Required Reading

by Robert Pondiscio
July 6th, 2008

A weekly roundup of the week’s most important news, information and blog posts about curriculum, teaching, education policy and other items of interest to the Core Knowledge community.

Core Knowledge

No More Guide on the Side
Traditional teacher-centered classrooms had such leaders. By contrast, student-centered learning allows the inexperienced and the undisciplined to become the standard.

Exceptional Schools in Texas
Some Texas schools and districts have raised their academic rankings without actually improving student scores

Social Promotion Watch
A Georgia law passed in 2001 was supposed to stop social promotion, but state school districts “are promoting nearly everyone anyway.”

Who is National Certification Worthy?
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards should consider student-learning gains when deciding which teachers deserve national certification

Best of the Blogs

The Kids I’ve Failed @ The Tempered Radical
Bill Ferriter takes a long look in the mirror at the end of the school year and asks uncomfortable questions: Have I challenged every child? Are they academically prepared to succeed in the future?

Obscenely Stupid @ Joanne Jacobs
British students can get points for writing obscenities on their state English exams.

How Much Math Does a Teacher Need to Know to Teach Math? at Eduwonkette
How much more knowledge should a teacher have than what she or he is seeking to assist students in learning?

Teaching and Curriculum

Reading First Could Be On Its Last Legs
USA Today
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to eliminate funding for Reading First

Poll: Schools Not Properly Preparing Kids
The Associated Press
Half of Americans say U.S. schools are doing only a fair to poor job preparing kids for college and the work force.

Education Policy

Mostly cheers, but some boos too, when Obama addresses teachers
USA Today
The crowd was mostly supportive and at times very enthusiastic today when Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed the National Education Association

Students’ success begins in the belief system
Seattle Post Intelligencer
To those who think that poverty is too great a barrier for schools to overcome, Ed Trust’s Karen Chenoweth says Granger High School provides an important example of the kinds of things schools can do to change the trajectory of children’s lives.

Rhee Seeks Tenure-Pay Swap for Teachers
Washington Post
D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is proposing to give mid-level teachers the opportunity to earn more than $100,000 — but they would have to give up seniority and tenure rights.

Homeschooling and Parenting

Parents invest in summer tutors to give young children a leg up
The Houston Chronicle
Houston-area tutors work with hundreds of young children on phonics, numbers, colors, study skills and fine motor skills. Some take children as young as 3 1/2 .

Et Alia

School targets 2nd-grader’s ‘N-word’ T-shirt
Newsday (Long Island)
Second-grader Jaiden Haber was sent to the principal’s office — not for bad behavior, but for her T-shirt’s slogan.