Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama's ESEA Plan Short on Research, Authors Allege

Published September 29, 2010

By Dakarai I. Aarons

The Obama administration's education plan lacks a solid research basis for its proposals, a new book says.

The Obama Education Blueprint: Researchers Examine the Evidence is the first major effort from the National Education Policy Center, a university-based research organization in Boulder, Colo., that critiques the work of prominent think tanks. ("Think-Tank Critics Plant a Stake in Policy World," this issue.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Media's War on Teachers

By Anthony Cody on September 28, 2010 7:38 PM

Monday I was the lone teacher at an afternoon forum entitled "Grading the Teachers," hosted by the Graduate School of Education at Berkeley. The focus was on the use of so-called Value Added Measurement (VAM) and the series of articles which ran in the Los Angeles Times this summer. I was on a panel focused on the media, which given the tremendous role the media is playing in driving the agenda for education reform, seemed appropriate. Also on the panel with me were Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute, Susan Rasky of the UC School of Journalism, and Jason Felch, one of the authors of the LA Times story.

Adopt a Classroom Program Might be for You

Calling all Bloggers

NEA Member Benefits has launched the first social networking website designed specifically with educators and Education Support Professionals (ESPs) in mind. The NEAMB Community is in partnership with TeachAde and can be found at
My personal favorite blog is called “Money Talk” and is written by my colleague Elizabeth Schruefer, who not only works at NEA Member Benefits but is also a Certified Financial Planner. Elizabeth updates her blog every Wednesday with a new posting.
I encourage you to register (it’s EASY!) at and then check out Elizabeth’s blog (and the others on the site). If you have suggestions for other blogs or communities, go ahead and get them started as it is something you are able to do on TeachAde.

Monday, September 27, 2010

NEA & Your Parent Teacher Conferences

NEA/PTA Brochures to Address Specific Parental Concerns
Practical Information that Parents Can Put to Use for Your Students

Developed through a joint effort between NEA and National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), these guides provide parents and caregivers with fundamental tools to encourage their children's success in school.  Please feel free to use these as a resource as you visit with parents about our partnership.  Click the READ MORE tab to see all of the brochures that are at your fingertips.

Download Brochures or Order by Phone

Download PDF versions below, or if you prefer, order hard copies of each 4-color brochure at no

Call toll free 800-717-9790 or visit to order.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Digital Tools Expand Options for Personalized Learning

Published Online: January 29, 2010
Published in Print: February 3, 2010, as The Personal Approach

Digital tools for defining and targeting students' strengths and weaknesses could help build a kind of individualized education plan for every student.

Teachers have always known that a typical class of two dozen or more students can include vastly different skill levels and learning styles. But meeting those varied academic needs with a defined curriculum, time limitations, and traditional instructional tools can be daunting for even the most skilled instructor.

The Misuse of Professional Development

Published Online: September 20, 2010
Published in Print: September 22, 2010
By Hayes Mizell, Education Week

As students throughout the nation settle into another school year, it's time to have a serious discussion about what it takes to develop and sustain great teachers.

Works for Me Starting School Tips by Teachers for Teachers 9/22

Whisper Reading

From Susan L., a retired teacher from Washington Unified School District:
“I have found that kids of all ages love "whisper reading" into a homemade "phone." Take a PVC plastic elbow shape and attach a 6" straight piece of PVC to each end. The lower part is for the student to talk in to. The upper part is either directed toward the student's ear so he can hear only himself reading or outward so others can hear him. This gives them a choice (which most kids love) and a fun way to read without being put on the spot. A whole class set cost me around $10-$15, or less if you have extra PVC from a past home improvement project. I spray mine with Lysol once in a while, or you can put them in the dishwasher.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tell NBC What Real Educators Know

On September 26, NBC will kick-off their weeklong Education Nation program with a Teacher Town Hall to discuss what works in the classroom and the challenges facing educators. We have a unique opportunity to make our voices and issues heard before a national audience, so we encourage all NEA members to register for this event and participate from home via live chat.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Take the LCEA Local Program Survey to Help Us Design Meaningful Program for You

WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU TO BETTER SERVE YOU, YOUR BUILDING & OUR LOCAL.  We've designed a quick and short survey for our members to take.  So, please take a a few minutes and help us serve our local members better in a more effective way.

Click here to take survey

Ease Into Back to School with The United States Mint: New America the Beautiful Quarters® Program lesson plans

The America the Beautiful Quarters Program, new in 2010, brings selected national sites to this popular circulating coin. Fifty-six different designs make up this series (one for each state, the District of Columbia, and each of five US territories).

Monday, September 20, 2010

LCEA Mega-Vote 9/20/2010--Iowa 5th

Recent Senate Votes

Confirmation of Jane Branstetter Stranch, of Tennessee, to be US Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit - Vote Confirmed (71-21, 8 Not Voting)

The Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Jane Branstetter Stranch, a Nashville attorney, to the federal bench.

Sen. Charles Grassley voted NO......send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Tom Harkin voted YES......send e-mail or see bio

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

College Board President Says "Waiting For Superman" Could Be Education Reform Catalyst.

A wise person once said, "Keep your friends close, keep your enermies closer."  The documentary WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is likely to prompt lots of discussion about addressing concerns within public education.

College Board President Gaston Caperton wrote in a blog for the Huffington Post (9/7), "I had the opportunity recently to watch Waiting for Superman, a provocative new documentary that offers an incisive look at the dire state of public education in America today. ... Waiting for Superman is so moving because it depicts the profound effect a good school and a great teacher can have on a child's entire life, along with ultimate high-stakes loss for those who don't get a lucky lottery number." According to Caperton, "One of the best parts of my job with the College Board has been the chance to reward great schools through our Inspiration Schools initiative," recognizing public high schools across the US "that defy the odds by opening the doors of higher education to students facing economic, social and cultural barriers."

See the controversial movie trailer.

Pay for Your Dues with LCEA's Featured September NEA MB

Still not registered for NEA MB?  IT'S TIME!  Let's help you earn some money now that the dust has settled, we're up and running and you should check into all of the savings.  Scroll down the blog to check out "HOW TO" register.  Also check out LCEA's featured NEA Member Benefits.
Click the "READ MORE" tab right below this and follow these steps:

Analysis Notes Virtual Ed. Priorities in RTT Winners

by Ian Quillen

While public education experts have for weeks debated which priorities weighed most heavily in the second round of the federal Race to the Top grant competition applications, a review by an online education organization shows most of the 10 winning states submitted strong online learning proposals.

Susan D. Patrick, president of the Vienna, Va.-based International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL, said a wiki document released by the organization highlighting the virtual learning components in all 19 finalists’ applications shows the winning states were ready to use RTT funds to offer more online opportunities and make needed state policy revisions.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

LCEA Works for Me September 7, 2010

LCEA Teaching Tips for Teachers by Teachers

Teaching Techniques

Take It Apart Party

"I run an after school club for my students. I want to use this valuable time on academics, but also know it's important for students to get to know one another. So, once a month to have an after school gathering; this month we had a 'Take It Apart Party.' We collected broken small appliances and on the appointed day, we took them apart. We found the insides of various hair dryers are similar, toasters have springs all over the place, and gears are a wonder in old telephones and mixers. We had such a great time taking things apart that we got back together the next two days to nail our findings together into free form sculptures."