Investing In Teacher Development

Does The Flat World and Education provide all of the answers? No, and it shouldn’t. This book provides some important lines of inquiry and thinking that should be front and center as we discuss implementation of new funding streams as we recover from Covid and as we look at new investments that will come in Title I. As Cardona and his team look to completely reinvent Title II (both under ESEA and, likely, the Higher Education Act), Darling-Hammond’s data and conclusions on teacher induction and ongoing teacher support need to be central to the discussion. They may not be adopted whole cloth (and probably shouldn’t) but if they aren’t part of the debate, we are missing a central point to meaningful education improvement. We have ignored or avoided these discussions for too long. But if we are going to emphasize the science, then we should be looking to the data and the real-life case studies that can be pointed to to demonstrate true impact.

From Eduflack’s latest over on Medium, where I explore lessons we can learn today from the book penned by Linda Darling-Hammond more than a decade ago.

Better Reading Teacher Prep in NJ

“If we can all agree on the importance of following the science when it comes to reopening our schools, why does New Jersey so solidly reject the idea of following the science when it comes to teaching our youngest learners to read? Why do we reject the science when it comes to doing what is proven effective in equipping virtually all students with the literacy skills necessary to succeed in middle school, high school, post secondary, and life?”

Eduflack’s latest for the NJ Education Report

Teaching The Capitol Riot

I was honored to be a part of this important panel discussion on the BAM Radio Network, as we discussed how educators can, should, must discuss the Capitol riot in their classrooms.

Dear ol’ Eduflack gets that many parents want to keep politics out of the classroom. And I understand that many teachers worry their administrators won’t have their backs on such controversial issues. But our kids don’t live in a bubble. They will learn of such ugly issues, whether we teach them or not.

Case in point. On the day of the siege, my 13-year-old daughter came into my office late in the afternoon, wanting me to explain what was happening. When I asked how she knew, she simply said the issue was blowing up her TikTok feed. Our kids know.

So give it a listen here. It’ll be worth the time — https://www.bamradionetwork.com/track/special-report-eight-educators-share-thoughts-on-discussing-sedition-in-the-classroom/

It Is Time for an American History Ed Czar

“Look at 2020 to understand how important a history education czar is to improving K-12 and post-secondary education.

“We’ve witnessed history happening before our eyes, from how the world addressed a global health pandemic to how our nation addressed the call of Black Lives Matter. We’ve seen the first woman and woman of color elected to the second-highest office. And we’ve watched this wondering that no matter how significant, how history-making, how will we effectively teach about 2020 in the future?”

From dear ol’ Eduflack’s latest in the Stamford (CT) Advocate, calling for the Biden Administration to establish an American history education czar.

Making What is “Boring” Interesting Again

“If as an adult the lesson makes you a little nervous, content-wise, then it has the potential to connect with learners. The best thing the Driving Force Institute is doing is using provocative videos that have students asking why they hadn’t learned it before and what else have they not been taught.”

From a Twinkl exploration on how make unpopular academic subjects more exciting, discussing Eduflack’s Untold History initiative

Changing How We Teach History

This week, dear ol’ Eduflack was fortunate enough to join Larry Jacobs on Education Talk Radio to discuss how we can improve the teaching and learning of American history.

We talked about the need to be provocative, to better relate to young people, and to embrace discussions of current conflicts and issues in order to better connect to the past.

You can give the full half-hour program a listen here – https://ace-ed.org/on-changing-the-way-we-teach-history-and-government/

Casting a Wide Net for EdSec

“Safe choices like Eskelsen Garcia, Hrabowski, or even U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia would all be solid nominees and cabinet secretaries in the Biden Administration. But what if we tabled the safe, solid considerations for a moment and began to consider the bold, the innovative, and the atypical. At such a time of change and uncertainty in both our nation and our educational systems, considering the alternatives may be just what our schools, our educators, and our learners need.”

From Eduflack’s latest on Medium (and also published on Project Forever Free and The Education Post)

Rethinking Teacher PD

“No, this isn’t rocket science. We all know that a well-prepared, well-supported, empowered teacher will be more effective. We know that ongoing, content-based PD can have a direct impact on teacher quality and student achievement. We know teaching can’t improve through a drive-by workshop at the start of the school year or a half-day seminar offered twice a year following a half-day of teaching. We know we can do it, we know some are already doing it, we just need to figure out how to package it and deliver it to all.”

From Eduflack’s latest with The Faculty, Improving Teachers Through Improved Teacher Development

No, “Balanced Literacy” Doesn’t Work

“No, we don’t need to rebalance balanced literacy. Whole language was discredited because it didn’t work. It was a philosophy, an approach, to literacy that lacked a proven curriculum that actually taught kids to read. Rebranding it as balanced literacy may have ensured sales and boosted the number of school districts enrolling their teachers in workshops, but it has similarly done nothing to teach kids to read. Balanced literacy needs to be cast aside, not rebalanced.

“With all we know about research and cognitive science, with all of the data we now hold on effective teaching and learning, with what we know about learning disabilities and English language learning, it borders on educational malpractice if we are focusing classroom instruction on approaches that lack evidence. Too much is at stake – for both our learners and our society – to waste our time and instructional dollars on snake oil and well-intentioned, yet unsuccessful, philosophies or beliefs.”

From Eduflack’s latest for Project Forever Free, Lucy, We Told You So