Tag: Students

Education Reform Isn’t A 4-Letter Word

If you didn’t know any better, you might think there’s a civil war brewing right now in school systems across the country. It’s called education reform. Education reformers support school choice initiatives and accountability for public schools. Reformers are passionate about closing achievement gaps and building better public schools, but don’t necessarily believe that the conventional methods of education are…

Labels Are For Products, Not Students

I can remember sitting down with my team of teachers at the end of the school year, filling out a form that included all of the students’ names, academic abilities, behavior issues, etc. This list would be passed to the next team of teachers that taught these students the upcoming year. We included which students should be with which teachers……

It’s Not Enough To Talk About Equity. You Have To Do Something, Too.

By the time I graduated college, I was well-versed in all sorts of teacher talk about equity and social justice. I had gotten into books like Pedagogy of the Oppressed and The Dreamkeepers, and they were basically my law and gospel. I thought the wisdom they imparted alone would be all I needed to close the achievement gap by myself.…

Bring Student Voice Back To Kentucky

Although Kentucky has now dropped this practice, one informal factor of teacher evaluations used to come in the form of student voice surveys. The surveys were introduced back in 2013 as part of Kentucky’s new professional growth and evaluation system (PGES), designed to make sure that teachers are growing in their skills and being held to high standards. As the…

‘Tough Kids’ Need Love Too

For twenty years I worked in traditional school settings — “normal” elementary and middle schools. Then it all changed. I was sent to work at our district’s alternative learning center. I had heard about the ALC. That’s where the “bad” kids were sent. The kids that bullied others. The kids that brought weapons to school. The kids that made bomb threats.…

If You Want Great Schools, Build Great School Climates

Seeds don’t grow in bad soil. It doesn’t matter how much water or sunlight you give them or how much you drown them in Miracle-Gro. If you plant a seed in rocky soil, don’t expect much to happen. School climate — characterized by high expectations, positive relationships, student engagement, and more — is the soil that can make or break student performance.…

Live From Rural Kentucky, It’s The Belief Gap!

Mass media has an unmistakable impact on our impressions of people and places. Take, for example, shows like Baywatch and 90210, which color our perceptions of Los Angeles. When I think of the City of Angels, I see endless sunshine, luxury, and Kardashian-esque mansions. When I think of The Big Apple, songs like Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and Alicia…

This Teacher’s Twitter Thread Went Viral, And For Good Reason

If you were on the Twitterverse yesterday, you may have seen this amazing thread that’s going viral. (I was one of the first to retweet, just saying.) It’s from Monte Syrie, a high school English teacher in Washington State. I’ve “storified” the thread he shared about his student, Meg, with his permission. It’s a great read that I think you’ll…

Citing Low Performance and Student Abuse, Interim Commissioner Lewis Calls For JCPS Takeover

Jefferson County Public Schools is facing a takeover. Referencing the low performance of several Louisville schools as well as abuses in student discipline, Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis stated on Monday that he will attempt to give control over the JCPS district to the state. JCPS is one of the nation’s largest school districts, and the largest in…

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