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Jeff Bernstein

On the Front Lines in the War on Poverty - Deborah Meier - 0 views

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    "My "golden age" in New York, the one that allowed a variety of experiments in trust to flourish, happened not by accident and not just because of a few good administrators. It was possible because of a short-lived sea change in the national political conversation. It came because for a while there was a public commitment to wage a war on poverty and on behalf of racial equality."
Jeff Bernstein

Gideon's Math Homework | Alan Singer - 0 views

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    "The first problem is that Gideon seems to be convinced that there is only one right way to solve a problem and if he does not solve it that way he will be marked wrong. This problem he will get over either as he learns more about how the world works or becomes less interested in pleasing his teachers.

    The second problem is a bit more serious to me as a teacher and grandparent. Instead of trying to understand a math problem and being willing to play with the numbers, Gideon is committed to remembering a long, complicated sequence of steps to finding a solution. If he makes a mistake somewhere in the sequence he gets the answer incorrect, but he does not recognize it as incorrect, because his goal was following the prescribed steps, not coming up with a result that makes sense."
Jeff Bernstein

Nikhil Goyal: Why Learning Should Be Messy | MindShift - 0 views

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    "The following is an excerpt of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student's Assessment of School, by 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal, a senior at Syosset High School in Woodbury, New York.

    Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The real question is: "How do we teach it?" In school, instead of crossing subjects and classes, we teach them in a very rigid manner. Very rarely do you witness math and science teachers or English and history teachers collaborating with each other. Sticking in your silo, shell, and expertise is comfortable. Well, it's time to crack that shell. It's time to abolish silos and subjects. Joichi Ito, director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, told me that rather than interdisciplinary education, which merges two or more disciplines, we need anti-disciplinary education, a term coined by Sandy Pentland, head of the lab's Human Dynamics group."
Jeff Bernstein

Invitation to a Dialogue - A Student's Call to Arms - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    "When President George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind into law, few would have predicted that the next decade of education policy would unfold into a disaster of epic proportions. The law was based on a flawed concept of a "good education" - high scores on standardized tests."
Jeff Bernstein

Nikhil Goyal Interview: A High School Student Offers a Critique of Our Schools - Living... - 0 views

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    "A seventeen year-old high school student from New York named Nikhil Goyal has been speaking out on education reform. In addition to several high profile television appearances, he has authored a book, One Size Does Not Fit All, A Student's Assessment of School. I asked him to explain his critique this week."
Jeff Bernstein

Better teachers, equipment won't improve schools as long as students avoid work | Deser... - 0 views

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    "In the past few years I have come to realize that the main problem with our education system today is not what is taught, where it is taught, by whom it is taught or how it is taught. The main problem with education today is students who refuse to work."
Jeff Bernstein

Arthur Camins: The difference between live and taped lectures - The Answer Sheet - The ... - 0 views

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    Some intended learning sticks with us, some slips away into oblivion and most hovers somewhere in between. The determinants are nuanced and complex. In all of the current enthusiasm for so-called flipped classrooms and the wonders of the Khan Academy's online lectures these distinction are often overlooked.
Jeff Bernstein

Larger Class Sizes, Education Cuts Harm Children's Chance To Learn - 0 views

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    When Shania started third grade at P.S. 148 last fall, she was thrilled to be back at the Queens public school. An outgoing eight-year-old, she said she was happy to be among her friends again, and she had loved her class the previous year. Her second-grade teacher would take the time to explain tricky topics like addition and subtraction one-on-one. She had even been named "student of the month."

    But since 2007, as the economy has tanked and expenses for public schools have risen, New York City has made principals cut budgets by 13.7 percent. When budgets are cut, teachers are fired and others aren't replaced -- including at P.S. 148, which has lost at least $600,000 and eight teachers since 2010. When teachers are lost, class sizes balloon. Shania had 31 classmates this past school year, compared to 20 the year before.
Jeff Bernstein

Alan Singer: Can Common Core Turn on the Math and Science? - 0 views

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    The Common Core standards, if they separate the learning of skills from content and understanding, point teachers in the wrong direction.
Jeff Bernstein

Alan Singer: What We Lose With Common Core - 0 views

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    What I think these two instances have in common is that in both cases I responded to the challenge to solve a problem that for whatever reasons caught and held my interest. I could not have solved the problems without the "skills," but I never invested in learning the skills until I was captivated by the problems.
Jeff Bernstein

Deborah Meier: The Left Wing of the Possible - Bridging Differences - Education Week - 0 views

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    Many of our country's enduring dilemmas are the products of inequalities in power and wealth created by social class, race, culture, and sexism. Challenges exist inside and outside the education system. Although the society has made visible historic progress on many fronts, our nation's most pressing educational problem remains the opportunity gap between the children of the haves and those of the have-nots; this gap has grown with the mounting social inequality of the last 40 years. We believe the schools can and should do much more to make progress in many areas. Yet we recognize that improving schools for the families of the have-nots on any large scale will in the end depend on broader steps toward democracy and equality. In any case, we are unlikely to renew our democracy without a fresh commitment to quality public education.
Jeff Bernstein

New Releases in Policy, Reform, and Leadership - BookMarks - Education Week - 0 views

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    Today's post continues BookMarks book list series. Enjoy!
Jeff Bernstein

Gearing Up for Test Day. And Then What? - SchoolBook - 0 views

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    Those who think that there is too much pressure to "teach to the test" find this time of year to be infuriating. Schools typically cease to focus on their regular curriculum and begin to prepare their students for these venerated exams.


    Laura Klein
    Some schools stop all social studies and science classes, as well as gym, art and enrichment activities, so they can spend all day on test prep in Math and English. This overhaul of the curriculum is extreme, but not unique. Unfortunately, for the students, it sends a larger signal that learning for the year is just about done.
Jeff Bernstein

Rog Lucido: Student Learning Can Only be Described, Not Measured - Living in Dialogue -... - 0 views

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    All high-stakes testing is based on the paradigm that learning can be 'measured' by using a device that produces a number. Tests play the role of this measuring device and the resulting numbers are translated into scores. These scores are then compared and contrasted and by selecting arbitrary criteria are used to categorize students, teachers, schools, districts and states. But what if the paradigm is wrong. What if learning cannot be 'measured'?
Jeff Bernstein

New teacher evaluation system is all flaws - NY Daily News - 0 views

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    As a veteran teacher, I cringe when I hear politicians say that current evaluations do not include student learning as a factor. When my principal observes my class, he will witness student learning in many forms. For example, he might see me call on a student who has been struggling.

    Perhaps that student will not be able to answer the question perfectly, but he will be able to do it far better than he would have at the beginning of the period. My principal is a veteran and knows learning when he sees it. I trust his judgment.

    The new evaluations hinge on a flawed notion of student progress. This will lead to their downfall.
Jeff Bernstein

How real school reform should look (or explaining water to a fish) - The Answer Sheet -... - 0 views

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    Right now, the biggest, heaviest assumption on the reform truck has it that, when the Common Core State Standards Initiative is complete - when somebody has decided exactly what every kid in every state is supposed to know in every school subject at every grade level - the education reform truck will take off like gangbusters.

    It won't. If all the reformers' flawed assumptions are corrected, but the traditional math-science-language-arts-social-studies "core curriculum" remains the main organizer of knowledge, the truck may creep forward a few inches, but it won't take the young where they need to go if we care about societal survival. The mess from this generation's political paralysis and refusal to address looming problems can't be cleaned up using the same education that helped create it.
Jeff Bernstein

Daily Kos: of grades, test scores, students, and learning - what it means for me as a t... - 0 views

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    This Saturday reflection is on grades, test scores, and learning, what I think of them, what it means for me a teacher.
Jeff Bernstein

Why kids need solitude - Salon.com - 0 views

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    Our culture of immediate gratification is changing our children. Diana Senechal, teacher and author, explains what we're losing.
Jeff Bernstein

Daily Kos: Some thoughts on teaching - 0 views

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    I think what we are seeing in education is neither art nor science, but the attempt to turn education into an engineering problem.  In engineering, it is of course important to have rigorous standards.  In manufacturing the ideal of exactly the same interchangeable parts is an important component of mass production, which provides consistency, and may even save on cost.

    But students are not, and should not be, widgets or other manufactured outputs.  They are absolutely unique individuals, and should be respected as such, even as we try to assist them in growing and developing and learning how to learn.  Please note that last phrase - learning how to learn -  we thereby empower them to lifelong learning that does not depend upon a formal school/educational setting.  
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