Three Strikes, You’re Out: Teacher Shortages and High-Poverty Schools

Here’s a disturbing article from EPI examining the trends in teacher training, experience and turnover between low-poverty schools and their high-poverty counterparts.  The article both cites the current shortfall of teachers in American Classrooms and looks at which schools are most affected. Strike One:  Teachers are less prepared to teach High-poverty schools have more non-credentialed […]

College Degrees, Return on Investment, and Rigor

This recent opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal should spark some conversation. The author asserts that English degrees, while often coming at a high cost, don’t provide enough return on investment because they don’t have the earning potential of, say, an engineering degree.  He also asserts that most who major in English come to […]

When Bubbles Collide

Not too long ago, I wrote a journal post entitled “Thoughts from Inside the Bubble.”  An article from the September issue of Kappan magazine perfectly and memorably  captured the essence of the bubble concept. In it, Gerald Fowler (now a professor at Shippensburg University) writes of his decision to get a class pet for his […]

When the Gatekeeper Becomes the Key Master: The SAT and the Overhauling of High School Math

Well, it’s October, so you’ll have to excuse the Ghostbusters reference. Freakonomics Radio’s most recent podcast, “America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up“, should be required listening for all auditors, all educators, and all parents of kids currently slogging through high school math. There’s a lot to unpack here, all of it relevant and timely in […]

Your Brain on Reading

Reading is one of those things that, if you do it well, seems like it should be a gimme.  But reading is not instinctive or natural — it’s a highly complex,  learned skill.  Take a look at the history and process of reading in this video from the Bodine School.

The Hidden Cost of Dyslexia

Many years ago, I had a 9th grade student named R.   R. was a nice kid, but never seemed to be able to earn better than Ds and Fs, no matter how hard he worked.  His handwriting looked like a kindergartner’s, with a mix of capital and lower-case letters in huge block form with some […]

Diplomas vs. GEDs: The Role of Grit in Education

Most educators have had to study some version of the history of education as part of their teaching program in college.  Most may remember, albeit dimly, Horace Mann, the creator of the Common School.  What many may not remember is that while Mann believed firmly in the power of education to raise people out of […]

What Kids Do All Day

Grant Wiggins, who wrote the influential book Understanding by Design, posted this article, written by his daughter Alexis, a 15-year teaching veteran.  Ms. Wiggins shadowed a pair of students for a day — one a senior and one a sophomore — to see what their experiences as students were really like.  What she found was […]

Picking Apart the Daisy Chain: Standardized Tests as Predictors of Success

Remember Elle?  The fashion-obsessed sorority girl that follows her ex-boyfriend (somewhat improbably) to Harvard Law School and despite her non-traditional background manages to win a highly publicized murder trial, all while wearing her defining hot pink dress?  Hollywood fantasy, right? Maybe not.  Or at least, not entirely. In Episode 2 of Season 4 of Revisionist […]

The Tortoise, the Hare, and the LSAT

FINALLY, Malcolm Gladwell is back with season 4 of his Revisionist History podcast and he does not disappoint.  In the first episode, he explores the LSAT from one highly specific perspective:  time. Performance on the LSAT determines what law school students get into; those who are both accurate and fast do best on the tightly timed sections […]