Monday, September 29, 2014

Deeper Learning and Student Achievement

Deeper learning is the subject of a new research that reveals that classrooms where students are focused on "deeper learning" - “a set of competencies students must master in order to develop a keen understanding of academic content and apply their knowledge to problems in the classroom and on the job” (as defined in the report) - will demonstrate higher levels of academic achievement and will be more likely to enroll in college.

Three reports from the American Institutes for Research (AIR), examines the impact of deeper learning on "educational opportunity and 21st-century skills including critical thinking and problem solving."  It is a good set of reports that can help to inform the implementation of our common core state standards and the shifts in student, teacher, and administrator practices.  Find reports here...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


A friend of mine sent an email with these amazing photos.  Some we have never seen and are well over 100 years old.

A shell shocked reindeer looks on as World War II planes drop bombs on Russia in 1941.
A boxing match on board the USS Oregon in 1897

The last known Tasmanian Tiger photographed in 1933 - the species is now extinct.

The London sky following a bombing and dogfight between British and German planes in 1940

 Nagasaki, 20 minutes after the atomic bombing in 1945

Native Railroad overlook
A Native American overlooking the newly completed transcontinental railroad in 1868

great fire and earthquake in San Francisco April 18th, 1906
The Great San Francisco Fire and Earthquake of 1906
Hitler in Paris

Halifax airport plane
Grounded aircraft on September 11, 2001, await orders.

Fidel Castro lays a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.

Lumberjacks in California
Lumberjacks in California
Lumberjacks in California
California lumberjacks work on Redwoods.  Thousands of tree rings in these ancient trees - each over 1000+ years old or even much older...such a shame...irreplaceable giants.
National park treasures all gone but a few 
what kind of men would do such a thing for over 100 years - destroy something they cannot ever fix or replace for 2000 years?
It is an evergreen, long-lived, monoecious tree living 1200–1800 years or more.
An estimated 95% or more of the original old-growth redwood forest has been cut.
In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres...down to
8,100 acres by 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged.

Beatles at the age of 15
The Beatles in 1957

The 1912 World Series Red Sox vs NY Giants

Hilary and Bill Clinton
Bill and Hillary Clinton playing volleyball in 1975 -
a future US President

Elves Presley in the Army
Elvis in the Army

Machu Picchu discovery
The first photo following the discovery of Machu Pichu in 1912

Child laborers in 1880

Time Square approx. 1911
New York's Times Square in 1911

Mississippi Steamboats
Steamboats on the Mississippi River in 1907

Fourteen-year-old Osama bin Laden -
he's second from the right.
Bell bottom pants - pink car -
expensive shops, nice threads,
About 24 people out smiling - looking hip for the day.
And not one woman has her face or head covered.

Construction of the Statue of Liberty 1884
Construction of the Statue of Liberty in 1884
Thanks for looking.
Pass it on to someone who enjoys a bit of history.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fixing Our National Educational Accountability System

"Accountability: The obligation to bear the consequences for failure to perform." -Webster's Dictionary

In a recent report by The National Center on Education and the Economy (2014), Marc C. Tucker provides us, once again, with a sobering analysis of what is wrong with our American public education system.  The culprit, he argues, is all of us - teachers, the system of public education, politicians, the public, and the business community.

Tucker argues that while existing policies lend limited support to teachers,  they have created a system of accountability that lays blame for the failures in American public education at the foot of the teacher.  The thesis in his report is that, " one cannot divorce the design of the accountability system for education from the gestalt of the entire education system, and, in particular, the way
in which the system treats its teachers overall."

Tucker believes that the result is a lack of teacher morale reflected not only the number of graduates choosing teaching as a career, with teachers coming from the lowest performing levels of their respective institutions, and a targeted curriculum with limited options.  Even worse, the students most affected by this education environment are the historically marginalized students.  Click here to download the report.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Addressing the Needs of Our English Language Learners

In a new report by Stanford University and the University of Oregon Schools, Sean Sean Reardon and Iliana Umansky describe the impact of language program design on English language learner reclassification and academic achievement.  There is increasing pressure to reclassify reclassify English learner (EL) students to “fluent English proficient” as as early as possible. Twelve years of data show that while Latino EL students enrolled in two-language programs are reclassified at a slower pace in elementary school, they attain higher overall reclassification, English proficiency, and higher levels of academic achievement by the end of high school. What does that mean for our district policies and practices? Read the article here...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ten Ways to Keep your Passion for Education

As the school gets started for thousands of students across the country, teachers are preparing for a year of teaching and collaborating, as well as community building and relationship making.  And while it all starts with a great deal of enthusiasm, the challenges that teachers will encounter during a school year can wear them down. 

In a recent blog entry, "Ten Ways to Keep your Passion for Eduation", Melissa Hughes, Ph.D., offers great advice that can help teachers, as well as other educators, fully motivated and engaged in their calling.  She includes thoughts like, "don't sweat the small stuff", or "remember, you chose to become a teacher".   Each is followed by a short descriptor to expand on the ideas.

Having been a teacher and administrator for over 25 years, it has become clear to me that if individuals who choose this profession do not have the desire and passion for this work, their career will be short lived, or it will be a long and painful sentence if they choose to remain.  Dr. Hughes' points are well placed, and timely.  Enjoy!  Read her full blog entry here...

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