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]
Oct 20, 2014
An architect of No Child Left Behind looks back on failed reforms and says, ‘We forgot the why.’
In Atlanta Friday, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige explained the chief cause of decades of failed school reform. Yes, we have overhauled the how, when, where and what of education, but Paige says we ignored the most critical element — the why.
“When kids understand why they are learning something, why it is relevant, they will study,” said Paige, speaking to the Southern K-14 Education Innovation Summit at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
“It is hard for them to commit themselves to this if they don’t have a why. So far, most reform efforts have been about re-engineering the system. This is [More]
Oct 19, 2014
The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia: Heads up, hands off and suspicion all around
Retired Pelham City Schools Superintendent Jim Arnold takes up a topic today of interest to many educators — their retirement funds and where the money can be invested and by whom.
By Jim Arnold
There’s a wolf in the closet. He’ll stay there until after the Nov. 4 election, but somebody will open the door for him once the votes are in. Count on it.
Both candidates for governor have expressed an interest in letting this wolf out, and once out he won’t go back in again. The lure of $59 billion, regardless of the source of those funds and especially in the [More]
Oct 16, 2014
DeKalb Schools: No new students from Ebola-affected areas without approval
Given its status as a top destination for newly arrived immigrant students, the DeKalb County School District has announced a policy on new students from Ebola-impacted countries or U.S. areas dealing with the deadly disease.
This week, DeKalb blocked enrollment of two students who recently returned from West Africa.
According to the AJC:
DeKalb school officials said the father worked for CARE, a humanitarian organization, as a finance controller in the Liberia/Sierra Leone office. He returned to the United States on Sept. 14 with his family and tried to enroll the children Wednesday at Dunwoody Elementary and Dunwoody High.
According to school officials, [More]