Blog posts from 2010

September 7, 2010

The LA Times story evaluating teacher performance has reignited debate about whether testing students is a suitable way to measure teacher success. NPR has covered it extensively, as have most major periodicals. As the debate rages, prominent researchers have stepped out to...

September 3, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

Will Fowler is program director at the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco (AFSF). In this guest post he describes how a partnership between AFSF and San Francisco Unified School District to create opportunities to engage students, and to allow them to demonstrate expanded forms of achievement.

In 2004, The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco...

September 1, 2010

Earlier this month Tom Vander Ark of EdReformer argued the iPad will bring more innovation than the i3 grant program, and there has been much talk about their potential for learning.

Now Chicago Public Schools is beginning to move on use of the iPad,...

August 30, 2010

The senior vice president of retail for Apple Computer Ron Johnson recently described to the Civic Caucus, a Minnesota policy group, how Apple successfully brings thousands of customers each year from inexperience to proficiency with their software, for a relatively small cost.

In the One-to-One program, for one hundred dollars per year customers get one hour per week with a Mac...

August 27, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

Laura Weeldreyer is deputy chief of staff for the Superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools. In this guest post, pushing against a recent report from the Fordham Foundation, Weeldreyer describes the reasoning behind that district’s move to create conditions inside the district that provide more autonomy to innovative schools and...

August 26, 2010

Here’s another good opportunity for school entrepreneurs:

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based incubator program for individuals with visions to remake schooling. They award competitive fellowships to help individuals with ideas and the talent to develop their ideas and bring them to reality.

Those selected for fellowships receive a full salary for two years and a stipend for the start-up phase...

August 25, 2010

How does change happen in a large system?

Michael Lind wrote in the Washington Post last month that comprehensive reform is overrated. In it he talks about the tendency of D.C. policy makers toward large, grand many-step plans in health care, financial reform, and energy legislation—when instead the right approach may instead be much less heavy, and more strategic.

The root of his argument is that large systems are complex, and their behavior is the result of...

August 23, 2010

Research shows that as teachers are given greater control over their work, job satisfaction increases. See this stunning graphic on the effects of teacher control on turnover, by Richard Ingersoll of the University of Pennsylvania:

See a full sized version of the graph here.

In his 2003 book Who Controls Teachers' Work?, Ingersoll found that as teachers are given greater control over their work...

August 20, 2010

In this video Linda Peters, a lead teacher at the Advanced Language and Academic Studies (ALAS) bilingual high school in Milwaukee, describes how the school makes management and finance decisions by including teachers.

ALAS has been able to function as a school run collectively by teachers, because the Milwaukee school district and the local union agreed to grant the...

August 18, 2010

Instead of asking what technologies work, and how can they be scaled up, ask: What conditions make it most likely that teachers will be motivated (and able) to take up new technologies to make learning more productive?

We came across an article recently about the introduction of new technologies into the work place, to improve the scope and quality of products; to assist workers; and to automate certain tasks. In this article the unions, understandably, are concerned with how changes affect their members. ‘Don’t make these changes willy-nilly,’ they seem to say, arguing for a voice...