Journal

Journal

Teachers and Teaching: “Teaching Loss”

This is Part 1 of a short series on issues specific to teaching and teachers. No, this isn’t another post about how teachers are leaving the profession.  In fact, this is not about teaching the profession, but rather, about teaching the practice — the strategies and approaches teachers employ when they  deliver learning to students […]

New Jersey’s Judicial Ruling on De Facto School Segregation

In a recent pre-trial decision, a New Jersey superior court judge recently ruled that the state has systematically failed to address the problem of racial segregation that exists in its public schools. The state’s central argument is that the public education system is socioeconomically segregated and that racial segregation exists across every district.  Essentially, they’re […]

School Choice Part Deux: Lawsuits and Legislation Challenges

School choice is popular in some circles, but problematic for economically disadvantaged students, special needs students, their parents, and (as it turns out) entire states.  A lawsuit in Ohio and a legislative hearing in Texas offer glimpses into two critical issues. In Ohio, nearly a third of the state’s public school districts have joined a […]

The Case for Keeping Miscue Analysis

In the last post, I talked about several things that are in danger of being eliminated in the push to get rid of balanced literacy programs.  One of those things — Miscue Analysis — has already been more or less banned in Texas. I have been told, but can’t confirm independently, that this was the […]

The Science of Reading and the Wild Pendulum of Educational Practice

There’s been a movement over the last several years to replace “balanced literacy” reading programs* with the “science of reading.”  As of now, the science of reading is winning. More than 30 state legislatures now require reading programs to utilize the science of reading and more are poised to require it.  Proponents for both types […]

The Most Real-World, Relevant Classroom Activity Ever

Can you think of a classroom activity that is firmly rooted in the real world,  extremely relevant to the kids, and off-the-charts engaging as a result? This story, reported by NPR, is a fantastic example.  A national non-profit, Trust for the Public Land, is working to make parks and outdoor spaces accessible to everyone. For […]

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. […]