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Justin Minkel

April 16, 2014

Speak Less, Act Right


The first time I read these words by a Holocaust survivor, they haunted me. “My eyes saw what no person should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. So I am suspicious of education. My request is: Help your children become human.” To fulfill that request, our actions matter far more than our words.

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Jessica Cuthbertson

April 15, 2014

Apples & Oranges: Why This Year's State Test Was a Waste of Students' Time


Last week a group of CTQ-Colorado teachers attended and offered comments at the State Board of Education meeting. The following post is a written version of my remarks. While the board passed a symbolic resolution (in a 4-3 partyline vote) to withdraw from PARCC, one state board member boldy and publicly supported the standards and advocated for the aligned system our students deserve. If we must insist on a standardized test, I want the best one for my students. Core advocates (and skeptics!) -- I hope you'll park your thoughts on PARCC (& Smarter Balanced) here. 

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José Luis Vilson

April 13, 2014

Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?


Hypothetically speaking, let's say a subset of all teachers decided to go against their district's wishes, teaching their curriculum according to a mix of research and expertise, but masking it under the name of the latest district buzzword. Would you blame them for not outright fighting against their administration's wishes or congratulate them for "owning" their profession?

Of course, that's a trick question because it largely depends on your lens.

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Renee Moore

April 10, 2014

What Should and Should Not Change About National Board Certification?


Most of us who have completed the National Board Certification process agree that is one of the most significant, transformative experiences of our careers.

We would also be the first to point out that the process could be better.

Until this year, the entire process was paper-based, starting and ending with a big, blue and white box.  The process is very long and labor intensive on the candidate, processing staff, and scorers, which is why it is also very expensive—more than board certification for other professions.

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Renee Moore

April 3, 2014

My Favorite TeachMoore Posts 2013


Doing some spring cleaning, and going through my file of blog posts, I realized that some things I wrote in 2013 are really special, and worthy of revisiting. Join me, won’t you, and share your thoughts.

“It’s Not the Technology; It’s the Teachers”  - Oct. 20, 2013

Learning From Our Elders About Using Social Media – Sept. 9, 2013

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Barnett Berry

April 1, 2014

On unions and the future of the teaching profession


I’m no blame-the-unions pundit. After all, management—not unions—have imposed many of the rules that stifle creative (heck, even just sensible) practices in schools.

But here’s the plain truth: it’s time for unions to innovate.

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Jessica Cuthbertson

March 31, 2014

Read the Book First! (Why Every ELA Teacher Should Read THIS Book)


Spring Break: a perfect time to dive headfirst into a great professional read. If you have travel plans (or if you plan to stay in the comfort of your own home) check out Whole Novels for the Whole Class: A Student-Centered Approach by CTQ Collaboratory blogger and teacher leader Ariel Sacks. Her approach is guaranteed to invigorate your teaching practice and delight your students. 

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Barnett Berry

March 26, 2014

The education riddle we must solve now


Riddle me this: What is plentiful in schools but rarely utilized? What matters a great deal for children—yet carries little weight for policymakers? You guessed it: teacher expertise. 

A new survey reveals that only 32 percent of America’s teachers report their opinions are “heard and valued” at the district level, beyond their schools. And a miniscule fraction of the 20,000 teachers polled by Scholastic believe their perspectives are embraced at the state level (5%) and or national level (2%).  

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