Friday, November 28, 2008

On the Radio

I believe I will be a guest on Speaking of Schools this Monday, December 1.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Charter schools failing in Minnesota

A new report shows a serious failure by charter schools in Minnesota, home of the longest running experiment with charter schools.

See this news piece.

See the report here as a PDF.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One more schedule reminder—some small changes

M 11/24: Workshop with Peer Group; SUBMIT ESSAY BEFORE HOLIDAY BREAK

W 11/26: Thanksgiving Holiday

F 11/28: Thanksgiving Holiday

M 12/1: Essay discussion (have your essay available in class, laptop or hardcopy)

W 12/3: Essay discussion (have your essay available in class, laptop or hardcopy)

F 12/5: Virtual School Visits Report

M 12/8: "Choices for Children," Alfie Kohn

T 12/16: 8:30, Final Portfolio/ Exam

High-poverty students with low-knowledge teachers

The Education Trust has yet another study showing that teacher quality is lower for our students in poverty than for our more affluent students. See the full report in PDF version in a link on the right of the press release.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How useful are school report cards?

School report cards, not all they may seem to be. See this article in the NYT.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

All the Presdient's Children. . .

What do we see in this Op-Ed concerning DC schools and a new President choosing school for his children?

DC Schools Just Not Good Enough, Leonard Pitts Jr.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Flock of Dodos discussion support

Thomas Jefferson claimed: "The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees, in every object, only the traits which favor that theory."

NCSE

SCSE

Discovery Institute


Can you define?:

Hypothesis

Theory

Law

The Scientific Method

Belief

Evolution

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Academic and Intellectual Freedom in the Classroom

How the survey played out:

1) I remain quiet in class discussions because I am concerned that my ideas and beliefs may be different than those of my teacher/professor and that such a difference will negatively impact my grade.

Never (8) Rarely (21) Occasionally (20) Often (7) Always

2) When I talk in class discussions, I express ideas and beliefs that are similar to the teacher/professor’s even though the ideas and beliefs are not necessarily my ideas and beliefs because I am concerned that my ideas and beliefs may be different than those of my teacher/professor and that such a difference will negatively impact my grade.

Never (14) Rarely (25) Occasionally (13) Often (4) Always

3) On written test/exams, I express ideas and beliefs that are similar to the teacher/professor’s even though the ideas and beliefs are not necessarily my ideas and beliefs because I am concerned that my ideas and beliefs may be different than those of my teacher/professor and that such a difference will negatively impact my grade.

Never (8) Rarely (14) Occasionally (18) Often (11) Always (5)

4) My teachers/professors are aware of their own assumptions and biases, and they make serious efforts not to allow their ideas and beliefs to impact negatively how they grade their students.

Never Rarely (7) Occasionally (19) Often (25) Always (4)

5) Most students express (orally and in writing) primarily what they believe teachers/professors want to hear/read instead of saying or writing ideas and comments that may contradict the teacher/professor because students fear differences of opinion negatively impact students’ grades.

Never Rarely (2) Occasionally (18) Often (34) Always (2)

6) I am more likely to change my views by what my peers believe or say than what my teachers/professors believe or say.

Never (4) Rarely (17) Occasionally (17) Often (16) Always (2)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Reminders and FINAL Schedule

F 11/7: Class discussion, text readings

M 11/10: Flock of Dodos DVD; see link

W 11/12: Flock of Dodos cont.; discussion

F 11/14: Hersch, Tribe DUE; discussion

Questions for Hersch:
a) What were some of the reasons Hersch wrote this book? In other words, what kinds of questions about adolescents did she want to answer?
b) Choose one of the adolescents that Hersch focuses on. Describe them and their hopes, fears, and problems.
c) What conclusions does Hersch draw about adolescents in general?
d) What does this book tell us about either how our educational system works or how it should work?

M 11/17: Hersch, Tribe discussion

W 11/19: Virtual School, submit school choices; discuss assignment in class:

Virtual School Observations (12 hrs.):
Choose one school EACH from schools in Greenville County consisting of the following categories: elementary, middle, high, and other (career centers, child development centers, Governor’s school).

Do a virtual visit of each school that must include at least the following:

• Exploration of the most recent three consecutive years of that schools state report card.
• Analysis of the school’s web page. (See “Webculture” guidelines and read “School culture on the Internet” by Daniel Doerger, both provided on the course CD.)

Prepare a one-page handout on each school and make a brief presentation on what you learned (presentations due December 3 and 5).

F 11/21: Workshop with Peer Group; Share your essay with each member of your peer group; also submit your essay to your Peer Expert by the following guidelines:

Peer Experts:

Group 1: Jeff Heinzl
Group 2: Laura-Ann Jacobs
Group 3: Amanda Pepper
Group 4: Laura Johnson931
Group 5: Alison Flowers

M 11/24: Workshop with Peer Group; SUBMIT ESSAY BEFORE HOLIDAY BREAK

W 11/26: Thanksgiving Holiday

F 11/28: Thanksgiving Holiday

M 12/1: Essay discussion

W 12/3: Virtual School Visits Report

F 12/5: Virtual School Visits Report

M 12/8: "Choices for Children," Alfie Kohn

T 12/16: 8:30, Final Portfolio/ Exam

Next Education Secretary under Obama

Read this.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Do we remain biased in America?

Interesting Op-Ed in The State; note the two tests you can take on-line to identify your biases:

What? Me biased?