Category: Teachers

Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation

Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation

I’ve been working on teacher evaluation for most of my career as a teacher, administrator, and teacher educator; first being evaluated, then doing the evaluation as an assistant principal and subject area coordinator, then helping design a state-wide beginning teacher evaluation initiative. After nearly 40 years in education, all I can say is that the current system is the worst […]

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What you need to know about accountability, tests, and music

What you need to know about accountability, tests, and music

In the past couple of days I’ve seen a number of troubling statements about education and policy-related issues, like standardized testing, from a variety of political leaders. And I keep coming back to the same word to describe how I feel after reading their ideas about the state of public education. Disappointed. One of these statements was from a hopeful […]

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The biggest loss in education is the loss of teachers’ voices

The biggest loss in education is the loss of teachers’ voices

I received the note below from a former student who is now a teacher. For obvious reasons, I won’t identify her or where she teaches, but–shockingly–her story is becoming all too common… We had a union meeting yesterday where they warned us that the governor is going after the certificates of teachers that opted out their kids (of the state […]

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Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable

Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable

My son asked me today on the ride home from his after school jazz band practice if it ever bothered me that persons with less education than I had made more money–a lot more money–than I did. “That’s an easy one,” I told him. “No. Because how much money someone makes has nothing to do with their value in this […]

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It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2

It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2

It’s a common refrain among the reformer Illuminati whenever they experience any push-back against their anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-public education, anti-Motherhood-apple-pie-and-hot-dogs agenda. You can bet your bottom privatization dollar that as soon as these edu-tourists hear any reasonable, evidence-based rationale refuting their radical positions on teacher evaluation, tenure or the use of Value-Added Measures, they will inevitably blurt out the one […]

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It’s Not All About the Kids

It’s Not All About the Kids

I’ve been seeing lots of posts lately about how the fight against Betsy DeVos and the “school reform” movement in general is “all about the kids.” But it’s not all about the kids. And it shouldn’t be. I’m a career teacher and have been a teacher educator for about 20 years now. I love kids, and have my own children […]

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Episode 12: What Betsy Devos needs to know about public education. With special guest teacher/advocate Patrick Kearney

Episode 12: What Betsy Devos needs to know about public education. With special guest teacher/advocate Patrick Kearney

The show notes for Episode 12 are at http://www.eclectablog.com/2016/12/episode-12-never-retweet-trump-and-other-lessons-from-2016-with-special-guest-teacheradvocate-patrick-kearney.html George Lakoff: How to Help Trump Greg Sargent: Could Trump help unleash nuclear catastrophe with a single tweet? STAT: Labor union members collect 25,000 signatures during the three weeks of Michigan’s lame duck session STAT: If we cut off all 30 million poor kids now enrolled in Medicaid, it would save […]

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Who’s narrating the “Teacher Shortage” narrative?

Who’s narrating the “Teacher Shortage” narrative?

A column written last year by Stephen Mucher, Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Bard College, has attracted a lot of attention from those concerned about the health and vitality of public education. And for good reason. Mr. Mucher mentions the recent history of campus protests across the country, which he says he has noticed on his […]

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The truth about school “choice”

The truth about school “choice”

Like President-designate Donald Trump, and his nominee for Secretary of Education, Michigan billionaire and Amway heiress, Betsy DeVos, I’m a huuuuge proponent of “school choice.” What’s more American than the freedom to choose (unless you’re a woman, and we’re talking about reproductive health choices–but I digress…)? It’s a fundamental human right to be able to make important personal choices about […]

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AFT, SPLC and more than 100 other groups ask Trump to denounce hate acts

AFT, SPLC and more than 100 other groups ask Trump to denounce hate acts

Letter represents the voices of more than 10 million people asking the president-elect to speak out against hateful acts and ideology. Labor, civil rights and faith leaders, along with many others, called on President-elect Donald Trump to take a much stronger stance against hate-fueled acts of harassment, vandalism, property destruction and assault that have happened since his election. More than […]

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Sorry, when it comes to education policy, this IS personal

Sorry, when it comes to education policy, this IS personal

I got into a bit of a Twitter tussle the other day with a self-styled “education policy expert” for a Michigan corporate education reform group. While this person has never taught in a public school, and has little background or experience in education at all, he is now the Education Policy Director for this organization. After exchanging tweets for a […]

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