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Justin Minkel

May 7, 2014

Why I Hate the Starfish Parable (And Why the Drowning Babies Parable Is Better)


The parable of the little boy and the starfish is sweet, inspirational, and full of hope. Here’s why I’ve always hated it.

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Lori Nazareno

April 28, 2014

One Step at a Time...


 “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

~Martin Luther King Jr.

As I reflect on my 18 years of teaching, I realize I’ve never felt more restless than I do right now. I feel like I’m on the lower steps of a staircase that climbs toward greater opportunities to do what I’m most passionate about—advocating for change that helps teachers serve their students.  

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Dave Orphal

April 25, 2014

Testing my patience


Reading the e-mail Tuesday night, I got scared. My principal had been informed by local and state testing officials that one of our students had been able to take a picture of the exam booklet and post the picture on Twitter. We are in a lot of hot water!

Immediately, I thought, “Oh my God! Was it me? Did one of my students do this?” The two other teachers and I tried so hard to be vigilant. We thought our students had behaved so well.

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John Holland

April 23, 2014

Vilson Decoded (A review of This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class and Education)


Disclaimer: I want to say first, I love this book for many reasons. I will likely only be able to address a few here. I also need to say that I can not write this review with any sense of objectivity. It would really not do any justice to the work Jose Vilson put into this book or to my feelings about. Besides, objectivity is the language of the oppressor, like multiple choice tests.


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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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Ariel Sacks

March 23, 2014

Chancellor Fariña on the Best ELA Test Prep


On Friday, NYC School Chancellor Carmen Fariña sent out a message to principals, which a friend shared with me. In it, she recognizes the pressure principals and teachers (not to mention students) are feeling about the upcoming state tests, but urges principals to keep the tests in perspective. She reminds readers that engaging project, trips to historical sites, oral presentations, are what "make students enthusiastic about coming to school" and are still remembered decades later.

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