Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
And a couple of other items of interest:
Maybe you were aware that Larry Cuban has a blog, but it was news to me. Full of interesting observations about education reform, especially its historical antecedents.
Diane Ravitch comments on the recently passed law in Florida that will undermine teacher professionalism.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Due process? Valid and reliable research? Teachers as professionals? Apparently those are old-fashioned concepts. The whole column is worth reading. You can find it here.
The bill would:
*Require that school systems evaluate and pay teachers primarily on the basis of student test scores. Testing experts say this is an invalid assessment tool.
*Require that experience, advanced degrees or professional certification not be considered when paying teachers.
*Require that new teachers be put on probation for five years and then work on one-year contracts, which would allow any principal to easily get rid of any teacher who bothered them in any way.
*Require the creation of new annual tests for every subject that is not measured already by state assessments or other tests, such as the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate end-of-course tests.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Time is running out. If you agree with our petition below, we ask you to go to the SUBMIT FEEDBACK section of the COMMON CORE STANDARDS documents (online) at http://www.corestandards.org/Standards/K12/ this week.
Please share this message with your colleagues today.
Frank Baker (Media Literacy Clearinghouse), Richard Beach (University of Minnesota)
Whereas in 1996, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) passed a resolution urging language arts teachers to consider the importance of bringing visual texts into the classroom. The resolution said: "Viewing and visually representing (defined in the NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts) are a part of our growing consciousness of how people gather and share information. Teachers and students need to expand their appreciation of the power of print and nonprint texts. Teachers should guide students in constructing meaning through creating and viewing nonprint texts."
Whereas in 2000, the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) defined
media literacy as: (empowering) “people to be both critical thinkers and creative producers of an increasingly wide range of messages using image, language, and sound. It is the skillful application of literacy skills to media and technology messages. As communication technologies transform society, they impact our understanding of ourselves, our communities, and our diverse cultures, making media literacy an essential life skill for the 21st century.”
Whereas the 2009 K-12 Horizon Report (http://www.nmc.org/horizon), declared the number one critical challenge for schools in the 21st century is: "a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy."
Whereas the 2010 K-12 Horizon Report continues to include this critical challenge when it says:
“Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.;
Whereas media/digital literacy has become central to life and work in society;
Whereas, today’s educators recognize that the words “text” and “literacy” are not confined to the words on page;
Whereas the Common Core Standards only refer in general terms to media as “nonprint texts in media forms old and new. The need to research and to consume and produce media is embedded into every element of today’s curriculum;”
Whereas media/digital literacy are now well articulated in much more detail in most state standards, often under the category of “viewing” or “visually representing,” resulting in a strong media literacy curriculum focus;
Whereas if media/digital literacy is not explicitly articulated “in the standards,” many teachers many not focus on media/digital instruction;
We, the undersigned urge that more specific media/digital literacy standards related to critical analysis of media/digital consumption/use, production, representations, social/cultural analysis, ownership, and influence on society be explicitly stated in the Common Core Standards.
If you agree with our petition below, you need to go to the SUBMIT FEEDBACK section of the COMMON CORE STANDARDS documents (online) at http://www.corestandards.org/Standards/K12/ this week.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Specifically, the federal government should:
- Revise the "Highly Qualified Teacher" definition within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to require that teachers must establish not only their content expertise, but their ability to teach it effectively, as measured by their actual performance in classrooms, following extended clinical experience;
- Invest in the development of a National Teacher Performance Assessment that would parallel the development and adoption of Common Core Standards;
- Maintain the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants, with a specific clinical preparation focus, in the Higher Education Opportunity Act while increasing funding for the program;
Specifically, state governments should:
- Require a minimum of 450 hours, or one semester, of clinical experience during pre-service teacher preparation;
- Ensure that all teacher preparation routes, regardless of pathway, include the same clinical preparation requirements;
- Require a high-quality teacher performance assessment of all teacher candidates;
- Collaborate to agree upon common clinical experience requirements;
- Offer incentives to schools that act as clinical settings for teacher candidates; and
- Support the expansion or replication of successful teacher residency programs.
Providers of teacher preparation should:
- Ensure school districts and universities work jointly to design and supervise strong clinical practice collaborations;
- Provide all teacher candidates substantial and appropriate clinical preparation prior to becoming "teacher of record" in their own classrooms;
- Train clinical teachers and other teacher mentors to help and support novice teachers;
- Require all clinical teachers to have at least three years of teaching experience; and
- Assist our nation's public schools and teacher preparation programs to jointly adopt standards for newly redesigned clinically based teacher preparation programs.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Most of you have heard by now that the Common Core Standards project has released a draft for public comment. The window for public comments is open only until April 2. You can find the three responses to previous drafts from review panels appointed by NCTE here. In my opinion the April 2 deadline will make it difficult for many teachers and teacher educators to respond. If you do have time to read the standards, please feel free to share your thoughts. Are there particular parts that comments should be directed towards?
You may not have heard that NCATE head Jim Cibulka has made a statement "applauding" the Core Standards. Here's the key piece:
NCATE will ensure that educator preparation standards and assessments reflect the knowledge and skills educators need to help P-12 students meet the new common core standards. NCATE will examine the new standards through the lens of expectations for teachers’ content mastery, pedagogical content skills, ability to affect student learning, clinical preparation, professional development and other dimensions of teaching effectiveness, both for novice and experienced teachers, and related skills for other professional P-12 personnel.This seems to be suggesting an accreditation process that's closely tied to national K-12 content standards. Thoughts? (Thanks to Lil Brannon for the heads-up about the NCATE stance.)