TLN bloggers greet the new school year

In Brighton’s Hope, former National Teacher of the Year Betsy Rogers begins the school year with news that the ‘monkey’ of NCLB sanctions is finally off the back of teachers at high-poverty Brighton School in Birmingham, Alabama. But, as the title of Betsy’s blog entry suggests, ‘The Circus is Still in Town.’Can the Brighton faculty now take ownership of their own success?

In her Teacher in a Strange Land post “Seventh Grade Musings,” Nancy Flanagan shares some nostalgia for her many years of teaching seventh grade — “that chasm between careless childhood and grown-up confidence that nobody leaps gracefully.” Not satisfied to simply wax nostalgic, Nancy includes a frank message to policymakers and middle-grades educators: “We need to give 7th graders more real work—real jobs in the community, real places to publish their writing and display their talents, real academic challenges.”

With the beginning of fall comes the real beginning of the debate over reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. In her TeachMoore blog, Renee Moore reflects on the damage done to special-needs students by provisions in the law that ignore Martin Luther’s admonition: “Do all the good you can. Do no harm.”

TLN blogger Bill Ferriter is sick and tired of “rim-sitting” teachers who take the position that if children fail to take advantage of what they’re “delivered,” well, that’s just too bad. He includes comments by Rick Wormeli, a fellow TLN member and master teacher who’s authored five popular books full of accomplished teaching ideas. In this thoughtful post, The Tempered Radical is about to lose his temper.