Diane Ravitch calls out The Projo for being lazy when it comes to researching education policy and its right-wing political origins.
Adjunct professors joining labor unions to voice concerns about low pay, job security – The Washington Post
Say it with me now, “The people…united….will never be defeated….”
To quote the great Vanessa Query of the blog Theycallmeoystergirl.com: ”I love libraries. I love the renovating of abandoned albatrosses of buildings. I love Wal-Marts shutting down. Therefore, I love this story.” Me, too, Vanessa! Thanks for the link!
I have a soft spot for adjuncts, because more than a few of my friends are in the awkward position of being rich intellectually but poor financially. What does it say about our priorities when we cannot pay our higher education professionals a living wage?
Once again, the Providence Zombie protest is in the national education spotlight! Also in the spotlight, however, is some very bad behavior on the part of a teacher. Totally unacceptable and terrible role modeling!
Good news for the middle schools of the United States, as Sen. Whitehouse champions new legislation to fund struggling middle schools.
Whitehouse Announces Legislation to Improve Middle School Achievement
Providence, RI – Today, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed announced the introduction of the Success in the Middle Act, legislation to improve our nation’s middle schools. At the press conference, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Providence School Superintendent Susan Lusi, and Gilbert Stuart Middle School Principal Edward Halpin shared their support for the legislation and discussed its benefits for Rhode Island children.
“When children reach high school unprepared, it is often too late for them to catch up,” said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and lead sponsor of the Success in the Middle Act. “This legislation will help struggling middle schools prepare students for the academic rigors of high school, and put children on the path to college or a career early on.”
“I applaud Senator Whitehouse for leading this effort to target reforms to the middle grades, a critical time when too many kids can fall off track and fall behind. This legislation will provide additional resources to improve our middle schools and help kids reach their full potential and successfully transition to high school, college, and the workforce,” said Reed.
“The middle school years can be a difficult, transitional time for children. In Providence, we have put a lot of effort into providing support and services both in and out of school for our middle school students. Senator Whitehouse’s ‘Success in the Middle’ legislation would significantly enhance the ability of communities across our nation to ensure that all students complete the middle grades prepared for success in high school and in the rest of their lives,” said Mayor Angel Taveras.
“We are grateful to our Senators from Rhode Island for their ongoing commitment to education, and especially to that of our most at-risk students,” said Providence Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi. “This bill would bolster our efforts to ensure that the critical middle school years are full of strong academics, positive school cultures and supportive structures to ensure student success.”
The Success in the Middle Act would help disadvantaged middle-grade students reach their full potential by providing federal grants to underachieving school systems. Senators Whitehouse and Reed announced the reintroduction of the legislation at Gilbert Stuart Middle School in Providence, a school that could benefit from passage of the Success in the Middle Act.
An earlier version of the Success in the Middle Act was originally introduced in the Senate by Barack Obama before he was elected President, and was then championed by Senator Reed. Senator Whitehouse will introduce a new version of the bill next week when the Senate goes back into session.
In my book, Know Thyself: A Kid’s Guide to the Archetypes, I recommend children learn to practice mindfulness and meditation. In essence, one of the most important skills you can learn in life is how to quiet yourself — how to quiet your mind, how to calm your body, and how, when the two are coordinated, you feel more whole and capable. This article from Greater Good Magazine describes how an elementary school in California is teaching meditation. The results are clear — less conflict, less test anxiety, and standardized test scores improved.
Truly, Diane Ravitch is an amazing woman — no matter what side of the education reform movement you are on, you must admit this. She is 74 years old and blogs about 10 times a day, runs all over the country defending public education and helping to build morale for an industry being brutally attacked, and still finds time work on a book. Since she started her blog last April, I have learned so much from her.
Lessonwriter.com is a Rhode Island-based education startup that has designed a great tool for helping teachers.
Originally posted on LessonWriter Blog:
As a middle school teacher I often faced classrooms of thirty plus students with ability levels that spanned four to five different grades levels. There was so much variance in ability, skills and academic preparedness that I might as well have been teaching in an old-fashioned schoolhouse with a row for each grade level. I was always told that the answer was differentiated instruction.
The problem was most of my administrators had little advice on how to do this. One year, my principal promised to present the staff with a well-differentiated model lesson, and instead he delivered an incredibly-challenging single-level, single-strategy lesson and asked the staff to journal about how infuriating an experience it was to sit through a lesson that didn’t meet our needs. He said the point was to promote greater empathy for our students and motivation to work harder at differentiating- still he offered no answer on what this looked like or how to accomplish it.
After lots of independent research, I started to develop my own classroom practice around differentiation. I implemented weekly learning stations to embrace a variety of learning modalities, used student activity menus to encourage agency, structured ability-level pairings for leveled work, and high-low groupings for interest-based activities, and often used four different versions of a passage to ensure that all my students had accessible texts. The only problem: I RARELY GOT MORE THAN 3 HOURS OF SLEEP!