Monday, September 26, 2016

Higher Education: Hiring Faculty of Color

“The reason we don’t have more faculty of color among college faculty is that we don’t want them. We simply don’t want them.” - Marybeth Gasman

When I was working in the Bay area, common refrains when it came to the hiring of people of color and women in the tech industry were, “we can’t find qualified candidates”, “they aren’t well prepared”, “they don’t make it through our rigorous hiring process”.

And unfortunately, the institution of higher education shares the same belief when it comes to the hiring of faculty of color.  The difference is, they do it in back rooms, and speak it quietly.  Fortunately, Marybeth Gasman, professor at U of Penn, was candid about the racist attitudes expressed by colleges and universities across the country when selecting their faculty colleagues.

Marybeth Gasman, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, candidly sheds light on this important issue in her article,  An Ivy League Professor on Why Colleges Don’t Hire More Faculty of Color: ‘We Don’t Want Them’.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A recent study by Institute of for Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University finds that at each grade-level, there are students who are outperforming the average on grade-level standards. While these findings are not surprising, they do confirm what we have always known about standardized testing -  by design, there are clusters of students above and below the mean. 

Traditionally, our reaction to this information has been to provide intervention programs to students who are not meeting the grade-level expectations, while the students who are performing at higher levels participate in enrichment or advanced studies.  Unfortunately, the study also finds these efforts offer limited results for students who are already at the top of their game.  So what can be done?

Anya Kametez tracks this story for NPR, Getting Restless At The Head Of The Class, and delves more deeply into the study, describing efforts by school districts to find better options of support.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mentor Teacher Tips

Each fall, thousands of students teachers make their way into America’s classrooms, eager and ready to learn their craft. But student teaching can be one of the most exciting, and most terrifying, experiences any future educator can experience.  After the safety of the college course, where professors and students debate the philosophies and theories of education, teachers-to-be are assigned to real classrooms, with real students, facing real challenges.   The realization of the complexities of the teachership becomes clear very quickly, and for many, knowing that they have a mentor teacher at arm’s reach is a real lifeline.

For mentor teachers, the experience can be just as exciting, and just as terrifying.  There is a responsibility not only to the students assigned to the mentor teacher, but the idea that an intelligent and eager, yet inexperienced person will be practicing on their students is a scary thought.  And, of course, there is also the anxiety of helping to prepare the next generation of teachers.  But, for both individuals, there is the opportunity to learn, and to grow from the experience.  

What is needed is a good strategy. In a recent article Howard Pitler, writes 10 Tips for Mentoring a Student Teacher, offering his advice on how be successful in their mentoring experience.