Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Ways to Build Sustainable Relationships that Work

by John Wilson of EDUCATION WEEK

Note: Alan Blankstein, president and founder of the HOPE Foundation, shares some of the work he has been doing to transform public schools with a guest post today.

Building relational trust with school staff is a precursor to sustainable success. In the HOPE Foundation's work in thousands of schools and districts, this trust has been built by the leader using the following approaches:

1. Listen First. The new-leader syndrome, however, often entails changing things quickly to establish authority. Many veteran leaders, on the other hand, may feel they already know what is best and may move forward without building consensus. In both cases, the "slow" part of going fast- listening- is cut out of the process and initiatives are short-lived.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Take action Take Action: Tell Congress education funding matters

Education stimulus dollars meet the goals
In a report released Wednesday, the Center for Education Policy (CEP) concluded that the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)met its' goal of creating or saving education jobs. In a press release, CEP's executive director Maria Ferguson said, "Federal stimulus funds appear to have blunted the effects of the economic downturn on the K-12 education sector."

Although many districts still had to eliminate teaching and other key staff positions, our research indicates that the situation would have been worse without the stimulus funds." ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009 has pumped $763.1 billion dollars into the economy. The authors of the report — What Impact Did Education Stimulus Funds Have on States and Schools? found that in 2010 about 70 percent of the nation's school districts used State Fiscal Stabilization funding, the largest pot of ARRA education money, to save or create jobs for teachers and other school personnel. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Works for Me: Ideas and Tips by Teachers, for Teachers

Easy Button Rewards
Ms. Goss's students have it easy. She builds community and motivates her class by allowing students to push her buttons - her Easy Button that is. Read about how her students look for opportunities to shine and to recognize each other's achievements, so they can push that button, hear the applause, and shout out, "That was easy!"

Read More
Pinning Grammar and Mechanics
From Tracee O.
An English Teacher at Erie High School:
This high school teacher uses humor to keep her students engaged with her grammar and mechanics lessons. She started a Pinterest board with examples of humorous, real-world grammar mistakes.

Teacher Voice: How Not to Be a Bobble-Head Doll


"Teacher voice" is one of the most ambiguous phrases in education reform—used differently by governors, chancellors, commission leaders, advocacy organizations, and school administrators.
Sometimes, "teacher voice" means that the convening group or individual actually wants meaningful input from educators. But more often than not, teachers are being asked to complete a project or support an agenda that needs little more than their reluctant signatures. 

I offered a different definition of "teacher voice" at April's TEDxNYED conference. This is a phrase we can reclaim. Truly engaging with "teacher voice" means taking seriously the collective and individual expression of teachers' professional opinions based on their knowledge and classroom expertise. Anything else is just a "teacher nod." Like we’re all bobble-head dolls.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Twelve Ideas for Teaching with QR Codes

LCEA Insider QR

Saturday, July 14, 2012

John Henry is Not a Good Role Model: Tips for Busy Eduleaders

by Rick Hess on June 15, 2012 7:54 AM

I'm getting close to finishing up my Cage-Busting Leadership book for Harvard Ed Press (it'll be available this coming February). One point that comes up again and again as I work on the text and talk to school and system leaders is the degree to which we've encouraged a leadership culture where leaders have felt they demonstrate their mettle by the number of hours they work and the number of meetings they take. This comes, I'm convinced, at a big cost to their ability to think, reflect, and learn.

In talking to these leaders, I find myself thinking of the tale of mighty John Henry, who swore he could shovel through a mountain faster than a steam-powered hammer. Big John won all right, but the effort killed him. Johnny Cash memorialized the tale in "The Legend of John Henry's Hammer," singing: "If you bring that steam drill round, I'll beat it fair and honest, I'll die with my hammer in my hand."

Elections 2012

Compare where the candidates stand on issues of the day. Get the facts, based on the candidates’ public statements and their own websites.

Just The Facts

Every week, we provide candidate quotes — with source citations — on hot topics. Whether it’s saving and creating education jobs, privatizing Social Security or safeguarding educators’ collective bargaining rights, you’ll have what you want to know at your fingertips.