Hot Topics in Education Archives - A Blog for Principals and Teachers - School Matters | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

Hot Topics in Education

 
 
The  SAT Controversy

The SAT Controversy

The news that the SAT’s will be modified to more appropriately accord with today’s high school academic experience has been met with both strong approval and fierce criticism. Hertz School Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler presents the two sides of this issue. What are your thoughts on the new SAT format? Is this a progressive […]

 
Charter Schools:  Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

Charter Schools: Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

 I was pleased to join Minnesota Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, as he announced new federal charter schools legislation at Global Academy in Columbia Heights on March 31.  Rep. Kline was joined by Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana), chair of the House School Choice Caucus, Greg Richmond, President and CEO […]

 
Eliminating Racial Inequality in our Schools

Eliminating Racial Inequality in our Schools

 “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Just one month ago, the United States celebrated Black History Month. The nation has much […]

 
Video: Inquiry-Based Learning vs. Direct Learning

Video: Inquiry-Based Learning vs. Direct Learning

  Should teachers serve primarily as presenters of predetermined material or facilitators of student-initiated learning? Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler compares the strengths and weaknesses of inquiry-based learning and direct learning; watch the video to learn more about this fundamental pedagogical issue. What has been your experience with these two modes of classroom learning? […]

 
Charter School Growth for 2013-14: Celebration and Caution

Charter School Growth for 2013-14: Celebration and Caution

Guest Blogger: Ember Reichgott Junge The new numbers on growth of charter schools over the last year exceeded even my expectations.  The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (www.publiccharters.org) recently released these numbers:  600 new public charter schools opened their doors in September, 2013, for 7% growth in the number of operating public charter schools […]

 
Just Google it! Education in 2014

Just Google it! Education in 2014

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain Do grades matter anymore? According to one of the most influential companies on the planet today: not really. In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman interviews the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google Inc., Laszlo Bock. […]

 
A Modest Proposal: Pump Up the Homework*

A Modest Proposal: Pump Up the Homework*

America is in a state of crisis. It isn’t what you think. Yes, the country is polarized politically, and congress is earning some of the lowest approval ratings in history. Sure, the economy has seen better days and our debt is astronomical. Crime and poverty continue to plague many of our cities and towns. But […]

 
Open Door Policy? The Teachers Room and School Culture

Open Door Policy? The Teachers Room and School Culture

You can feel it the moment you walk into the building. Every school exudes a certain aura, an overall mood: it is the school’s culture. Some schools are warm and welcoming, while others are more rigid and formal. Either way, the school culture wafts through the hallways like a cloud of smoke, enveloping everything and everybody in its path. You can sense it in the way students walk down the hallways, in the nature of the conversation between a teacher and his students, and in the presence of the principal as she walks into the cafeteria. The school culture is created by a combination of factors: the administrators, the teachers, the students, the physical environment, and the dynamic between them all. But the issue that most powerfully reflects, but also determines, the school culture is the faculty room door policy.

 
The Debate For an Extended School Day

The Debate For an Extended School Day

    Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the debate for an extended school day. Many argue that we should be focusing on improving the quality of classrooms and teaching rather than paying teachers more for extra hours. Watch the video and learn more about the debate for en extended school day. What do […]

 
Five Lessons from Football for Teachers

Five Lessons from Football for Teachers

This is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s not the winter snow that has me excited; it’s football. Over the next two glorious weeks, football’s four best teams will battle it out on the gridiron to determine this season’s champion. It recently dawned upon me that are some striking parallels between football and education. True, the salaries of a starting running back and a seventh grade math teacher aren’t exactly identical, or – ok, let’s be honest – anywhere near each other. However, I think we educators have much to learn from the game of football. Here are the five lessons that football teaches teachers:

 
Five Hours of Community Service in Forty-Five Minutes: Thoughts on Moral Education

Five Hours of Community Service in Forty-Five Minutes: Thoughts on Moral Education

Picture the scene: It’s Final Exams Week in a local high school. Students are scampering down the hallway, rushing from their lockers to their classrooms. Amid the bustling, nervously looking at his watch, one student complains to another: “Great. I have forty-five minutes to perform my five hours of community service.” The panicked student is referring to the hours of volunteering that the school has included in its high school curriculum. Each student is obligated to fulfill these five hours of volunteer service any way he sees fit, at any time, before the end of the semester. In fact, students are only admitted to their final exams after submitting their community service form, which lists the time and location of their community service. Apparently one student has neglected to serve his community for five hours that semester. This is a true story I recently heard, one that touches upon some fundamental questions about how we educate our students in the moral and civic realms.

 
Video: Integrating Social Media in The Classroom!

Video: Integrating Social Media in The Classroom!

Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the role of social media in education today. Google images and youtube videos are just some of the ways that students are experiencing information in a way that they have never done before. Game based learning sites, blogs, and twitter are allowing students to connect to the world in new ways. Watch the video and learn more about using social media in the classroom!

 
My New Year’s Teacher Resolutions

My New Year’s Teacher Resolutions

Like the rest of America, I thought this would be an opportune time to generate my New Year’s Resolutions. Unlike the rest of America, I will not be including cleaning out my basement or organizing my garage. (Seriously, is there anyone out there who has ever followed through on those resolutions?) Instead, I thought I’d take a stab at formulating some resolutions with my teacher’s hat on. If there is any profession that requires constant reevaluation and reflection, it is education. What are some areas that we teachers should be thinking about as we head into 2014? Here are my 2014 New Year’s Teacher Resolutions:

 
Video: Promoting Literacy in Early Childhood – Part Two

Video: Promoting Literacy in Early Childhood – Part Two

Get practical ideas and tips for promoting literacy in early childhood in Part two of Mor’s two part series on promoting literacy in early childhood. Some ideas include labeling, group discussions, and parent teacher workshops. Watch the video now!

 
An Educator’s Tribute to Nelson Mandela

An Educator’s Tribute to Nelson Mandela

It has been over a week since Nelson Mandela’s passing, and the world continues to mourn and pay tribute to the man who fought to end apartheid in South Africa. Of course, Mandela’s legacy will be defined by the values that his life embodied: promoting social justice and eradicating racism. However, it struck me that there are three valuable lessons that we in particular, as school administrators and teachers, can draw from this man and his life.