Tuesday Tidbits, November 23, 2010

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday this week, kind readers!

The new Education Next is out and is very much worth reading. I was particularly interested in Mike Petrilli’s piece on differentiated instruction, something that was covered in this blog a few weeks ago. The article put the spotlight on the good work being done at Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, MD and its principal Bertram Generlette. (Small world: Bertram, a math educator, helped me with this webcast on the teaching of fractions.) Mike and Checker Finn also discuss differentiated instruction in this vid.

More from Education Next: Read this interesting piece on middle schools and Paul Peterson’s Wasting Talent: “Americans tend to think their local elementary and middle schools are much better than those of the nation as a whole. The problems with schools, people seem to believe, are found somewhere else: Schools are dreadful in the inner city, perhaps, or in other parts of the country, maybe. My local schools are just fine.”

Yesterday was Day of National Blogging for Real Education Reform, which I missed. :( You can read more about it here and read posts at Cooperative Catalyst and see a compilation of blogs and posts at SpeEdChange. Even Secretary of Education Arne Duncan posted his thoughts.

Lastly, the Post’s Jay Mathews had a great post at his blog: “Two demographically similar and academically impressive…high schools…have been debating grades. Both schools have been accused of letting too many students pass their courses without learning the material. This is in line with what millions of Americans say about schools in general. But they disagree over whom to blame. Unmotivated students? Lazy teachers? Cowardly administrators? Short-sighted parents?”

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