If they only knew....

I often get asked why I teach in an urban school.  Many of my suburban teacher friends even say they don’t know “how” I do it every day.  And true,…


3 Minutes

Denver teachers propose reforms to teacher evaluations

Perhaps one of the most vitriolic divides in the educational reform debates of 2010/2011 is about teacher evaluations.  On one hand, some point to…


10 Minutes

Taking a risk to try

I introduced a new lesson the other day to my 3rd grade art class: how to make Native American coil pottery. Being an elementary art teacher for the…


7 Minutes

Tracking skills in isolation: Missing the forest for the trees

Today one of my tasks was to create an assessment calendar for the year. This is a plan for mandatory benchmark and interim assessments to track my…


4 Minutes

One report, many revelations on teacher and student assessment

The Center for Teaching Quality’s New Millennium Initiative (NMI) teams should be writing education policy. The latest report by Washington NMI’s…


3 Minutes

Questions or answers... which are more important for learning?

I used to think that effective teaching lead to correct answers. I would have some answers tucked into my mind as the goals or objectives of my…


3 Minutes

Five Twitter hashtags that can SAVE school leaders time

Whenever I talk to school leaders about Twitter, their initial response is usually something like, "Twitter?  I don't have time for Twitter!" Heck,…


3 Minutes

A week of frisky behavior

At first, I thought the students were wilder than usual because we weren’t meeting in our classroom. Actually, we were not meeting in our substitute…


5 Minutes

We know we can use tests to judge, but can we really use them to improve learning?

While most of the media’s attention has been focused on high-stakes summative evaluations, formative evaluations are gaining a lot of traction among…


6 Minutes

Let’s stop demonizing our political opponents and start making sense on ed reform

Too often, in the oft-heated high-stakes test debate, the positions are over simplified into one of two camps. On the one hand, those in favor of…


6 Minutes