The Education Evolving Blog

December 20, 2010

Waiting for Superman has really drawn attention to the hunger that families have for good schools. 700+ applications for 40 spots at a school in Harlem; scenes of mothers riding public transit for hours in search of good schools.

In this scene from the movie Bill Gates talks about the importance of education to the country’s future. “People get panicked about the economic success of this country,” he says, and “there is one thing that will determine that.”

“We cannot sustain an economy based on innovation unless...

December 17, 2010

Recently we commented on an interesting study by Charles Kerchner and Laura Mulfinger that provided keen insights into teacher-run schools.

In another post we highlighted an excerpt that showed how students at one school, operating as a student congress, decided that instead of banning cell phones in the school, they would allow phones but...

December 15, 2010

EdWeek ran this interesting article on a study put out yesterday by Fordham and Basis Policy Research.

The researchers examined over 2,000 chronically low-performing elementary and middle schools, and found that it is difficult to close them. Despite...

December 13, 2010

After comparing four years of semester grades with standardized state exams, teachers at Ellis Middle School in Austin, Minnesota noticed a discrepancy. A small but significant portion of student that got good grades in class did not score well on the tests; while another portion that received high scores on the year-end state tests were C or D students during regular coursework.

This...

December 10, 2010

In this guest post Nick Dennis, assistant headmaster at Felsted School, an independent school in Essex, England, describes their experience in the first year of a two-year commitment as a regional training center for innovative use of Apple products. He describes how the school has come to see that technology need not be a distraction; should not be considered a panacea itself; yet has capacity to help teachers rethink ways technology can improve learning.

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December 8, 2010

With the release of PISA scores yesterday, anxiety rose in face of middling US results, and strong Chinese performance—particularly Shanghai. The references to Russia are back, with the President saying that, “Fifty years later, our generation’s Sputnik moment is back.”

The United States scored in the 20’s on most subjects measures. The image of China as rising power: “The(ir) work ethic is amazingly strong,” a...

December 6, 2010

This past summer Apple senior vice president for retail Ron Johnson spoke to the Civic Caucus policy group, and this blog commented on Apple’s One-to-One education program that he described. In designing the stores, he said, they first went to auditorium seating for teaching lessons to customers.

Immediately they began experiencing fewer questions during the sessions, and...

December 3, 2010

Yesterday the New York Times ran an article about changes that have gone on in the Baltimore Public Schools district since Andres Alonso took over three years ago.

It describes how the superintendent managed to enable change in the culture of BCPS schools, moving away from compliance and punishment and toward empowerment - of both students and adults. Principals used to spend more time filling out directives from the central office, the article says. Now they have full...

December 1, 2010

Recently we commented on an interesting study by Charles Kerchner and Laura Mulfinger that provided keen insights into teacher-run schools.

One of the observations of the paper was that while school and instructional models vary, the behavior of teacher-run schools—the way students and teachers work, the ways that the schools function—tend to differ from traditionally-managed...

November 29, 2010

Ken Futernick, director of the School Turnaround Center for the California-based organization WestEd, recently had a keen insight in this article in Kappan Magazine on why teachers behave as they do—bargain collectively, resist accepting certain frameworks of accountability, become frustrated with management. He turns attention from the people, to the structures in which they work.

Regarding the performance of teachers...

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