My life in teaching has convinced me of one thing. Americans don’t really understand the connection between what goes on in schools and the health of our democracy. If Americans understood this connection we would do everything we could to strengthen our schools and our teaching force. We would not hesitate to devote resources to schools. We would […]
The effectiveness of schools rests on the shoulders of teachers, and when we lose the best teachers before retirement age, we diminish the experience of children. I have been disheartened recently to run into two outstanding teachers who resigned their positions quite a few years before they reached retirement age. One of these teachers left her position […]
The teacher is at the heart of a student’s learning experience at school. Research shows that excellent teachers impact the lives of students in many ways, from academic learning outcomes, to lifetime earning potential. It makes sense then to pay a lot of attention to what helps teachers do their best work. Speaking from […]
This op-ed about redirecting money from textbook acquisition and 1:1 technology toward systemic change appeared in the Portland Press Herald August 25.
The testing culture that drives current educational decision-making in our schools impoverishes children in many ways. One of the external forces interfering with student learning is time stolen from teaching. A middle school colleague in Maine recently told me she literally lost five weeks of instructional time each year to standardized testing. In a system where […]
I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with all the hand-wringing about test scores of children in our public schools. We are by and large a state that will not do what is needed to increase academic achievement among all our students, so our test scores should be no surprise. You can’t fly in the face of […]
We all love the myth of the ‘American Dream’ – it’s comforting in a world that surrounds us continually with risk and inequity. The mythology holds that everyone has an equal shot at wealth and a satisfying professional life – all it takes is hard work, a winning disposition, and determination. Schools are said to give each child […]
These things happened to real teachers in Maine during the last weeks of school this year. Could the prevalence of this kind of incident help explain why we have trouble attracting the best and the brightest to the profession? On the second to last day of school, teacher was told she might be moved to […]