Teaching is an Engaging Exchange, not a Superficial Standardization.

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DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing

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The best teachers are communicators. They are listeners. They can figure out in a heartbeat how to help a student who is dumbfounded, misconstruing, or misspeaking. How they accomplish that depends on the particular student. They need to know their kids and be prepared and able to use a variety of means, starting with the simple idea of careful listening. Suppose a kid speaks up in class and makes an error. Too often, teachers will, for the sake of speed, make the correction and move on. What has that done? The kid still feels dumb; the class is less likely to remember it, because they always remember less when the adult says it.

The best teachers know how to respond when a kid makes an error. At some point, good teachers consciously or unconsciously learn to conceptualize what they teach, and as quick as a wink, figure out how to…

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Merry Christmas. We’re Stealing Your Schools.

MORE #CharterChicanery #EdBlogNet

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Merry Christmas. We’re stealing your schools.

That’s the message from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to York City School residents Friday.

Gimme’ that local control!

A judge ruled the district is now under direction of its Chief Recovery Officer David Meckley instead of its duly elected school board.

Why?

Meckley wanted the board to approve a plan to convert all district schools into charters run by Florida-based operator Charter Schools USA. This would make York the only all charter district in the entire state.

The agreement was made in secret by Meckley and details weren’t forthcoming before the board was asked to make a decision.

The board just couldn’t make up its mind fast enough. Members tabled it – they might even have refused it if given enough time to think!

So now Meckley will just make the conversion, himself. Dictatorship is so much easier than Democracy!

What else?

The school…

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Celebrating Ten Years of Post-Katrina, New Orleans Charters– And You Are Not Invited

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deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

In modern America, when it comes to selling a product, the question of whether the product actually works as promised becomes irrelevant. The narrow concern for the profit-driven ends with effectively marketing the product.

Sales result from effective marketing– not the least of which is repeatedly telling the consumer that the product works.

Tell consumers that the product works. Tell them repeatedly.

They then mistake repetition for truth, and voila! the product moves off of the retailer’s shelf.

This is the story of the now-all-charter Recovery School District (RSD) in New Orleans: It is an inferior product that continues to be pushed as a nationwide model of charter school success, yet it is a failure. A flop. Nothing more than marketing hype.

And certainly no miracle.

In June 2015, a questionably-funded group will be hosting a ten-year celebration of all-charter RSD. The event– focused on school “choice”– will be closed…

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Winter Solstice 2014: Each Child, Each Student a Sacred Trust

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radical eyes for equity

That’s me in the corner.
“Losing My Religion,” R.E.M.

The Christmas season has always been the lowest point of the year for me. It has taken years and years to figure out all the elements, and coming to understand hasn’t really changed anything, except for recognizing why, unlike the majority of people being festive, I suffer the gray weeks around Christmas and New Year’s, longing for the other side.

The contracting of daylight toward the Winter Solstice, the rise of holiday gatherings, the interruption of the glorious and predictable pattern of the work schedule, and the pervasive sense of being always the stranger in the room—all this conspires against my proclivities toward introversion, anxiety, and the solitary demands of books and writing.

And this holiday season of 2014 has inevitably tumbled onto me like a load of bricks, triggered by worrying (my daughter sick one night, the mother of my five-month-old granddaughter, thus…

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Welcoming Strangers

They might be angels…

Views from Alongside a Border

"Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. " “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. ”

Last week, my wife and I, while on a late evening walk through downtown Houston, came upon an outdoor ice skating rink. We stopped, and we watched.

The scene mesmerized me—the rink was crowded, and the gentle coordination, the accommodation of the skaters to each other, amazed me. While most of the folks were young, there was a sprinkling of older couples. There were gangly teenagers and petite grade-schoolers. There were those who skated effortlessly, and those who had their skates at an angle that defied basic anatomy (how does an ankle put up with that?).

“Ah, grace in action,” I thought, as I watched the crowd go round and round the rink, laughter mixed with the “whoops” as every now and again someone crashed to the ice. The good skaters quietly looped around…

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