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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Quotable Quotes: 2/17/2014

17/02/2014   |   Comments Off

** “Parents deserve to have an assessment of their child’s progress that is independent of what teachers say on report cards. I also think assessing schools with test score averages is a useful exercise. But I don’t like the current fad of rating individual teachers on their students’ scores. It is too unreliable and erratic, and poisons the team spirit that is essential if a school’s faculty is to do its best work.” ~ Jay Mathews, Washington Post

** “We hear widespread calls for outcomes we can measure and for education geared to specific employment needs, but many of today’s students will hold jobs that have not yet been invented, deploying skills not yet defined. We not only need to equip them with the ability to answer the questions relevant to the world we now inhabit; we must also enable them to interpret complexity, to adapt, and to make sense of lives they never anticipated. We need a way of teaching that encourages them to develop understanding of those different from themselves, enabling constructive collaborations across national and cultural origins and identities. In other words, we need learning that incorporates what the arts teach us.” ~ Harvard President Drew Faust and Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter & composer

** “Remember when the Pennsylvania Education Department came up with different requirements every time there was a new governor? Why is that No Child Left Behind and Common Core seem so political and have nothing to do with good education? Maybe we should focus on the families and the neighborhoods students come from and how they view education. Maybe we should spend money on special programs to help students. When you cut staff, programs, and teachers in Philadelphia and then condemn the teachers because students do not learn as well, you are being really unfair. I also see social studies and critical thinking as being overlooked; sorry for my rant.” ~ D. Todd, Subscriber

It’s an Education Fact: 2/11/2014

11/02/2014   |   Comments Off

1) In a survey of 1,000 principals in 14 states, 80% said they are prioritizing the new Common Core standards for school improvement in the belief they’ll provide students with deeper learning and ore meaningful assessments.

2) Three new polls find that just under 11% of respondents say their school or district is well-prepared to implement the Common Core; 25% say they’re somewhat prepared.

3) 74.74% of survey respondents in those surveys said their school/district spends too much time on test-prep; just 5.26% said more time should be spent.

4) A recent Common Sense Media survey of 800 adults said they were at least somewhat concerned about advertisers using students’ personal data to market to them, plus nearly 60% of parents said they’ve heard little or nothing about any of this.

5) In 1990, 28% of all births were to single mothers; in 2008, that figure stood at 40.6%, and that’s said to make it hard for them to support their kids let alone instill in them a work and education ethic.

6) In an ASCD SmartBrief poll, just 4% of readers agreed/strongly agreed that a longer school day and year will better prepare students for college and/or work success; about 46% said it will not.