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Education in America

I Used to be a Teacher, But I Changed

I became a teacher by accident. I left teaching on purpose. 

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Education in America

Can You Pass Eleventh Grade?

This past week, education news outlets and blogs were abuzz when a school board member with impressive credentials took and could not pass the state standardized tests for students in his district. Rick Roach is a success by many definitions. From Marion Brady’s original piece (the first link): 

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Education in America

I Was Homeschooled

Not only was I homeschooled, I was homeschooled in 1987, when pretty much the only people who homeschooled also had an action plan for the Rapture. This is the story of how I became a dirty liberal womanist heathen.

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Education in America

Education in America: Cheating Scandals

I’m sure those of you that follow education have seen reports of cheating in DC, Atlanta, Florida and now possibly New Jersey. I’m not sure these will be the last reports we hear, either. A lot of the blame is falling on the teachers, even as principals and administrators are being implicated.

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Education in America

No Constituent Left Behind

My fellow Americans, and friends from other countries who have to deal with us, we are facing a national crisis.  Our politicians are failing us while sucking the taxpayers dry, and it’s time we did something about it.  I’m proposing new legislation on behalf of all Americans: No Constituent Left Behind.

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Education in America

Education in America: Indianapolis Mayor Fights for More Charter Schools

After several years of not meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), several Indianapolis high schools and one middle school face a takeover by the state this summer. The district, Indianapolis Public Schools, has until the results from standardized achievement tests (ISTEP+ for grades 3-8 and end of course assessments (ECAs) […]

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Education in America

Education in America: NY Teachers Appeal to Board of Regents

Many New York teachers, including eight former teachers of the year, have appealed to the Board of Regents about the recent change in how heavily standardized test scores will figure into NY teacher evaluations.  After originally agreeing to determining up to 20% of a teacher’s total score from test scores, the BoR caved to pressure […]

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Education in America

Education in America: Unforeseen Costs of Vouchers and Charters

I’m back after taking last week off, and today we’re going to play with hypotheticals. The news has been dominated recently with stories of mass teacher layoffs and terminations, including pink-slipping 5000+ teachers in Detroit; 1,500 in Broward County, FL; thousands in Texas; thousands in California; and thousands in New York City.

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Education in America

Education in America: L.A. Times Teacher Ratings

The Los Angeles Times has once again published “Value Added” ratings for all of its 3rd through 8th grade teachers, and the response is everything you might expect.  Teachers are angry for an assortment of reasons, teacher haters in comments sections are sharpening the points on their good pitchforks and once again, we’re trying to […]

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Education in America

Education in America: Arne Duncan Responds to Special Education Professionals

Mona talked about some of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s statements about students who receive special education services a few weeks ago.  Recently, he worked with the Council for Exceptional Children to try to provide answers to special education professionals.

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Education in America

Education in America: Standardized Tests = BMI

Today’s topic in our Education in America series is standardized tests.  As Mona and I have touched on briefly, they’re not the silver bullet which will expose and then fix all the problems in education.  In fact, they might be making things worse.  Let’s dig in, shall we?

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Education in America

Education in America: The Biggest Challenges in Special Education

Today instead of tackling a myth, we’re going to dig into special education, and maybe shed a little light on an often misunderstand branch of public (and to a lesser extent, private and charter school) education.   Before we get into the challenges, let’s all get a working definition of what special education means.

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Education in America

Education in America: Response to What?

In response to my defenses of teachers and the American public education system, people often ask me, “Mona, so what are we doing to support these struggling students that we hear so much about?” To this I answer, “RtI!”

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Education in America

Education in America: Mythbusting Monday – Unions pt. 1

Two relatively small words in the English language can strike fear, rage, and passion like no others.  Those two words are teachers’ unions. As you can probably guess, there are more myths and legends regarding teachers’ unions than we can cover in one installment, so today we’re only going to look at one facet of […]

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Education in America

Education in America, pt 1: Mythbusting Monday

As we talked about last week, we’re going to be working on an on-going series about education in America.   It’s sure to be one of the hot-button topics this election, and there will be a lot of column inches devoted to our education policy.  Because this is America, and we love our soundbites and scapegoats, […]