We know that reading to children is a crucial step. From the beginning, babies who are read to are exposed to the cadence of language, and school-age children who read at home for 15 minutes a day are exposed to millions of words.
Standardized testing is at cross purposes with many of the most important purposes of public education. It doesn’t measure big-picture learning, critical thinking, perseverance, problem solving, creativity or curiosity, yet those are the qualities great teaching brings out in a student.
When student performance shows increases on test scores, that improvement is not associated with an increase in ‘fluid intelligence’ – that is, using logical thinking and problem solving in novel situations, rather than recalling previously learned facts and skills.
We have guidance counselors that have caseloads of 500 to 600 children. We don’t have enough to help the children.
America always pivots between collective responsibility and the idea that the individual can pull himself up by his bootstraps.
I can’t imagine my life without books. My father was an electrical engineer, and my mother was a public school teacher. Books were an integral part of my childhood.
We all have a stake in ensuring that all students have the schools they deserve and that communities are leading this effort, not being left behind. To do that, we must challenge unchecked charter expansion and the forces driving it.
When police or security personnel work in schools, they should follow the community policing model that integrates officers into school life, not just involve them when trouble arises.
Teaching is a profession in which capacity building should occur at every stage of the career – novices working with accomplished colleagues, skillful teachers sharing their craft, and opportunities for teacher leadership.
Kids need time for problem solving, critical thinking, applying knowledge through project-based instruction, working in teams, falling down and getting right back up to figure out what they didn’t understand and why.