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January 9, 2015
Yes, it’s time to embrace cell phones in class
Teacher John Giambalvo argues that educators shouldn't overlook specific, academic ways to use phones as soon as they are allowed.
December 11, 2014
How to make standardized tests more useful for teachers
A teacher argues that the debate around standardized testing should focus on two questions: when should we assess students and how do we make the tests useful for teachers?
November 25, 2014
How de Blasio is perpetuating Bloomberg’s myth of the failing school
Education professor David Bloomfield: In his renewal plan for struggling schools, Mayor de Blasio has mistakenly fallen for a myth usually promoted by his conservative adversaries: that failure is the fault of individual schools, not the school system.
November 21, 2014
How to stop controlling students and start helping them control themselves
More and more teachers are aware that students’ social emotional skills influence their success, alongside their academic ones. But how those skills are taught is crucial and too often, educators turn to what they see as a quick fix.
November 13, 2014
What Mayor de Blasio’s school-improvement plan is missing: a goal
Education professor Aaron Pallas: The mayor failed to deliver a clear message about his goals for the school system — and that ambiguity may leave us with the same, traditional ways of measuring success by test scores and graduation rates.
November 11, 2014
As changes come to social studies testing, it’s time to reinvent the teaching
Social studies teacher Stephen Lazar: Making the global history Regents exam optional for many students offers an opportunity to redesign social studies classes to make them more relevant and engaging.
October 24, 2014
To improve teaching, give teachers collaboration time, not just pre-made lessons
Education professor Sharon Dotger argues that teachers need more than a reduced lesson-planning burden to improve — they need time and techniques to examine what worked and didn’t work in their classrooms.
October 10, 2014
Low-profile Quality Review changes are a big deal, but only if there are ‘next steps’
The real challenge facing the Department of Education is how to find the right balance between accountability and support. Done right, a new Quality Review process could be a real step in that direction, a teacher and a network leader write.
October 9, 2014
How I transformed my school with just five new hours a week
The principal of Denver's Grant Beacon Middle School describes the expanded school day program that he says has helped propel his school from "on watch" to thriving in just a few years.
October 6, 2014
Success Academy teachers don’t plan their lessons, and other teachers shouldn’t either
District high school teacher Sherry Lewkowicz: Success Academy schools see the foolishness of having teachers, on a daily basis, reinventing the wheel—otherwise known as lesson planning. It’s time traditional public schools admit the same.
September 30, 2014
To raise graduation rates, the de Blasio administration needs a comprehensive strategy
Former deputy chancellor Eric Nadelstern: So far, Chancellor Fariña's initiatives have not globally addressed the entire school system, and they have not made student performance their central ambition.
September 25, 2014
To best serve their students, schools need to be realistic about their special-ed capacity
Schools can't be afraid to get real about what they can and can't provide for students with special needs if they want to come up with the best plans for students, Mark Anderson writes.
August 8, 2014
When showering students with support backfires, it’s helpful to step back
A school volunteer says a year working intensively with students taught her a lesson: that policymakers can’t assume that individualized attention on its own is always the answer.
July 31, 2014
As the city re-thinks school support, partnerships deserve more scrutiny
Education Leadership Professor David Bloomfield calls for more public accountability for the Partnership Support Organizations that help manage schools.
July 14, 2014
The city’s gifted education system needs to shift, one school at a time
A researcher describes a schoolwide model for gifted education that Chancellor Carmen Fariña supports, but without a widespread appetite for change, she says the best way to change gifted teaching in New York City is one school at a time.
July 10, 2014
A tale of two schools: How summer reveals a growing divide
An assistant principal explains how she's seen a "tale of two cities" play out across schools—and how parents could help.
June 26, 2014
The larger issues at stake in the fight over an IB program: a parent's view
A parent argues that the fight over the IB program at George Washington High School is emblematic of larger problems in Denver Public Schools.
June 25, 2014
The coming changes to George Washington High School, as told by its principal
The principal of Denver's George Washington High School explains the changes he is making to all of the school's academic pathways, including to the school's International Baccalaureate program.
June 24, 2014
A student plan to equalize opportunity at George Washington High School
A recent graduate of of the traditional track program at Denver's George Washington High School describes how her education was shortchanged there, and how it could be made better.
June 24, 2014
Pairing serious inquiry with play, my students find a balance education policy lacks
Describing her students' end-of-year presentation, a teacher makes the case for curricula that blend "piety" and "play."
June 17, 2014
When teaching students with special needs, special training isn’t everything
A special education teacher argues that for most students with special needs, integrated classes taught by two teachers is the best approach because it gives them access to teachers with deep content knowledge and sends a clear message that all students, regardless of ability, can strive to meet high standards.
June 16, 2014
School’s Out but Learning is Still In: Summer Resources for Families of Students with Learning Differences
As the final dismissal bells tolled to mark the official start of summer, thousands of students across the state headed home and won’t spend a moment more…
June 6, 2014
Unable to suggest other schools, teachers left with special ed reform dilemma
A middle school special education teacher is concerned that city policy has schools like hers constantly scrambling to support the needs of new students who might be better served by different schools.
May 30, 2014
What I learned from four years of fighting for the city’s ‘scariest’ schools
An unlikely parent advocate explains why she chose to work in schools slated for closure—and what she learned from the students and teachers who stuck it out.
May 23, 2014
How a very unlikely school visit improved my students’ writing
Rather than turning exclusively to other private schools for insight, a Catholic school principal looked to district schools and a Brooklyn charter school teaching Greek for new models.
May 21, 2014
An overlooked part of fixing school discipline policies: reducing fear
A behavior coach and former Bronx school administrator argues that overhauling teachers understand misbehavior and interact with their toughest students is key to improving school discipline policies.
May 13, 2014
City’s approach to assigning credits allows for fresh starts, but increases frustration
A high school teacher reflects on how offering credits at two points in the year leads to differences in student emotion and motivation.
May 9, 2014
A college counselor, his students, and the vision of a life beyond poverty: an exclusive excerpt from “Hold Fast To Dreams”
For low-income students from an under-resourced school, Joshua Steckel knows that college essays are a crucial way to stand out. But he is unprepared for the complexity of asking students to write about their lives when, in many cases, they have been shaped by struggle and trauma.
May 7, 2014
Swamped with assessments, the biggest lesson my students learn is how to give up
A second grade special education teacher: "We have spent so much instructional time assessing our students this year that we have not been able to effectively use the data we have collected," at great cost to students' learning, confidence and self-worth.
May 5, 2014
Why students need more Black and Latino teachers: an exclusive excerpt from José Vilson’s “This is Not a Test”
A middle school math teacher argues that city students need more teachers who look like them—and like him.
May 1, 2014
Why it's a mistake for Jeffco to let diversity be just a basic value
A long time educator and education advocate airs significant grievances with the Jeffco School Board of Education's approach to diversity.
April 28, 2014
The city’s attendance system is inefficient—and I’ve seen a better way
After moving from Philadelphia to New York City, a teacher argues that the city's pencil-and-paper attendance system is wildly inefficient.
April 28, 2014
Emotional intelligence and critical decision making courses can help middle and high schools
A passionate writer and domestic violence victims' advocate says there's more that we can be doing to prevent school violence and it's right under our noses.
April 25, 2014
Are our schools learning organizations?
A Denver teacher leader notes that there's more to being a "learning organization" than meets the eye.
April 23, 2014
How teaching students with special needs makes me a better teacher for everyone
A special education teacher argues that educating children who don't have special needs in the same classroom as those who do, as happens more and more under special education reforms, can be an opportunity for greater learning for all students—if teachers get creative.
April 23, 2014
Against PARCC: an argument in response to Elaine Gantz Berman
Proponents of the controversial Common Core aligned PARCC test suggest that it is a "more rigorous" standardized test and will create better students. But a parent argues that a closer look at supporters’ claims raises many questions.
April 22, 2014
Improving teacher quality through licensing
Two current teachers argue that incoming teachers should undergo internships not unlike those required to become physicians.
April 22, 2014
Clinging to the idea of choice, some students leave their best option behind
A Harlem high school teacher argues that the city's policy of school choice creates the illusion that everything is temporary, encouraging some students to transfer when they would be better off staying put.
April 21, 2014
Demystifying a Great Lesson
You walk into a classroom. You see students are excitedly conversing with each other, taking notes on their papers and drawing models. The teacher rotates…
April 18, 2014
The type of education we should all expect
A mother of three school-aged children (and an alumna) of the Northeast Denver community argues that implementing the Common Core standards is a step in the right direction for providing equitable education for all students.
April 15, 2014
How parenting programs change lives: two Spanish-speaking parents share their experience
A coordinator for parents-as-teachers programs demonstrates the importance of parenting programs in getting parents involved in their children's education - what's more, she highlights the growing need for offering these programs in Spanish.
April 11, 2014
How the Danielson rubric could be more effective for city teachers and principals
A consultant who works with city principals says rating all teachers by the Danielson Rubric every time they're observed won't lead to better teachers. He proposes another way.
April 11, 2014
The looming storm ahead
A Colorado native who entered the field of education with a law degree but no experience in education argues that more people who find themselves looking for a cause, like he did in 2009, should follow suit.
April 9, 2014
Why embracing PARCC is an act of boldly leading the nation in the right direction
A member of the state Board of Education urges Coloradans to "be bold and lead the nation" by committing to PARCC assessments.
April 7, 2014
Our state's economy relies on our public education system
The retired Vice President of Community Affairs at MillerCoors Brewing Company argues that Colorado's new academic standards are necessary for the vitality of the state's economy.
April 4, 2014
Send us your First Person stories
Welcome to our First Person page where teachers, students, education advocates, administrators and policy makers are encouraged to share their stories about classroom experiences, successful…
April 3, 2014
Everyone has a shot at success, but not a fair shot
A Project VOYCE student advocate summarizes the dialogue that took place at the "State of the Student Address" last month and urges us to more highly prioritize student voice in school improvement.
April 3, 2014
Why I opted my child out—not of tests, but of test prep
A city father says his protest against the influence of testing on the curriculum is to have his third-grader abstain from test prep while still taking this year's state tests.
April 2, 2014
Is testing taking over our schools? An entire faculty says yes
Sixth-graders at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Queens, like many city students, are sitting for 18 days of state and city testing in the next six weeks. The school's entire faculty says the cost of the testing is too high.
March 31, 2014
How can we produce more teacher leaders?
A teacher and facilitator of standards based grading points out the benefits that teacher leaders have on their peers and how the position provides a path of upward mobility to strive for.
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