Busy packing up and getting ready to move. Hard to keep up a blog, take care of the kids, pack, and get teh house and lawn ready.
So here are some OUTSTANDING blog posts that you should read:
Here is a great post about TFA from a TFAer.
Teach For America: From Service Group to Industry
“Most of these other countries [that outperform the US on international tests] have highly-professionalized teaching forces; TFA, however, de-professionalizes teaching by emphasizing talent over training. While Wendy Kopp and her supporters are in favor of increasing the numbers in teaching of graduates of more selective colleges, they are opposed to making teacher education and training more rigorous. Kopp says in her memoir, for example, that she is “baffled” that teachers are required to have professional training as doctors and lawyers are; teacher quality is a matter of talent and leadership. Selective colleges select talent, but due to admissions criteria biased towards students in wealthy school districts, they often perpetuate class privilege. To me, the idea that a person would inherently be a better teacher due to their privileged position in society smacks of elitism.”
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform
Not a blog post, but a fantastic MUST read paper from Marc Tucker about current school reform trends in the US and elsewhere. As with the blogger above, the evidence suggests we are doing the opposite of what every other high-performing country does to improve teacher quality.
“This paper is the answer to a question: What would the education policies and practices
of the United States be if they were based on the policies and practices of the countries
that now lead the world in student performance? It is adapted from the last two chapters
of a book to be published in September 2011 by Harvard Education Press. Other chapters
in that book describe the specific strategies pursued by Canada (focusing on Ontario),
China (focusing on Shanghai), Finland, Japan and Singapore, all of which are far ahead
of the United States. The research on these countries was performed by a team assembled
by the National Center on Education and the Economy, at the request of the OECD.”