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What teachers really want to tell parents

What teachers really want to tell parents
Teacher Ron Clark is pictured with his students. Ron Clark is an award-winning teacher who started his own academy in AtlantaHe wants parents to trust teachers and their advice about their students Clark says some teachers hand out A grades so parents won't bother themIt's OK for kids to get in trouble sometimes; it teaches life lessons, Clark says Editor's note: Ron Clark, author of "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck -- 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers," has been named "American Teacher of the Year" by Disney and was Oprah Winfrey's pick as her "Phenomenal Man." He founded The Ron Clark Academy, which educators from around the world have visited to learn. This article's massive social media response inspired CNN to follow up with Facebook users. Some of the best comments were featured in a gallery. (CNN) -- This summer, I met a principal who was recently named as the administrator of the year in her state. So, what can we do to stem the tide? Wow.

A primer on Social Security - The Fact Checker (J. Scott Applewhite/AP) This is an updated version of The Fact Checker’s guide to Social Security and how it is financed. What is Social Security? Social Security was created in response to the pervasive poverty during the Great Depression. About 70 percent of the 57 million beneficiaries are retired workers; the rest are disabled workers, dependents or survivors. The benefits are inflation-adjusted after initial receipt, a feature that is almost impossible to find in the U.S. annuity market. How is Social Security financed? About 96 percent of workers must pay a certain amount of their paycheck, generally 6.2 percent, into the system, an amount that is matched by their employers. This results in a 12.4 percent tax on income, as most economists would agree that the full amount is taken from the worker’s wage compensation. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, which means that payments collected today are immediately used to pay benefits. This is where it gets confusing.

Now We Know Why Obama Doesn’t Understand VAM In order to truly understand value added modeling (VAM), forget the likes of me and of others who hold degrees in mathematics, or statistics, or measurement. Forget that we offer solid, detailed discussions of the problems of VAM. Forget also that those who formerly promoted VAM, like Louisiana’s George Noell, are mysteriously “no longer associated with the project.” According to Michael Bloomberg, just ask a banker. That’s right. Banker and former director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Obama administration Peter Orszag has written an enlightening piece for Bloomberg.com explaining that VAM really does work. First, let me begin with Orszag’s statement regarding “promoting the most talented teachers.” One way of measuring a teacher’s effectiveness has been to see how much his or her students’ test scores rise. According to our banker, VAM is the answer to the “teacher problem.” Critics complain, however, that this measurement has two potential flaws: Okay. Nope. Wow.

Why Education Without Creativity Isn't Enough Phaneesh Murthy, CEO of Indian outsourcing company iGate Patni. | Photo by Ritam Banerjee Last April, when sharing a stage at Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, President Obama summed up the conventional wisdom on what's needed to shape American minds for the global marketplace. "We've got to do such a better job when it comes to STEM education," he said. "That's how we're going to stay competitive for the future." If we could just tighten standards and lean harder on the STEM disciplines--science, technology, engineering, mathematics--we'd better our rigorous rivals in India and China, and get our economy firing on all cylinders. As with much conventional wisdom, this is conventional in the worst sense of that word. If you want the truth, talk to the competition. "In India, it takes engineers two to three years to recover from the damage of the education system." Murthy will tell you that the outsourcing industry is not some unstoppable force: It's hitting real limits. Or don't.

Those persistent myths about the Sept. 11 attacks - The Fact Checker (Michael Lutzky/THE WASHINGTON POST) Somehow, there are still people who don’t believe that on Sept. 11, 2001, a group of terrorists seized four commercial jetliners and piloted them toward New York and Washington, killing thousands of people. Never mind the reams of sober and professional reports that have explored what actually happened and why. * that a missile struck the Pentagon, not a Boeing 757 * that U.S. air defenses were ordered to “stand down” on 9/11 * that government agents gathered all of the passengers from the four jets on Flight 93, and then brought it down * that World Trade Center 7 was professionally demolished. A team of journalists from Popular Mechanics has done a remarkable job exploring 25 of the most prominent conspiracy theories. The book completely demolishes all of the most outlandish assertions, using actual facts and information provided by an impressive array of experts. The Air Force was ordered to stand down on 9/11, allowing the plot to unfold The Facts:

Washington Post Here’s a powerful piece about how an award-winning principal went from being a Common Core supporter to an opponent. This was written by Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in New York. She was named the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is one of the co-authors of the principals’ letter against evaluating teachers by student test scores, which has been signed by 1,535 New York principals. By Carol Burris When I first read about the Common Core State Standards, I cheered. I even co-authored a book, “Opening the Common Core,” on how to help schools meet that goal. I confess that I was naïve. I hear about those distortions every day. Kings and queens COMMISSIONED Mozart to write symphonies for celebrations and ceremonies. Whether or not learning the word ‘commission’ is appropriate for second graders could be debated—I personally think it is a bit over the top. Test scores are a rough proxy for learning.

The World Is My School: Welcome to the Era of Personalized Learning By Maria H. Andersen Future learning will become both more social and more personal, says an educational technology expert. Humans have always been learning, but how we learn has changed over time. The earliest means of education were highly personal: Oral histories passed from adults to children, informal or formal apprenticeships, and one-on-one tutoring have all been used in the early history of most cultures. Certainly, personalized learning is the more effective method. Mass education is adequate, as long as students are highly motivated to learn and get ahead of their peers. The vision of a modern education built around personalized learning is not new, but it is definitely tantalizing. Learning Technologies Today Let’s start by taking stock of the personalized technologies for information that we already have. This is a problem; for deep learning to occur, we need to have repeated exposure to the information, along with some time in between for reflection. A Simple Idea: Learn This

What You Don't Know About Copyright, but Should - Technology By Jennifer Howard If Nancy Sims had to pick one word to describe how researchers, students, and librarians feel about copyright, it would probably be "confused." A lawyer and a librarian, Ms. Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She's there to help people on campus and beyond—both users and owners of protected material—understand their rights. "I'm not sure anybody has a very good knowledge" of copyright, she says. For instance, in a recent informal survey she conducted at the university, only 30 percent or so of the faculty respondents knew the answers to basic questions such as how one gets a copyright and how long it lasts. For the multitudes out there who are copyright-confused, here are some pointers Ms. If you think you don't own any copyrights, think again. At the rights sessions she holds for small groups of faculty members, she asks them if they own any copyrights. Don't be ruled by fear. Ask for help. Compiled Ben Wieder

Breaking News: Providence Officials Oppose Graduation Test The Providence Student Union has taken a stand against the NECAP graduation test. Last Saturday, a few dozen local leaders took the test, any said it was too hard for them, and they are nervously waiting for their scores. When students take action, everything changes! Here is the news: “Providence City Council education committee opposes NECAP as graduation requirement” March 18, 2013 By Linda Borg PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The City Council’s education committee is asking the Rhode Island Department of Education to abandon using the New England Common Assessment Program as a requirement for high school graduation. In a resolution to be submitted before the City Council, the committee’s chair, Sam Zurier, calls the state test “unfair” because it doesn’t allow some children “a reasonable chance to succeed, and imposes devastating consequences on many children who, through no fault of their own, are not ready to achieve the required test scores.” Like this: Like Loading...

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