Sachiko Miyaji was one of five teachers in the pilot evaluation program last year at Melrose Elementary School in Los Angeles.
(Photo: Carlos A. Moreno / The Center for Investigative Reporting)

California is test case for new front in teacher wars

By Brenda Iasevoli

On February 11 in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, Beatriz Vergara, 15, testified to enduring a string of bad public-school teachers. A sixth-grade math teacher slept in class. A seventh-grade history teacher told Latino students they would “clean houses for a living.” Aseventh-grade science teacher called female students “stick figure” and “whore.” Beatriz, her […]

The ASU/GSV Summit has attracted 250 education entrepreneurs and a small, but vocal, group of teachers.

What’s teaching go to do with it? Why educators want to talk tech – and help decide what works in their classrooms

By Liz Willen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—In the flurry of deal-making and product promotion characterizing the education investment conference known as “Davos by the Desert,”  it would be easy to forget what is largely missing: classrooms, students and teachers. Except that the small number of teachers in attendance at the ASU/GSV Summit clearly made their views known – and insist […]

Mario Martinez, a graduate student in California State University Northridge's teacher preparation program, examines a high school algebra test he created for a class assignment. (Photo by Jackie Mader)

Where will teachers be in the classroom of the future?

By Liz Willen

An exuberant crowd of ed tech investors, entrepreneurs and their publicity staffs are converging at the ASU/GSV summit in Arizona this week, with claims that tech tools can transform education and solve the achievement gap. Venture capitalists will be out in force at the innovation summit also known as “Davos in the Desert,” and they’ll […]

Kenneth Maldonado joined Teach for America in 2011 in Seattle, where the organization's expansion efforts led to a controversial contract with Seattle Public Schools. Maldonado said that while he is supportive of TFA and its mission, its early missteps in Seattle were part of what he saw as the organization's "misjudged optimism." (Photo: Alexandra Hootnick

Teachers are losing their jobs, but Teach for America’s expanding. What’s wrong with that?

By Alexandra Hootnick

For the second week in a row in his new home, Kenneth Maldonado’s evening ritual began with lumping sweaters and sleeping bags into the shape of a mattress in his otherwise empty bedroom. It was late September of 2011, the end of his first month as a Teach for America instructor. Having been only recently […]

Using better metrics to build better schools

By Anya Kamenetz

Envision runs a group of three charter high schools in the Bay Area. They champion, as many schools do these days, “deeper learning” and “21st century skills.” Envision enacts this philosophy through a “Know-Do-Reflect” process that uses projects, portfolios and presentations to integrate assessment with learning. They prompt students to turn the lens both inward […]


The soft bigotry of no expectations

By Aaron Pallas

One of the most memorable phrases crafted by former President George W. Bush’s speechwriters was “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” The phrase first gained prominence in a 1999 campaign speech on education, in which Bush argued that not holding disadvantaged students to high expectations was a form of discrimination—a powerful argument that he linked, […]

Kameisha Smith, now a college student, was paddled three times between the ages of 10 and 14 in Holmes County public schools. (Photo: Jackie Mader)

Why are black students being paddled more in the public schools?

By Sarah Carr

LEXINGTON, MISS. — Students in this central Mississippi town quickly learn that even minor transgressions can bring down the weight of the paddle. Seventh grader Steven Burns recounts getting smacked with it for wearing the wrong color shirt; Jacoby Blue, 12, for failing to finish her homework on time; and Curtis Hill, 16, for defiantly […]

Three things that will make a school bad: child abuse, homelessness and mothers who dropped out of high school

By Jill Barshay

Conventional wisdom has it that schools with high concentrations of poverty are bad. But when a team of researchers from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) studied every third grader in the Philadelphia public schools, they found strong student achievement in some schools with high concentrations of poverty. The low-achieving schools were […]

Blended learning instructor Jhonn Hernandez helps students to troubleshoot problems in addition to training their teachers. (Photo: Margaret Ramirez)

Appeals court rejects challenge to blended learning

By John Mooney

Online learning in New Jersey’s charter schools got a boost from the courts yesterday, but so did the debate over how much innovation the state should allow.

A student at Townsend Elementary in the Appoquinimink school district in Delaware taking a computer-based test. (Photo by Sarah Garland)

Students are test-driving new Common Core exams. You can too

By Sarah Garland

Millions of American students this spring are piloting new online standardized tests linked to the Common Core State Standards, which will debut next year in states that have adopted the standards. The main reason for the trial run is to see if computer systems are ready to handle millions of students logging on to take […]

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