Thursday, May 27, 2010

April in Auckland

As some of you know, the CEE Executive Committee has been working over the past couple of years to forge new and better connections to the International Federation for the Teaching of English. No doubt the best way to get involved with IFTE is to attend their upcoming conference in New Zealand. Here are the details:

Much Ado About English: IFTE Conference 2011

Please plan to attend the 2011 International Federation for the Teaching of English (IFTE) conference at the University of Auckland, April 18-21. The conference promises to deliver something special for all teachers and teacher educators who attend. The conference will have four key strands: Literacies and Literatures, Diversity and Voice, English Teachers @ Work, and New Technologies, New Practices.

For more information and details about how to register, please see (when you get there, click on OPEN).

Note that proposals are due September 1.

Monday, May 24, 2010

If Only Every School was a Charter School . . .

The cover article in the Sunday NY Times Magazine continues the media's fixation on charter schools as the solution to everything. Of course they're only following Secretary Duncan's lead. Good rejoinders here and here.

More enlightening is this exchange between Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Here's an alarming piece from The Guardian about what the Texas textbook revisers want to put in and take out. Slavery, for example, is out.

Friday, May 07, 2010

That Old Detroit Perfume

Nancy Flanagan writes about Detroit, lay-offs, and Teach for America on her blog at Education Week.

Scene: Last fall, at the MI Association of Public School Academies conference. A panel featuring an array of high-profile leadership figures in Detroit is asked about the most effective strategies for fixing schools in Detroit. Surprisingly, nobody mentions more charters. One of the panelists suggests that Teach for America would make a big difference. A former corps member herself, she refers to TFA as the Peace Corps of Teaching.

Q from the audience: Wow, that sounds great! What special training do TFA members get before they come to Detroit? Special classes for working in tough urban districts? Do they student teach here first?

Panelist: Ummm. Well, there's this five-week summer seminar called Institute that's, like, intense. But mostly, they're graduates of top colleges who have to compete to get into the program. They're the best and the brightest!

Sitting at a table with several DPS NBCTs and a Milken winner, I hear one mutter something about also being the cheapest. And--in the end--it is about money, more or less.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, May 03, 2010

More on Charters

The big front-page story in the NY Times about charter schools gets more things right than most stories about charters, but they completely buy in to the idea that a "rigidly structured environment" is the difference between success and failure for inner city schools. However, a more important story may turn out to be the relatively opaque nature of charter school finances. There have been rumblings in various parts of the country this year about extravagantly-paid administrators, trips to resorts for "professional development," and outright fraud. There's good discussion of that problem here.

On the other hand, as I said in a previous post, I know there are some teacher ed. programs that have built productive relationships with charters.