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Category: School Improvement

A Call For Classroom Research

To fully realize technology’s potential to improve the opportunity to learn, research findings [from the disciplines of cognitive science, neuroscience, education, psychology, sociology, and economics] should be communicated in a way that is useful to [everyone] looking for effective methods to improve student outcomes. ~ DigitalPromise Research Initiative We at Kiddom like to ponder how […]

It Wasn’t About Computer Programming

When I was in high school, I was lucky enough to have a teacher whose teaching style made learning so fun and engaging that he inspired me to pursue my own career in education. Photo Credit: Luis Llerena Mr. Pecucci was my computer programming teacher my sophomore year, and for the first time in my life […]

ESSA Proves Education on the Backburner

In December 2015, with a stroke of the executive pen, President Obama enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ending thirteen years of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Act renewed funding for elementary and secondary schools, and removed old standards for over 50 million students, 3.5 million teachers, and 100 thousand schools nationwide. In […]

The McDonaldization of Pedagogy

Teach Like a Champion is a teacher training book written by Doug Lemov. It contains 49 teaching techniques he claims will transform inexperienced educators into “master teachers.” Since its publication in 2010, teacher prep programs, charter school networks, and public school districts have implemented TLAC into their training protocol. The administrators of these programs tout […]

The Zuck Stops Here

By now, most people know Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of the-application-responsible-for-making-you-think-you-live-an-unfulfilling-life) and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, announced they’re giving away roughly 99% of their wealth (about $45 billion) to charity. In their letter, they highlighted “personalized learning” as an initiative the charity will focus on. I’ve read and heard mixed opinions, which is a good […]

ESSA Gets “Developing” on My Rubric

The final draft of the “No Child Left Behind” rewrite is heading to Congress for a vote. With another persuasive title, the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) takes one step forward from the two steps back taken with “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) and “Race to the Top” (RTTP). Credit: PhotoPin, licensed under CC BY 2.0 […]

Adjusting for Poverty

In a recent NYT article, Eduardo Porter outlines the Economic Policy Institute’s report whose findings conclude that once U.S. students’ PISA scores are adjusted for social status, we’re actually doing significantly better than we thought we were. “Then the researchers divided students into groups depending on the number of books in their homes, a measure […]

High Teacher Turnover Hurts Students

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907 Credit: PhotoPin, licensed under CC BY 2.0 As told by the late historian Henry Adams, educators impact the lives of their pupils in a profound way. Many students go on to pursue careers relating to […]

Kindergarten Cops

When I was in kindergarten, I absolutely loved when my teacher provided me with a clear, descriptive rubric aligned to Common Core Learning Standards with every assignment. If you think I’m joking, it’s because I am. CCLS didn’t exist when I was in Kindergarten. I remember playing with Legos, building toy railroad circuits, drawing and […]

Every Day Should be Data Day

There’s not a single day in the school year that’s capable of both boosting teachers’ morale or crushing them entirely more than data day. Use the data. All the data. Before I continue, I must first disclose I’m not against the “idea” of data day. Nor am I against measuring class data to inform and guide […]