Inspiring Ideas: Aligned Text Selection at Boston’s Nativity Prep | Doug Lemov

I recently came across a fascinating blog post by Mike Murphy, who teaches English at Boston’s Nativity Prep.  Mike and his colleagues had taken a couple of ideas from Reading Reconsidered and combined them in new ways.  The first was text complexity and the idea that there are specific types of text complexity- that Oliver Twist is hard not just because the sentences are long but because it is written in archaic British English from the 19th century, for example, which has a different way of using syntax. The second was managing book selection—choosing the scarce resource of what we read…

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Virginia ODP’s Kelvin Jones and the Art of Modeling During Training | Doug Lemov

Kelvin and a Superstar in Training

This summer, with help from Virginia Youth Soccer Association Coaching Education Director Paul Shaw, I’ve been studying some of Virginia’s top soccer coaches and videotaping their sessions.

This week I’ll start sharing some reflections from Kelvin Jones’ session. Kelvin is a coach with Virginia’s ODP program and is Director of Coaching at Virginia Legacy Soccer Club in Williamsburg.  I say “start sharing” because I’ve learned a ton from Kelvin’s sessions so there’ll be several posts coming over the next few weeks.

This first post is about an aspect of…

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Birds of a Feather: Are Childress and Becker-Weidman Flocking Together? | Jean Mercer

An interesting remark concerning me has been passed along from someone else’s blog— The author of this statement signs himself “Art”. Here is what he says:

Mercer is a founding member of the fringe advocacy group, Advocates for Children in Therapy. See:
It is not worthwhile addressing her “concerns,” as all she wishes to do is have a forum to express her fringe ideas and is never open to a real dialogue, evidence, or support of views other than her own biases.

Now, could it be that this “Art” is…

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Is opt-out a ‘white power’ movement? | Joanne

The opt-out movement is the Left’s “white power movement,” writes Derrell Bradford on Eduwonk.

“The typical opt-out activist is a highly educated, white, married, politically liberal parent whose children attend public school and whose household median income is well above the national average,” states a Teachers’ College report.

“Annual testing, disaggregated results and an emphasis on year-over-year test score growth” has “radically changed the discussion around the education of low-income kids of color for the better,” he argues.

But when “white soccer moms decide they don’t like the…

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Bill Gates has a new idea for education… | Pedro

I didn’t know what to write after education. First I wanted to write “Help”, or “Help us all”, or… Because as Bill Gates has admitted before: his track record on educational influence hasn’t been that great. And yes, that is called an euphemism.

But now he shared a new great idea that should be the future of education: personalized education. To be fair: he isn’t the first to think this is an important trend and he also admitted that while there is a study (from a think tank) there isn’t clear evidence that it works if the whole educational system is personalized.

But in the mean time:…

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Penmanship for in-class essays… and Common Core tests! | Katharine Beals

A colleague has just reminded me that there’s still a purely practical reason for teaching students to write fast, legible cursive: in-class essay exams. Ironically (given the Common Core’s de-emphasis on penmanship), handwritten exam questions aren’t just a staple of many college courses, but also of Common Core-inspired testing–even in math tests. And, yes, as Anne Trubek points out, poor penmanship can negatively affect scores.

True, some students–and some entire classes–are allowed–or required–to word-process their essays instead of hand-writing them. But computers facilitate not…

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Reforms That Stick: How Schools Change | larrycuban

There is a strongly-held myth many academics, policymakers, and reformers repeat weekly: schools hardly ever change. Those who believe in this myth often cite the large literature demonstrating failed innova­tions in schools or point at calcified bureaucracies and stubborn teachers and principals who block reform after reform (see here and here). Like all myths, this one has a factual basis. There have been many failures to transform schooling in the U.S.  From open-space schools to vouchers, there have indeed been vain attempts to alter the course of schooling.

Such a myth is useful for…

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