Enforcing a Safe and Drug-Free School

Just how important is providing all students a safe and secure learning environment?  While drug searches in our schools have been around for decades, and the case law empowering local school districts to do so seems quite clear, such searches can divide a community, resulting in some very heated rhetoric and accusations.  Are we really taking issue with zero-tolerance drug policies in the schools and questioning the right to a safe and drug-free learning environment?

That is the question I explore over at Education Debate — The Trouble with Puppies: How Invasive are Drug-Sniffing Dogs?   The question becomes even more interesting considering the U.S. Department of Education’s decision this week to restructure the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools following a near 40% cut in the Office’s budget.
Check it out.

We Need a National Curriculum!

First it was common core standards.  Then common core assessments.  Today, the Al Shanker Institute started talking about common core curriculum.  But instead of calling for a true national curriculum, the logical next step in the common core movement, they call for curriculum, defined as a “sequential set of guidelines in the core academic disciplines.”  is it too bold to ask for someone, anyone to come out and call for a national curriculum?

That is the question I explore this week over at the Education Debate, asking about A Common Curriculum?  Check it out.  

Are TFA Teachers Well-Trained Teachers?

We all know Teach for America.  We know them to be some of the best-selected new teachers.  Some of the most committed.  Some of the best intended.  But at a time when we still struggle to identify what is effective teacher preparation, can we really say that TFA teachers are “well-trained?”

This is the question I explore this week over at Education Debate, Are TFA Teachers Well-Trained Teachers?  Check it out.

Is Parental Engagement So Wrong?

Blogging can often be a lonely sport.  One man, one computer.  If you are fortunate, you get folks who will comment on your posts or engage via email.  But it can be a very wordy game of electronic solitaire.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.  Over at www.onlineschools.org, they’ve launched “Education Debate,” an electronic town hall that brings together authors to debate and engage on a range of issues in the areas of K-12, politics and policy, higher education, and teaching and technology.
Today, Eduflack officially joined the Education Debate as a contributor.  My first piece (hopefully I’ll be posting a few times a month) is up there now.  This week, I take a look at the Kelley Williams-Bolar issue, and the positivelessons that can be learned from her doing what it took to get her kids enrolled in the Copley-Fairlawn School District.  
Check it out.  And check out the Education Debate.