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How Much Training Does a Teacher Need?
Critics of Teach for America are outraged that participants are placed in teaching positions with only five weeks of teacher training. Compared to the training that prospective doctors must undergo, four-year teacher training programs should spark the same sense of outrage.
Impulse Control Lacking in Modern Youth
One of the stated goals of the Common Core Standards is to encourage “student-directed learning.” A possible obstacle to classrooms filled with self-directed, internally motivated students is the fact that children's ability to self-regulate has declined steeply in the past 60 years.
Informational Texts vs Fiction
Parents and English teachers need to resist the propaganda regarding the reading and teaching of fictional literature that comes attached to every presentation of the Common Core Standards.
Instructional Leadership Not for Principals
As schools begin to implement the new Common Core Standards, principals are being urged to focus on instructional leadership. Unfortunately, most U.S. principals lack the time to be instructional leaders. True reform would restructure the principal's job into three.
International Educational Comparisons
Statistics that appear in the media comparing U.S. student achievement to that of students in other countries often come from the PISA survey conducted every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
International Testing Instruments
Journalists often compare U.S. student achievement to that of children in other countries. Here's a brief description of the tests on which these comparisons are based.
Is College for Everyone?
A college degree has become a status symbol in American culture--like a BMW or an 8,500-square-foot house. The reality is that most Americans cannot afford the luxury of sending their children to a four-year university with some vague idea that it will insure their financial future.
Literacy is not a School Subject
Although referred to as if it were, "literacy" is not a school subject. It is a combination of information and skills that enables all other learning.
Like so many of the well-bankrolled frontmen leading the discussion of school reform, Michelle Rhee is a child of privilege who brings little classroom experience to her profession of telling teachers how to teach.
No More Free High School
Call me heartless, but I think the solution to U.S. educational woes is to pull the plug on providing 12-13 years of free education to every child who crosses the public school threshold at the age of five or six.
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