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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.
March 27, 2014
Engaging the disengaged: strength-based teaching
A retired literacy teacher demonstrates the impact that she sees in using positive reinforcement with her students.
March 27, 2014
Meet the makers: How my iSchoolers turned curiosity into circuits
An NYC iSchool teacher who doesn't know physical computing but helped her students teach themselves interviews them about the learning process and where they plan to take their project next.
March 25, 2014
How my school is bringing teachers together to improve students’ IEPs
In a series about special education, teacher Mark Anderson describes the limitations in the traditional IEP process and explains how he changed the way his colleagues share their insights about students' needs and performance.
March 24, 2014
Finding common ground on Common Core
A former teacher and current Teacher in Residence for School Redesign with the Center for Teaching Quality argues that both sides of the Common Core argument have something to offer.
March 21, 2014
I navigate high school admissions for my job, and it’s still confusing
A middle school guidance counselor explains how gaps in understanding and resources diminish the power of the high school admissions process.
March 20, 2014
What my family got out of daycare that public pre-K could provide
A mother says she hopes the city's expansion of pre-kindergarten will provide the same kind of insight into child development, strategies to try at home, and dynamic social atmosphere that her children's daycare offered.
March 20, 2014
The power of teaching (and speaking) in the present tense: my testimony in favor of Common Core
An English language arts teacher shares her experience bringing the Common Core standards into her classroom.
March 18, 2014
Students at Manual want to be heard — and they have a lot to say
Last month, Chalkbeat staff began to seek out the voices of Manual High School students: What are their experiences at school? What does Manual do well or not well for them as students? Ultimately, what about students' experiences did we miss in our reporting?
March 17, 2014
Talking about special education when words fall short
A fifth-year teacher from the Bronx kicks off a series about how his school tackles the tough realities of special education — even though he says he doesn't even have a good handle on what the term really means.
March 13, 2014
Famous people of influence have been saying it for centuries: physical education is key
A p.e. teacher argues that Colorado parents need to take a more active role in prodding schools to value physical education.
March 10, 2014
An open letter to Manual stakeholders, the DPS Board of Education and DPS leaders
A Manual alum and liaison to the school under Superintendent Michael Bennet offers some insights based on past experience on how the school and community can move forward.
March 10, 2014
Identifying talented teachers: what is talent?
This lack of certainty around what exactly makes a quality teacher is why one educator is worried that some reforms proposed for teacher preparation may box us into tight requirements with unintended consequences.
March 7, 2014
Vote early, vote often for You Can Play, Colorado! student videos
The Colorado High School Activities Association today released 13 student-produced videos from every region across Colorado as part of its “You Can Play, Colorado!” contest—a program focused on stopping bullying and delivering messages of inclusion and acceptance for all students participating in high school activities such as sports, speech, music and student leadership.
March 3, 2014
A first year teacher in defense of veteran teachers
A new teacher licensed through alternative channels defends veteran teachers who she says are too often falsely labeled as resistant to change.
February 28, 2014
Why I am passionate about education and parent engagement
Parent advocate Princess Mack explains how her passion for helping parents get involved in their children's education stems from her own experience slipping through cracks in the school system.
February 26, 2014
Elevating the status of the teaching profession
The vice-president of the Public Education & Business Coalition argues that too few of our country's public policies support making teaching attractive as a long-term career.
February 24, 2014
How Denver Public Schools can improve its parent engagement: a parent's view
A Denver Public Schools parent has some tips for how the district can more effectively communicate with and engage parents to boost student achievement.
February 20, 2014
Why I think keeping schools open all winter was the right call
An assistant principal explains why she came around to Chancellor Carmen Fariña's philosophy on snow days last week after trudging through the snow to her Chinatown school.
February 20, 2014
Colorado Academic Standards give parents peace of mind
A parent and Stand for Children parent leader explains why the new Colorado Academic Standards help him feel more confident that his students will learn and be ready for college and beyond.
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