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Checking Voicemail

The reform universe is stirring today as word gets out regarding the Indiana Supreme Court’s upholding of the state’s voucher (i.e. Choice Scholarship) program.

Amidst the noise of the 24-hour news cycle, though, what most sticks in my mind as the former director of Indiana’s program is a blinking red light. More specifically, the red light on my phone when I worked for the Indiana Department of Education.

Meet some of the real culprits behind education reform and school choice

Only 76 miles separate the Step Up For Students office in Tampa and the Orlando hotel where the Black Alliance for Educational Options held its annual symposium last week. But my Corolla must have hit a black hole on I-4, because I landed on another planet.

Why good news in education is not deemed newsworthy

This is what you didn’t read in the Florida media:

A new report by the Florida Department of Education shows that students in most every demographic category are doing better in charter schools than traditional public schools.

Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and Education Reform

“Strange to have forgotten it for so many years,” observed the Ghost. “Let us go on.”

And with that introduction from A Christmas Carol, here is my final blog of 2012.

We tend to forget the past when contemplating the present and future of education.

This puts reform at a decided disadvantage in the public arena.

The Noblest Profession

When parents send their children off to school, they leave them in the trusted hands of teachers – that is a responsibility and a calling that deserves our sincerest appreciation. Teaching is indeed the noblest of professions, and to all current and former teachers, I say “thank you.”

We give thanks for teachers — the first responders in our schools

As the social media manager for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, I have struggled the past several days as to the appropriate manner to ease back into the conversation that takes place on a second-by-second moment in the world of social media.

Last week, we extended our condolences to the families, teachers and students who were affected by the horrific shooting in Connecticut. And then we remained silent.

Nothing else seemed important. Nothing else compared. Anything else we could say would pale in comparison to the raw emotion and reactions to the shooting.

101 uses for popsicle sticks

I embarked on my adventure of teaching high school history when I was 24 years old. I embarked on my adventure of being a parent when I was 40. One of those adventures involved training, the other didn’t.

The irony of the situation is that I felt no more prepared on my first day of teaching (for which I was trained) than on my first day of being a mother. For both adventures, I learned on the job.

There is an art and science to teaching; the science is what I thought I would learn in my teacher preparation program. The art was what I thought I brought to the table.

Classic literature is here to stay

There is an unfortunate misperception that the Common Core State Standards will create a dramatic switch from fiction to non-fiction texts in English class. That simply isn’t the case. Don Quixote and To Kill a Mockingbird aren’t going anywhere. The CCSS call for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language to be taught in all classrooms – from science to […]

Guest post: Ohio moves forward

The Ohio General Assembly should pass House Bill 555, which seeks to create and implement a grading system that will assign an A-F letter grade to schools and districts. Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee in a bipartisan 7-1 vote approved this bill, which moves on to full consideration by the Ohio Senate. This task is […]

No more Flori-duh. State’s fourth-grade readers go from bottom of the nation to top of the world

Kids in Singapore and Finland have long distinguished themselves on international academic tests, leaving American kids far, far, far behind. They would rule the 21st Century while our kids would assemble snow globes, sew sneakers, man the call centers and figure out how to pay their parents’ entitlements on 93 cents a day. If things […]