Video: The Myths of Chartering

Zero Chance of passage
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Guest Post by Ember Reichgott Junge


What a fun interview with Bob Bowdon of Choice Media TV, in New York City! We talked chartering and education issues from the 1990s to now, and he even included a 1997 C-Span clip of my presentation to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. I was in New York to participate in the Writer’s Digest conference, where my book, Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story was recognized as the 2013 Grand Prize Winner of the Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you are a long-time veteran in chartering and education or just curious to learn more, I think you’ll find this a fun conversation!

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Are Single Gender Classrooms Better?

Girls in a single gender classroom

singlegender 300x212 Are Single Gender Classrooms Better?From time immemorial, private religious schools have had single gender classrooms. For the past 15 some odd years, a few public schools have begun to experiment with this option in hopes that both boys and girls will thrive. Though somewhat “untraditional” to the public school system, perhaps this tactic will resolve many of the challenges we find in schools today.


Studies have found many positive outcomes to single sex classrooms. Some of them are as follows:


  • Girls tend to more actively participate in classroom discussions
  • Girls participate in more outdoor activities without worrying that they will be considered too tom-boyish
  • Boys tend to strive for better academic achievement
  • Boys enjoy joining an orchestra or studying poetry without worrying about seeming too feminine
  • Boys learn to collaborate more and compete less
  • Self-confidence seems to increase in both sexes
  • Both sexes feel freer to explore non-conventional subjects like computers, mathematics and technology
  • Both sexes seem to thrive on having less “sexual stimuli” around them
  • Both sexes can be taught using learning patterns more geared towards their gender
  • Both sexes seem to focus better on academics with less distractions
  • There are fewer drop-outs for both genders


Though most would agree that successful education is a joint venture which includes proper instruction, parent commitment and structured environment, it does appear that gender-appropriate education can be a key which takes success in education to the next level.

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New Literacy Law-Too Much and Too Late?

Literacy! Children reading together

Depositphotos 14085122 s 300x220 New Literacy Law Too Much and Too Late?In the continuing effort to get our children reading, fourteen states have enacted a policy requiring third-graders who do not meet a reading standard to attend summer school and/or be held back. Summer school is costly and studies show that students held back often drop out of school. Is there a solution? This appears to be a complicated issue for many.


Although some say that summer school might improve student literacy, many wonder where the extra funds will come from. In North Carolina, districts could not rely on state funds to cover the extra expenditure. Non-profit foundations were needed to supplement the summer schools costs.

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Obama’s Nutritional Standards Strike Again

Pink Cookies


pinkcookies 300x200 Obama’s Nutritional Standards Strike AgainI read a rather heartbreaking story about the loss of a home-town treat to the Obama administration’s nutritional guidelines. Apparently, Michelle Obama’s national school nutrition bill has messed with a serious tradition in Elyria, Ohio. As a continuation to my blog, Healthy School Lunches-An Oxymoron?, I share the following.


The Elyria school system has served a beloved pink cookie for over 40 years.  The recipe includes the use of white flour, butter, sour cream, granulated and powdered sugars, and Crisco among other ingredients. The caloric content of this fabulous treat has pushed it into the “ancient snack” archives under the Obama administration’s school food policies which allow a maximum of 200 calories per snack.

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Video: Play Based Learning

Play Based Learning




Video blogger Mor Rossler discusses play based learning. Learning through play has become the goal of many early childhood centers.  The idea is that a child learns about the world around them, societal norms,  the basics of problem solving, math skills and language skills best through play.  Does it work? Watch the video and learn more!


What experiences have you had with play based learning? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Captureplay 150x150 Video: Play Based Learning

Charter Schools and Unions – Help or Hindrance?

Charter Schools and Teacher Unions

Depositphotos 5817125 s 300x174 Charter Schools and Unions   Help or Hindrance?

A reader of my recent blog, Charter Schools-Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained?, commented that perhaps one of the disadvantages of charter schools is that teachers are not protected by a union. She felt that teachers who work in a charter school are choosing the freedom to be innovative in the classroom over better salary and stronger job security. Finding this subject compelling, I did some research on the topic. What I found was a large array of conflicting information and viewpoints.


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Infographic: What Makes An Effective Teacher? Part III

Effective Teacher Infographic Part III

Teacher Final 03 442x1024 Infographic: What Makes An Effective Teacher? Part III


Hertz Furniture is proud to present the What Makes An Effective Teacher? infographic series!  Student influences such as attention span, cultural background and socioeconomic factors are just a few of the things that make an effective teacher.

Embed this infographic! Click in the box, then copy it and paste into your site.

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Facing Gender Differences in Education

Gender Differences in the Classroom

Depositphotos 9479236 s 300x199 Facing Gender Differences in Education

Published in 1992 and having sold over 50 million copies! (not including the sharing of the book between readers), Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray educated us in the reality that there truly are differences between how men and women think, understand, behave and react. When dealing with these distinctions appropriately people thrive. When women treat men as if they were women and men treat women as if they were men, havoc is created.


These “facts on the ground” do not seem to be considered within the educational system. The gap between the successes of girls to boys in the classroom is widening as time goes on. There are twice as many boys with learning difficulties as girls. Four times as many boys are autistic and the incidence of Asperger syndrome is almost entirely male. In special units, boys outnumber girls by six to one and there are five times as many boys as girls excluded from schools. Let’s explore some of the causes.

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New Study: Charter School Graduates More Likely to Go to College

Zero Chance of passage

Guest Post by Ember Reichgott Junge


The National Charter Schools Conference opened this morning with a standing-room-only crowd for the first general session—due to a record-breaking 4,600+ attendees to the conference!  True, the conference site in Las Vegas may be attractive to some, but remember, it is  111 degrees outside!  In my view, people are here because they are committed to personal growth and growth of a strong charter sector.  And we all love lots and lots of networking.


Nina 150x150 New Study: Charter School Graduates More Likely to Go to College

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Is Pay for Performance Practical?

Pay for Performance for Teachers

Depositphotos 25127823 s 300x225 Is Pay for Performance Practical?For more than 40 years the educational world has debated the value of offering pay-for-performance as a teacher incentive. This can come across as insulting to educators. The assumption is that if we offer additional pay, teachers will work harder. It implies that teachers know how to improve student achievement but are not doing so because they are not sufficiently motivated and value financial rewards more than student success.

On the other hand, it is known that high-performing educational systems pay their teachers more than lower-performing schools. However, is this actual proof that educators will teach better for higher pay or is it that higher quality teachers work in areas with larger budgets? Generally, teacher salaries are based on credentials and years of experience, both of which have been shown to be poor indicators of teacher effectiveness. In addition, offering merit pay might level the playing field for some teachers thinking about leaving teaching for other professions which are more publically respected.

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Charter Schools – Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained?

Charter School

meridian charter school 007 300x200 Charter Schools   Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained?Charter schools are publicly funded institutions which operate independently thus giving the freedom to experiment with educating students in any way which they feel will bring the greatest success. 72 cities in the US enroll about 10% of their children in 5000 charter schools nationwide. 55% of these students are black and Hispanic from a lower socioeconomic status.


The charter school concept, starting in 1992, was meant to find better ways for educating children. Creativity would lead to discovery which would be transferred over to the public school system. Charter schools tend to pay their teachers about 15% above union scale though there is no tenure. These teachers work a long 60 hour week, sometimes causing early burn out. However, teacher proponents say that they enjoy the freedom allotted to develop their classroom as they see fit.

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Student Wins Gold Medal Using Hertz Furniture Products in Design Plan!

Design Plan Using Hertz Furniture Products

designplan9 300x225 Student Wins Gold Medal Using Hertz Furniture Products in Design Plan!In an outstanding display of innovative and inspired teaching, Kay-Lynne Schaller guided her student to win a Gold medal in the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio on July 11 th for her design plan for a “More Exciting Classroom” project using Hertz Furniture’s school furniture products. Hertz Furniture recognizes both Mrs. Schaller’s and her student, Allie Ruf’s efforts in constructing this project and winning a Gold medal. Congratulations Mrs. Schaller and Allie!

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Video: Wellness and Health Education

Video: Wellness and Health Education


Is there a place in our schools for teaching our students wellness and fitness? While physical education classes have always been a part of our education system, is there a place for developing and strengthening a health education curriculum that encourages students to live a healthy and responsible lifestyle? Watch the video and share your thoughts!




Top 15 Things Teachers Hate Infographic

15 things teachers hate

Page 1 Top 15 Things Teachers Hate Infographic


Hertz Furniture presents the Top 15 things Teachers Hate Infographic.  Paperwork, Meetings, Uncomfortable Teacher Chairs and more. The infograhic was compiled from real responses from real teachers on our Facebook page.


Which is your favorite? What things related to teaching do you hate?


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K-12 Class Size And Student Success Infographic

Class size Infographic

hertzclassroom.jpg 1024x926 K 12 Class Size And Student Success Infographic


Hertz Furniture is proud to present the Correlation Between K-12 Class Size And Student Success Infographic.  Are smaller classes more effective?  Does the age of the students make a difference in considering class size? Should the impact of class size be discounted in favor of focusing on Teacher Effectiveness?  Our infographic answers these and more questions. Have a look now!


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