Thanks so much for visiting me here on my newly revised website. Along with an altogether new look, the changes allow me to more readily offer you timely, informative articles, websites to visit, and even quotes to use in your teaching. There’s also, of course, my free, monthly The School-Wise Newsletter, keeping readers up-to-date on all that’s happening in education.

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Scholastic’s Survey of Teachers’ Classroom Spending

29/11/2016   |   1 Comment

The education publishing company Scholastic surveyed 3,694 teachers (including 76 school librarians) and 1,027 principals this past summer and found that a majority feel their students, both low- and high-poverty, face barriers to learning outside of the classroom. To help make a difference, the surveyed teachers:

  • On average, spent $530 of their own money on classroom items.
  • On average, spent $672 in high-poverty schools


  • 70% indicated they’d bought food and snacks for their students.
  • 65% purchased cleaning supplies.
  • 26% bought clothing for their students.
  • 56% purchased classroom books.

Plus, on average, the surveyed principals spent $683 for classroom or student supplies over the past year, with those in high-poverty schools averaging $1,014.  79% indicated they’d bought food and snacks for students.

Another interesting finding: While most teachers have classroom libraries, 31% have fewer than 50 books. Those in elementary schools have, on average, 362 books; middle school teachers average 189 books, and those at the high school level have just 93.

And so it goes…


Obama’s Race to the Top’s Non-Academic Impact

28/11/2016   |   1 Comment

According to a report by the Institute of Education Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education, there’s little evidence that the Obama administration’s initial $4.35 billion Race to the Top (others followed) had much, if any, impact on student achievement or state policy. If you remember, this signature grant program of his and then Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s–in  essence a government bribe–rewarded states for adopting such priorities of theirs as rigorous standards (think Common Core), updated data systems, turnaround policies for “failing” schools, and value added measures to evaluate teachers based on student test scores.

Not surprisingly, just about every state applied and at great expense, but just 11 and D.C. went on to win and receive good-sized shares of those billions; 7 almost-winners got smaller awards…

Your tax dollars at work…