Oct 24, 2014 |
Why don’t you ever post videos of teachers attacking students?
A reader sent me a chastising email I don’t post enough about teachers gone bad. He cited a recent spate of videos – many of which appeared on news websites – that show educators “attacking” students. He queried, “Why don’t you ever post the videos?”
Here’s why. We have no idea what’s going on in most of them.
Most are short clips of a longer incident. For instance, a grainy video making the rounds this week appears to show an administrator pushing a teen to the floor. We don’t know what happened before the two figures enter the video frame. There’s no [More]
Oct 23, 2014
Point but don’t shoot: Districts allow seniors to pose with their guns in yearbook photos
I was unaware of the trend of allowing students to pose with props in their senior class photos, including firearms. Most of the yearbooks I’ve seen mandate the traditional headshots.
But apparently districts in rural regions of the country with hunting cultures are permitting students to pose with their hunting rifles, including Broken Bow Schools in Nebraska where the school board just voted to allow seniors to do so if the photos are tasteful.
The rationale is that athletes pose with footballs and band members pose with musical instruments. However, you could argue there’s a difference in footballs and French horns — [More]
Oct 23, 2014
A maverick to the end. Republican John Barge endorses Democrat Valarie Wilson for school chief.
With his noon endorsement of Democrat Valarie Wilson today, Republican State School Superintendent John Barge is leaving his office in the same manner he arrived and served — bucking a GOP establishment that regards him as an outsider and a renegade.
“Valarie Wilson is the only candidate in this race for state school superintendent who understands the real issues facing our public education system in Georgia,” said Barge in his statement of support.
“Education leaders also know that, despite the rhetoric, they have taken massive hits to their budgets over the last four years. Valarie Wilson has and will continue to [More]
Oct 22, 2014
When most students fail your test: ‘What would an excellent teacher do?’
If the majority of students in a class do poorly on a test, how do we know whether the kids didn’t learn the material or the teacher didn’t teach it?
Or at least teach it effectively?
When students fail en masse, should teachers reconsider the format of the class and how they are teaching the content?
I have talked to teachers who have thrown out the pacing guide after realizing their students are unprepared and require a more fundamental approach to the material. Of course, going back to basics means the students may not be ready for the end-of-the-year exams in the class.
Oct 22, 2014
John Barge has been full of surprises. One is likely coming tomorrow in his press conference with Valarie Wilson.
Republican State School Superintendent John Barge has been full of surprises, from bucking his own party on the charter school amendment in 2012 to running against Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary this year.
Seems like we are going to get another surprise tomorrow.
This release from Democratic school chief candidate Valarie Wilson clearly suggests a Wilson-Barge rapport, better known in political circles as an endorsement.
From the Valarie Wilson campaign:
Sitting State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge (R) will join State School Superintendent Candidate Valarie Wilson (D) to make a special announcement and host a press conference on Thursday at [More]
Oct 22, 2014
In shaping Ebola policy in schools and statewide, consult families and people most affected
In this essay, former AJC reporter George Chidi discusses the DeKalb County School District policy on new students arriving from African nations in light of the Ebola panic.
Chidi is a Pine Lake councilman, CEO of the competitive intelligence consultancy Neon Flag, and part of the Peach Pundit team blog.
By George Chidi
The DeKalb County school system has about 100,000 students. Of those, about a sixth, or 16,000 are “international” students – either foreign-born or the American children of immigrants. And of the international students, perhaps 3000 or so are from sub-Saharan Africa. Most of those are from Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea [More]
Oct 21, 2014
Nathan Deal campaign: You downplayed our candidate’s vision for education
Nathan Deal’s campaign was unhappy with my Monday column in the print AJC, which also ran on the blog.
You can read my piece here.
If you read it, you will see the point wasn’t either candidate’s education platform, but the misplaced focus in this contest on the HOPE Scholarship, which, in my view, is in no danger.
My main point: We ought to be discussing the bigger question, which is what the role of the state should even be in education reform.
In the meantime, here is Deal campaign’s response. This response underscores how close the Deal camp considers this race to [More]
Oct 21, 2014
Are smartphones the future of classroom learning or a threat to it?
Smartphones seem to present real headaches for teachers. While many educators understand the phones represent a potential learning tool, they’re finding them an actual problem now.
Here are some examples.
Last week, while waiting for my first pumpkin latte of the season, I ran into an old neighbor who quizzed me on standard school policies on confiscating student phones in class.
Her son’s middle school math teacher took away his iPhone because he texted in class. Class ran over, the teacher was deep in conversation with another student and her son didn’t have time to wait to retrieve his phone as he had [More]