“Teaching is like painting a huge Victorian mansion. And you don’t actually have enough paint. And when you get to some sections of the house it turns out the wood is a little rotten or not ready for the paint. And about every hour some supervisor comes around and asks you to get down off the ladder and explain why you aren’t making faster progress. And some days the weather is terrible. So it takes all your art and skill and experience to do a job where the house still ends up looking good.”—The Hard Part | Peter Greene (via apsies)
It may be many years until Philadelphia’s education budget matches its curriculum requirements. In the meantime, there are a few things the district—and other flailing school districts in America—can do. Stop giving standardized tests that are inextricably tied to specific…
The nation’s largest teachers’ union wants Education Secretary Arne Duncan to quit.
Delegates of the National Education Association adopted a business item July 4 at its annual convention in Denver that called for his resignation. The vote underscores the long-standing tension between the Obama administration and teachers’ unions — historically a steadfast Democratic ally.
A tipping point for some members was Duncan’s statement last month in support of a California judge’s ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for the state’s public school teachers. In harsh wording, the judge said such laws harm particularly low-income students by saddling them with bad teachers who are almost impossible to fire.
Even before that, teachers’ unions have clashed with the administration over other issues ranging from its support of charter schools to its push to use student test scores as part of evaluating teachers.
The vote is a “venting of frustration of too many things that are wrong,” said Dennis Van Roekel, the outgoing president of NEA. He said it wasn’t directed at Duncan personally, but was about teachers wanting what is best for students.
How much will these standardized tests really change public education?
Myth: Common Core tests will be much better than current exams, with many items measuring higher-order skills. Reality: The new tests will largely consist of the same old multiple-choice questions.
Myth: Adoption of Common Core exams will end No Child Left Behind testing overkill. Reality: Under Common Core, there will be many more tests and the same misuses.
Myth: New multi-state assessments will save taxpayers money. Reality: Test costs will increase for most states. Schools will spend even more for computer infrastructure upgrades.
Myth: New assessment consortia will actually design the tests rather than well-known test manufacturers who have made mistakes in the past. Reality: The same profit-driven companies, including Pearson, Educational Testing Service and CTB/McGraw-Hill, are producing the tests.
Myth: Common Core assessments are designed to meet the needs of all students. Reality: Not yet. The new tests could put students with disabilities and English-language learners at risk.
Myth: Common Core “proficiency” is an objective measure of college- and career-readiness. Reality: Proficiency levels on Common Core tests are subjective, like all performance levels.
Myth: States have to implement the Common Core assessments. Reality: No, they don’t.
“As soon as a person is hired, that should say, “I trust you”. We need to give them the freedom to unleash their talents. We need to say say “yes” often, and say “no” rarely.”—Power and Freedom (via gjmueller)
“If I could change one thing about engineering education — well, actually, all education — it would be to center it around solving real problems and making things. In other words, we ought to be creating innovators and inventors at our engineering schools. They need to be able to do something more than solve theoretical problems when they leave us. In other words, they should learn how to be an applied problem solver, which is not the same thing as being a fantastic book-based equation solver. None of us learned how to do anything well by being talked at — it’s boring. We learn best by doing — getting our hands dirty and making our own mistakes.”—Ideas for Improving Science Education in the U.S. - NYTimes.com (via infoneer-pulse)
At Harvey Mudd College in California, about 40 percent of the computer science majors are women. That’s far more than at any other co-ed school. And it’s thanks in large part to the school’s president, Maria Klawe. She has worked hard to keep women interested in computer science and empower them to succeed in the field.
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.”—Galileo Galilei
“Test scores are a rough proxy for learning. Tests imperfectly examine selected domains of skills, so that we can infer what students know. Real learning occurs in the mind of the learner when she makes connections with prior learning, makes meaning, and retains that knowledge in order to create additional meaning from new information. In short, with tests we see traces of learning, not learning itself.”—Principal: ‘I was naïve about Common Core’ (via gjmueller)
Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending non educators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value.
“I’m thinking about the current health care debate, “I said. “And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms.”
The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone’s attention.
“I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.”
Since their release in April of 2010, Apple’s iPads have taken the US by storm. iPads have swept through almost every industry, especially education. Apple is pushing for iPad use in education, and several schools across the US have taken up the charge. The proliferation of iPads in the classroom will only keep accelerating. With these powerful mobile devices come a lot of possible benefits for educators and students alike. We all know iPads are exciting and there is a plethora of engaging apps for them out there, but do they actually improve education?
There have been many interesting studies done about iPads in the classroom and the effects on both students and teachers.