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Jun 29 2013

The Unreliable Narrator

An expression that has been popping up in many of the blogs by new TFA corps members is “behavior narration.”  This is, evidently, the big new ‘thing’ that the new TFAers are leaning as a classroom management tool. Back in 1991 when I was a CM, myself, the first edition of the book ‘Assertive Discipline’…

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A ‘miracle school’ is one that purports to get extraordinary results with the ‘same kids’ as the nearby ‘failing’ school.  Sometimes the miracle is high test scores, sometimes it is a high graduation rate, sometimes it is a high college acceptance rate.  In general the school usually gets one or two of those things at…

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Yesterday I noticed what I considered an unusual pair of re-Tweets by Randi Weingarten, president of the UFT. Weingarten is one of the few people on ‘my side’ of the ed reform debate who I have never met, personally.  She was portrayed as the ‘villain’ to Michelle Rhee’s ‘hero’ in ‘Waiting For Superman’ and also…

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It has been a while since I’ve done an episode of ‘Talking Ed.’  Last year I did four episodes which, unfortunately, were wiped out when Spreecast’s server crashed.  Now, with the school year almost over, and with TFA inductions and institutes starting to happen, I’ve decided to do another live show tomorrow, June 24th at…

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Jun 22 2013

“those teachers are failures”

It is nearly July which means that it is the time of year, again, where I offer my unsolicited, and generally unwanted, analysis of some of the blog entries by the newest cohort of TFA corps members.  I generally take a lot of criticism for doing this, even from people who regularly read my blog. …

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Throughout my teaching career, one thing has remained constant: what I’m trying to accomplish.  Back in the early 1990s there was no focus on test scores, thankfully.  My goal back then, as it is now, was for my students to like math more when they complete my class than they did when they began the…

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Jun 14 2013

My Discussion with Matt Barnum Part 5

Gary, That’s some fire-and-brimstone rhetoric you’re using, Gary. You’re absolutely right that pro-reform people like me are not doing a good job if we want to hide our tracks for when the reform-apocalypse is nigh. I’m not too worried though. I don’t like being deemed ‘moderate’ – because I think ‘moderates’ too often just vapidly…

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Jun 13 2013

Home Field Advantage

In New York State, the high school standardized tests are called ‘The Regents’ exams.  Unlike the state tests for grades 3 through 8, which are graded externally, the Regents have always been scored by the teachers in the school.  After they are graded, the tests would then sent off to Albany where they could be…

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Jun 08 2013

My experience at a #TFAListen event

TFA has two new co-CEO’s, Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer.  Since they have started a few months ago, they have been going on a ‘listening’ tour around the country.  Based on Tweets I had read about the tour and also from a montage video I had seen, the tone of the meetings could best be…

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The state education commissioner of New York, John King, recently imposed a teacher evaluation system on New York City after years of disagreement between the city and the teacher’s union. The evaluation system will consist of three components:  55 points for principal observations, 40 points for test scores, and 5 points for student surveys.  Much…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum

High School

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