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The Ideal Brochure for Public Education (from 10-10-12)
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I wrote earlier this week about how a brochure for public education might read now that education deformers have had their way. Such a brochure would advertise things like Conformity, Data-Obsession, and Core-Class Focus (at the expense of the arts). It seems to me that most of the “improvements” hoisted on public education have actually Read More >>


A Brochure for Public Education Deform (from 9-30-12)
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Our son is in his in his senior year, and after his perfect SAT score, he’s been getting mail from colleges just about everywhere. It’s an interesting exercise in marketing and current culture to see how colleges and universities are trying to appeal to today’s prospective students. Some of the schools pander so much to Read More >>


The Power and Importance of Dissent (from 9-6-12)
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At the end of the summer, the day before I went back for pre-planning for the new school year, I went with my teen-aged kids to see The Dark Knight Rises, the last movie in Christopher Nolan’s superhero trilogy. I really liked it, more than I expected, but one scene stood out for me, a scene Read More >>


My First Foray into the Common Core: A Trip to Thesaurus.com (from 8-13-12)
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I have often talked about how things are in education; I have not yet delved into where they appear to be going. And where they are going is the Common Core State [sic] Standards. The subject is so big, and so complex, that I’ve hardly known where to start. As newspapers and parents here in Florida Read More >>


Scorefall (or TestTaker: A Tale of Intrigue, Danger, and Data) (from 7-3-12)
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And now for something a little different for this blog: some fiction. A colleague recently mentioned how Florida’s test, the FCAT, is transported from Texas to Florida in a fleet of armored trucks protected by armed guards. I said, “What do they expect, third graders with Uzis to try to steal the test enroute?” And then I Read More >>


On Becoming Standardized (inspired by Billy Collins) (from 7-3-12)
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On Becoming Standardized (inspired by Billy Collins) My wife and I are teaching our own writing camp this week, and today’s assignment was to based a poem loosely on Billy Collins’ poem, “On Turning Ten.” This idea instantly occurred to me as I wrote along with our students, and here’s the result, for what it’s worth. On Read More >>


The New Ideal Teacher – A Poem (from 4-1-12)
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The new ideal teacher Is driven by data, And kids become points On her test-score schemata. Winnie is a “1” and must be forced to make a gain. Theo is a “3” and that’s a score he must maintain. Freddy is a “5”; there’s no more room inside his brain. The new ideal teacher Wants Read More >>


For the New Year: A Reminder Why I Teach (1-2-12)
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As we begin a new calendar year, which never seems like as big an event as starting a new school year, I want to write a reminder to myself about why I teach. If it reminds you, too, then that’s a bonus. Just before winter break, which ends to tomorrow, I had an experience I’d planned on Read More >>


How To Make Them Learn (from 12-9-11)
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I recently caught a rerun of ABC’s comedy The Middle (a very clever show) in which the quirky, gifted son, Brick, didn’t want to go to Physical Education. Rather than forcing PE on Brick, the teacher was allowing Brick to stay back in the classroom and read. Dad went to talk to the teacher about the situation.The Read More >>


Teaching: a love/hate letter (from 11-26-14)
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Don’t think I am making light of a serious subject. I have seen abusive relationships for real, Fortunately, always from the outside, But sometimes first hand. So I am Dead Serious. Teaching… You are my profession, And I’ve had a long, long relationship with you. But Teaching, I have to say, This has become an Read More >>


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