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California K-12 Teacher Tenure System Struck Down

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu said that the laws governing K-12 teacher job security were unconstitutional. Treu declared the rules governing K-12 teacher tenure in California were unconstitutional because they affect predominately minority and poor students, allowing incompetent instructors to remain in the classroom. He said in the decision that the protections "impose a real and appreciable impact on students' fundamental right to equality of education." He went on to say that the evidence for this "shocks the conscience." The decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And, lastly, it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching. The case was brought by a Silicon Valley group, Students Matter. The suit has highlighted competing views of teacher tenure. The decision has lead to significant and spirited debate over K-12 teacher job protections.
posted by professor plum with a rope on Jun 11, 2014 - 147 comments

A message for the Secretary of State for Education

"Dear Mr Gove" - a poem by Jess Green.
posted by EndsOfInvention on Apr 4, 2014 - 16 comments

post-industrial education for post-industrial organizations

Sudbury Valley School - "It upends your views about what school is for, why it has to cost as much as it does, and whether our current model makes any sense at all. But what's most amazing about the school, a claim the founders make which was backed up by my brief observations, my conversations with students, and the written recollections of alumni, is that the school has taken the angst out of education. Students like going there, and they like their teachers. Because they are never made to take a class they don't like, they don't rue learning. They don't hate homework because they don't have homework. School causes no fights with their parents." (previously-er) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 8, 2014 - 63 comments

The Common Core

The Common Core (Wikipedia) is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt (that is, if they want to keep their funding). In the weeks and months leading up to implementation of the Common Core, some teachers are a little wary. Teachers and community organizers are now left to translate Common Core standards for confused parents, with some myths, rumors, and miscommunications getting in the way. Now, after months of preparing for the shift, some states are dropping out of the Common Core. But why?
posted by SkylitDrawl on Sep 22, 2013 - 44 comments

Letter to Teachers.

A letter from a Sandy Hook Parent. Nelba Marquez-Greene lost her 6 year old daughter, Ana Grace, in the Sandy Hook tragedy. Her son was in another part of the building, heard the shooting, and survived. Nelba composed this letter to this country's teachers.
posted by HuronBob on Sep 11, 2013 - 20 comments

"We are not toys. We are not going down without a fight."

Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 25, 2013 - 37 comments

Michelle Rhee's "Reign of Error"

DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 14, 2013 - 72 comments

Well, it's eliminated all the woes of the law profession ... right?

"Finland long ago decided to professionalize its teaching force to the point where teaching is now viewed on a par with other highly respected, learned professions like medicine and law. Today, only the best and brightest can and do become teachers: Just one in every 10 applicants are accepted to teacher preparation programs, which culminate in both an undergraduate degree and subject-specific Master's degree." Joel Klein argues that the US should follow Finland's lead and create, essentially, a bar exam for teachers, which would serve to professionalize them in the eyes of society and raise their societal value.
posted by barnacles on Jan 11, 2013 - 82 comments

"Until you acquire an education, you will never find out who you really are."

In seventh grade, after school let out, Humaira Mohammed Bachal opened her home in Thatta (Pakistan) to 10-12 friends who weren't allowed to go to school, and taught them what she was learning. By the time she was 16 and ready to take her 9th grade exams, (over her father's objections,) she and four other girls were teaching more than 100 students. Now, her sister Tahira, (age 18,) is principal of the school Humaira founded: with 22 teachers serving more than 1,000 kids in a Karachi slum (yt). All in a country where if you are a young girl in a rural area, you are unlikely ever to see the inside of a classroom, and advocating education for young girls can be life-threatening. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 6, 2013 - 14 comments

Oh this learning, what a thing it is!

I am a brilliant English teacher. So, I quit. An English teacher with experience in public schools and charter schools details her layoff at the former and her disillusionment at the latter in a first-hand account of the state of education in the States.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Dec 11, 2012 - 116 comments

Statue Game?

Teachers: The Webseries, starring the Katydids, is an independent youtube project of eminently flavourful vignettes centered on a cluster of elementary school teachers. It is at times absurd, charming, glorious, and maybe just a bit close to home- all while absolutely nailing its comedic timing.
posted by Algebra on Dec 7, 2012 - 5 comments

Chicago Teachers Strike

For the first time since 1987, Chicago public school teachers will strike. Last year, the city council in Chicago passed a law mandating that 75% of Chicago Teachers Union members would need to vote to authorize a strike. In June, CTU announced that they had met that threshold, and that they would strike if negotiations with Chicago Public Schools over job security, evaluations, and a longer school day with no extra pay for teachers, failed. They did, and tonight Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, announced that as of midnight tonight, public school teachers in Chicago are on strike.
posted by deliciae on Sep 9, 2012 - 184 comments

"So think about what you would want to know from someone who was actually there."

In school, most grades have a favorite teacher. For Rockport-Fulton Middle School's seventh grade, it's Bobby Jackson. He teaches Texas History. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 8, 2012 - 39 comments

That one guy is Mr. Hagney from my Chem 100 class and I love that dude. You totally rock, Mr. Hagney!

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. If you were too busy looking forward to have time to appreciate a teacher, it's still not too late to appreciate the teachers behind the students.
posted by twoleftfeet on May 16, 2012 - 11 comments

Sorry

A teacher, a student and a 39-year-long lesson in forgiveness
posted by IvoShandor on Apr 22, 2012 - 35 comments

Teach to the test, or not

A Didactic Tale to Illustrate Just How Much the (new NYC) Teacher Rating System Pisses Me Off.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 12, 2012 - 69 comments

The trouble with value-added-modeling

Value-added model scores for teachers: some disturbing scatterplots. Gary Rubinstein finds a lot of noise and very little signal in the VAM scores of 18,000 New York teachers, recently released by the Bloomberg administration under a Freedom of Information Act Request. (VAM previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by escabeche on Mar 6, 2012 - 104 comments

I'm with the teachers!

A British Columbia teacher offers a spirited defence of education and the right for teachers to strike and raise issues of class size and composition in collective bargaining in this blog post. Meanwhile, BC high school students are walking out Friday in support of the teachers and the concerns they raise about BC's public school system. [more inside]
posted by chapps on Mar 1, 2012 - 41 comments

“Sometimes my uncle wears black nail polish.” The students took a moment to think about this.

One teacher's approach to preventing gender bullying in a classroom.
posted by desjardins on Dec 21, 2011 - 88 comments

Education For All

The 2011 Edublog Awards are on. The nominee lists provide rich resources for everyone, perhaps most especially in the free web tool category. A personal selection: Online Convert (free online conversion of dozens of video formats), GeoTrio and TripLine (recorded tours around the world), CorkboardMe and LinoIt (online, shared pibboards), Cover It Live (online event presentation) and A Google A Day (daily questions and puzzles, presented by Google (previously)). For kids, there’s Artsonia (the world’s largest children’s arts museum) Tarheel Reader (illustrated readers for multiple platforms) and SweetSearch (a search engine for students),along with much, much more. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 5, 2011 - 1 comment

All parents are welcome to come by on Wednesday afternoon to help us make candles and decorate skulls

Dear Mountain Room Parents... a tale for Day of the Dead / Halloween.
posted by Artw on Oct 28, 2011 - 15 comments

Mike Rowe Remembers Fred King

Mike Rowe remembers his high school music teacher, Fred King. [more inside]
posted by Balonious Assault on Sep 8, 2011 - 12 comments

Consider the following...

Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Science rules)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Inertia is a property of matter)
Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill-Bill-Bill-
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
(T-minus seven seconds)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy

[more inside]
posted by troll on Aug 4, 2011 - 101 comments

Bad Education

The Higher Education (Debt) Bubble - "[H]igh and increasing college costs mean students need to take out more loans, more loans mean more securities lenders can package and sell, more selling means lenders can offer more loans with the capital they raise, which means colleges can continue to raise costs. The result is over $800 billion in outstanding student debt, over 30 percent of it securitized, and the federal government directly or indirectly on the hook for almost all of it. If this sounds familiar, it probably should... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 17, 2011 - 185 comments

Is teacher evaluation statistical voodoo?

"Value-added modeling is promoted because it has the right pedigree -- because it is based on "sophisticated mathematics." As a consequence, mathematics that ought to be used to illuminate ends up being used to intimidate." John Ewing, president of Math for America and former executive director of the American Mathematical Society, criticizes the "value-added modeling" approach used as a proxy for teacher quality, most famously in a Los Angeles Times story that called out low-scoring teachers by name. A Brookings Institution paper says value-added modeling is flawed but the best measure we have of teacher value, arguing that the metric's wide fluctuations from year to year are no worse than those of batting averages in baseball. (Though the weakness of that correlation is mostly a BABIP issue.) Can we assign a numerical value to teacher quality? If so, how?
posted by escabeche on Apr 27, 2011 - 62 comments

"How can fringe benefits be nearly as much as salary?"

WSJ bravely criticizes the "excessive power of collective bargaining." Robert M. Costrell of wsj.com explains how the governor's proposal to restrict collective bargaining...seems entirely reasonable. via twitter.com/ftrain
posted by fartknocker on Feb 27, 2011 - 139 comments

An Urban Teacher's Education

An Urban Teacher's Education is a intelligent, touching and very personal blog about the challenges that a high school teacher faces in the Bronx. [via]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 12, 2011 - 14 comments

San Francisco Symphony

Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore signature works by composers Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, and Dmitri Shostakovich in depth, and at their own pace. The interactive audio and video explores the composers’ scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical back stories. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 12, 2010 - 7 comments

Kindergarten Teachers Are Priceless

The Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project was a large-scale, four-year, experimental study of reduced class size. This year researchers examined the life paths of almost 12,000 children (now adults) from Project STAR. They found [PDF] the kids who learned more in kndergarten were more likely to go to college, less likely to become single parents, more likely to be saving for retirement and they were earning more. They estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year in extra income for the entire class. The NYT Has More.
posted by Blake on Aug 17, 2010 - 32 comments

"I am the enemy."

"I am the enemy. I never realized this until your election to governor. In a few short weeks, you have made this fact explicitly clear to me." Steven Derion, a 2007 nominee for the Governor's Teacher of the Year Award, writes New Jersey governor Chris Christie a letter.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 11, 2010 - 198 comments

The base of the base of the Democratic Party.

Are teacher's unions the enemy of reform? DISCUSS The Teacher's Union's Last Stand. How President Obama’s Race to the Top could revolutionize public education.
posted by caddis on May 22, 2010 - 128 comments

Because the History Channel is currently airing pablum documentaries like "Sex in the Civil War"

Best of History Web Sites (from EdTechTeacher,) is a resource of annotated and rated-by-content links to over 1200 history web sites across a broad range of related topics. The site also offers links of special interest to educators: hundreds of K-12 lesson plans, teacher guides, activities, games and quizzes and more.
posted by zarq on May 13, 2010 - 11 comments

Teachers

Henry Giroux has written a compelling article about teachers and their importance to our country.
posted by HuronBob on Apr 14, 2010 - 59 comments

An education "turnaround"

“This is hard work and these are tough decisions, but students only have one chance for an education,” Education Secretary Duncan said, “and when schools continue to struggle we have a collective obligation to take action.” In response to a new federal mandate to fix under-performing schools, every teacher will be fired at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island.
posted by lunit on Feb 24, 2010 - 229 comments

The Staff Room

"The Staff Room" is a series of short satiric youtube videos that give a glimpse of what really goes on in high school staff rooms everywhere. [more inside]
posted by mock on Feb 4, 2010 - 18 comments

“Randi Weingarten would protect a dead body in the classroom. That’s her job.”

The Rubber Room: The Battle Over New York City’s Worst Teachers.
posted by Oxydude on Aug 27, 2009 - 81 comments

The Payout of Education Reform.

In what has been described as "the American Idol of education" and "a biosphere of educational reform," The Equity Project Charter School will open in NYC this fall, offering $125,000 salaries to a "dream team" of teachers to test the theory that better teacher quality is the key to a better education for students.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jun 6, 2009 - 71 comments

Study Guides, Teacher Resources

Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
posted by netbros on May 24, 2009 - 10 comments

An American Art Form

NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 21, 2009 - 11 comments

Is it time to move beyond grades?

There's a growing sense that the current system of college grading is broken beyond repair. With grade inflation and student entitlement running rampant, is it time to explore some creative alternatives? Or is grade inflation just a myth?
posted by you just lost the game on Feb 18, 2009 - 108 comments

John Thurlow's Web Sites for Kids & Teachers

John Thurlow's Web Sites for Kids & Teachers. The Thinking page of this treasure trove of kid-safe sites includes links that are also appropriate for adults who just like to play around, such as Funderstanding's Roller Coast Simulation, and Lightness Perception and Lightness Illusions. [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus on Jan 17, 2009 - 2 comments

Where Search Meets Research

middlespot.com is a search interface for teachers, librarians, researchers and anyone who wants to interpret information faster from their search results, collect and annotate relevant results into groups, and share those collections with people relying on their expertise. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 31, 2008 - 4 comments

Why Learn Algebra? I'm Never Likely to Go There.

EducationFilter: California becomes the first state to mandate all 8th graders take Algebra; in part because U.S. students constantly trail their peers from other nations in mathematics. At least one person thinks it's a bad idea ("If only 25 percent of this nation ever earns a college degree, why insist that all children take algebra in eighth grade?"). Here's the algebra curriculum 8th graders will have to learn. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw on Jul 10, 2008 - 124 comments

Because learning is sexy

Librarian Chick is a blogger who has put together a wiki of literally hundreds of online learning sources with over twenty categories for "students, educators & anyone else who's hip to learning." [more inside]
posted by jonson on Sep 21, 2007 - 18 comments

Send Me In Coach!

High School Coaches outearning High School Teachers Texas high school football coaches in Class 5A and 4A schools (that's 950 students or more) earn an average salary of $73,804, while the average salary for teachers in those same schools is about $42,400. But hey, those Texas football teams are pretty darn good!
posted by CameraObscura on Aug 9, 2007 - 180 comments

Definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful

Taylor Mali speaks on what teachers make - Taylor Mali speaks on Education: The importance of proofreading, Like, You know. Taylor Mali's Website.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia on Jul 15, 2007 - 39 comments

Teaching tool or a site run by tools?

Students are now using the internet to criticise their teachers behind their backs by using a popular new site called Rate My Teachers. While some 'feedback' left at the site is relatively tame, many teachers are not spared from a flood of insults (which isn't surprising when a group of venting teenagers are involved). The owners of the site are calling it a useful teaching critique tool, but teachers groups are labelling it "a vengeful smear campaign." The site is available in a host of international flavours, such as the UK and Australia, to name but two. Hmmph. Back in my day, we used to just write our 'critiques' on the blackboard while the teacher wasn't in the room...
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 18, 2007 - 67 comments

Is jail a fair punishment for malware?

Should a Connecticut substitute teacher go to jail for 40 years because a classroom computer was infected with malware that allowed students to see porn?
posted by Sixtieslibber on Jan 24, 2007 - 65 comments

Oh No!, They lost their fake DVDs!!

English tutors complain of Chinese abuse. As the Chinese economy keeps expanding, so does the number of foreigners in China. Like the people in the article some of them have had horrible experiences, others have had funny experiences and many have had sleazy experiences (NSFW text). And they all blog about it!
posted by afu on Aug 5, 2006 - 36 comments

Physics is "phun"! (And "krazy")

Is this guy an awesome teacher or just crazy? Or maybe it goes hand in hand. Think back to the days of high school and college science classes. For most people, it probably wasn't chalkboards full of endless physics equations that got them interested in the sciences, but rather the crazy, cooky and awe-inspiring professors who do dramatic and unique demonstrations to get students interested. What makes a good teacher or professor? Is this teacher really reckless or is it a legit demonstration that benefits students?
posted by RockBandit on May 25, 2006 - 65 comments

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