers are winning.
FIX PUBLIC EDUCATION
Shouldn’t the goal of public education be to have good public schools for all children, in all areas? Why do we have cities where children have to “apply” to public schools instead of just having excellent public schools in every neighborhood? Why aren’t we working towards a system where every public school is excellent?
by Ali Collins
If you want to help a district function effectively, you work with leaders to fix underlying problems, you don’t create workarounds or do the work. In this way, non-profits enable failure. They become complicit in creating and maintaining problems they then profit by fixing. [emphasis added]
Wouldn’t it be nice if at least one reading “standard” focused on creating readers who loved to read?
by Mary Anne Buckley
Joy is in listening to and being moved by words and joy is in crafting words that move others. Joy is in recognizing ourselves in characters as well as challenging ourselves to see things from a different perspective. Joy is connecting and reflecting with one another. I wrote that I answered the last question from the interview panel without thinking but in all actuality I’ve been thinking about that answer for years. When we remember our own personal joy of reading and infuse that into our instruction the lessons themselves become joyful.
AMERICA, DAMMIT! – Thoughts from Glacier National Park (starting at about 2:00)
(NOTE: The video contains language some people might find offensive).
by Hank Green
…We work so hard to demonize each other that everyone comes out looking like demons…