Tagged “Sustainability”

Melanie Olmstead

From Educator Evaluation to Empowerment

Do you worry that the rush to implement new educator evaluation systems puts excessive strain on educators and compromises the systems' effectiveness? You aren't alone. In his latest column, ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter writes that evaluating educators "must occur alongside efforts to improve school climate, raise expectations for all students, and boost family and community engagement." Read the column to see why ASCD believes all educator evaluation systems should evaluate teachers only in the subjects they teach, include multiple measures, and inform personalized professional development.

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Tina Byland

Sharing Thanks on Twitter with Educators

Last night on Twitter, ASCD and an inspiring group of educators dedicated an entire hour to sharing the many things we are all thankful for. The chat left me in an incredibly grateful mood. Whether you are thankful for your school community, your professional development opportunities, the new technologies available in your classroom, or a new position this school year, the universal theme that sounded throughout the entire chat was that you are thankful for and inspired by your students.

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Sean Slade

Improving Schools: Neither a Silver Bullet Nor a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

"The wonder drug has been invented, manufactured, packaged, and shipped. Doctors and nurses are being trained to administer the drug properly. Companies and consultants are offering products and services to help with the proper administering of this wonder drug. A national effort is underway to develop tools to monitor the improvement of the patients. The media are flooded with enthusiastic endorsement and euphoric predictions.

This cure-all wonder drug is the Common Core, short for the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Cooked up by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, this magic potion promises to cure America's education ills..."

—Yong Zhao (with a heavy dose of irony) in "Common Sense Vs. Common Core: How to Minimize the Damages of the Common Core"

Teachers, educators, and the public have every right to be skeptical. We've had two wonderful-sounding—and I believe initially well-intentioned—top-down education initiatives over the past decade that have left many scratching their heads and asking, was it worth it? The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which many have argued has caused more grief and problems than it solved, and the ultra-competitive Race To The Top initiative that pitted states against states and educators against educators. In both cases, implementation could be described as draconian, ill-resourced, and somewhat flawed.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Be #ASCDThankful Tonight

What are you thankful for this school year? Join @wholechildadv and @ASCD Monday, November 25, at 8 p.m. eastern time for a Twitter chat with fellow educators that is entirely devoted to gratitude and giving thanks.

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Kristen Pekarek

Sustainability Ensures Long-Term Success

American Education WeekOver the course of a kindergarten through 12th grade education, the average student will spend an entire school year with a substitute teacher throughout their education—which on average is just 13 days per school year. If a student—over the course of her 13-year formal education—happens to have a 1st grade teacher out on maternity leave for twelve weeks, a 6th grade teacher out caring for an elderly parent for six weeks, and a 10th grade teacher who was in an accident and out for 12 weeks, she will spend more than a year and a half of her learning time with a substitute teacher. Because these statistics are very real, there is a critical need to ensure students are still engaged and learning when school and classroom changes occur (Bowers, 2009 [PDF]).

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Steven Weber

Common Core: An Educator’s Perspective

If the state of North Carolina decides to pull the plug on the Common Core State Standards, it will be a slap in the face to the teachers and administrators who have spent countless hours (most on their own time without reimbursement) preparing to implement the Common Core State Standards to maximize learning for 1.5 million students.

On June 2, 2010, the North Carolina State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which were implemented during the 2012–13 school year. The CCSS represent K–12 learning expectations in English language arts and mathematics. They reflect the knowledge and skills students need to be college and career ready by the end of high school. Over the past few months, elected officials across the United States are beginning to question the CCSS. On June 4, 2013, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest posted a YouTube video outlining his concerns.

While standing in the car rider line at an elementary school, I was approached by a classroom teacher. She asked, "Are we going to align our curriculum, instruction, and assessments to the Common Core State Standards next year?" I replied, "yes." Then I said, "The Common Core is not going away." The teacher replied, "The Lieutenant Governor is discussing eliminating the Common Core." I replied, "Which Lieutenant Governor?" The teacher said, "The North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest."

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Klea Scharberg

Insights on Leveraging Teacher Leadership

Leveraging Teacher Leadership - ASCD Educational LeadershipOctober 2013 issue of Educational Leadership looks at how teachers are leading today and considers how schools can best leverage the leadership skills of teachers.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer examines today's challenges to teacher leadership and asks how do we tap this talent and know-how to transform "the school writ large," to quote Roland S. Barth. Barth is an author of one of this issue's articles, and Scherer ends her column with another quote from him: "The bottom line remains: All teachers can lead. Many teachers want to lead. Schools badly need their ideas, invention, energy—and their leadership."

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Walter McKenzie

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!

"You're gonna need a bigger boat!" —Police Chief Brody, Jaws

Three able men are shoveling chum out into the water to attract the menace terrorizing their beaches. Suddenly an image begins to take form beneath the water, circling the small fishing vessel. They assess they are looking at a 25-foot, three-ton great white shark. Police Chief Martin Brody exclaims, "You're gonna need a bigger boat!" A patently obvious observation? Granted, but remember the theater breaking out in nervous laughter when Schneider blurted it out in 1975? But as Shark Week is celebrated this week, it's also an apt allegory for capacity building ... personal capacity building.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Free Webinar: Walk-Throughs for Teachers Observing Peers

Join Donald Kachur, author of the new ASCD book Engaging Teachers in Classroom Walkthroughs, in a free webinar on learning how to plan and implement an engaging form of embedded professional development in which teachers are actively involved as observers of peers in classroom walk-throughs.

Tuesday July 30, 2013, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Profiles in Education: Josh Garcia

Josh Garcia, deputy superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools in Tacoma, Washington, strongly believes in creating success for every learner. "Every student can graduate prepared for higher education," Garcia says. "In order to provide each child with a whole child education, school and community leaders must relentlessly dissolve barriers and build cohesive systems that foster excellence. Only then will we fulfill our pledge to provide every child the opportunity to pursue a successful life."

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