Who’s Dissatisfied with Education? It’s Not Who You Think.

For a long time  — since 1999 — Gallup polling has been asking parents and the American public in general whether they are satisfied with their oldest child’s education.  Given the divisive and tumultuous state of education in the last 3 years, you might assume that parents are extremely unhappy with the schools and districts […]

The 4-Day School Week: Some Pros and Cons

Several news outlets have reported recently that school districts across the country are turning to a shortened school week to cope with shrinking budgets and to recruit and retain staff.  Since the pandemic and the resulting teacher shortage its use has increased rapidly, especially in rural areas. Some states, like Missouri, now have 25% of […]

COVID: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The NWEA just published a study detailing student progress in 2022-23, creatively titled Education’s Long Covid.  Why the report earned that title is clear from page 1: the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still reverberating throughout the U.S. educational system, even though the pandemic itself is no longer a national emergency. The report details […]

The Faulty Practice of Grade Level Retention

In the last post, I discussed Mississippi’s “miracle” of improved literacy and one of the tent poles of that program: grade level retention.  Mississippi isn’t alone in this type of policy: at least 25 states either allow or require retention when a child fails to pass a reading test at the end of 3rd grade. […]

The Mississippi “Miracle”

I love a good data dive.  Even more, I love a data dive with some complexity. But a spate of recent stories on the Mississippi literacy “miracle” has me torn.  My inner data nerd is fascinated by the data puzzle,  but my teacher heart hurts for all the kids caught up in the messy reality […]

How Teachers See their Jobs: New Findings from a Pair of Surveys

A new survey of teachers by EdWeek and Merrimack College revealed some trends among educators in 2023.  This, combined with a survey conducted by the NEA in 2022, offers some illuminating insights into how teachers perceive the state of their profession.  The overall assessment was mixed,  with morale appearing to be heading up but issues […]

Mirrors and Windows: How to Improve Representation in U.S. Classrooms (Part 2)

In Part 1, we looked at why representing the whole, gorgeous tapestry of U.S. diversity was important in classrooms. The short and sweet version: it’s good pedagogy, it improves learning, and it builds important life and career skills for everyone living in an increasingly diverse country. In Part 2, we’re going to talk about how […]

Mirrors and Windows: The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Educational Materials (Part 1)

Culturally responsive instruction is an approach to teaching and learning which incorporates materials that reflect students’ cultural communities and those of different communities.  The idea is to draw students in with what is familiar to them (“mirrors”) and also offer new information in areas they are not familiar with (“windows”). This is sound pedagogy that […]

Online Resource Warehouses: Should Teachers be Using Them?

In Part 1 we looked at some hard data that offered reasons why teachers use Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) and other similar sites to supplement existing curriculum. Reasons ranged from trying to increase diversity and inclusion to trying to make curriculum more engaging for students to trying to fill holes left by district resources. In […]

Online Resource Warehouses: Some Hard Data

Online curriculum warehouses are a widely-utilized resource for curriculum materials and also big business. Probably the best known of the bunch is Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), which boasts on its website that two thirds of U.S. teachers have downloaded at least one item from them, to the tune of a billion downloads in 2020 alone. […]