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Should we abolish educator tenure?

Is tenure still an important tradition in the 21st century? This is a debate that comes up often in my discussions with policymakers and others. It’s also an issue that is currently flaring up in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin (See What’s Gone Wrong in Wisconsin?) There is an increasing cacophony that our ancestors’ of conception of educator tenure is obsoIete. I […]

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Action Alert: We need to debate @TeachForAmerica and Special Education

Special Education students are one of our most exceptional student populations. Should Teach For America teachers who have had 18 hours in a classroom teach Special Education? Natomas Unified School District right here in Sacramento California will be debating this issue tomorrow (Agenda for the Board Meeting on June 10, 2015. TFA Agenda Item is XII. […]

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Inside Information and Reflections from a Former TFA Instructor

I spent many years instructing new Teach For America (TFA) recruits. I was responsible for accessing TFA’s classroom practice and reviewing real-time student math test scores. Lack of Preparation What’s generally taken as fact is that Teach For America’s novices graduate in the top 10% of their highly selective institutions. But, not all corps members hail […]

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The Axe is grinding: Is PAR teacher evaluation discriminatory?

Julian Vasquez Helig gave no statistical rebuttal to my data, therefore his comments are meaningless. Brian Crowell I am usually up for a challenge. It was a lazy Saturday afternoon and Brian Crowell was up to his usual schtick critiquing Peer Assistance and Review (PAR), a community-level teacher evaluation approach. I previously discussed PAR in the post Can […]

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Mr. Universe competition

What would you say to @TeachForAmerica recruiting letter?

Even when Teach For America recruiters are banned from using faculty class time to recruit students— they still try to. This form letter was forwarded to me by a Professor. Hi Professor, I am currently a Senior Marketing Student here at the ________ and a Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach For America. I’m contacting you because […]

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Podcast Series: Conversation with Loyola Students about Education Reform

Last week I joined students from Dr. Aurora Chang’s education reform class at Loyola University to discuss hot issues in the national conversation about education policy. We started with a few questions submitted by her doctoral students. Here is what we addressed: 1.When addressing inequity with policy makers, are there different strategies whether they are neoliberal or conservative? […]

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EdMonth Storified: This Is What Happens When You Debate @TeachForAmerica

Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy. Jesse Jackson Back in the Fall of 2014 Hannah Nguyen approach me about joining a USC Ed Month panel for a debate about Teach For America. (What is Teach For America? See all posts on the organization here.) USC EdMonth is a “month-long program devoted […]

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Is @TeachForAmerica Cloaking Inequity?: Discussing the Headwind

After several decades, Teach For America, a program that sends inexperienced teachers (typically only 5 weeks of summer training) before they are shipped off to teach on a (primarily) temporary basis in America’s toughest schools, is facing some headwind. Alumni are increasingly speaking out against the organization, many of whom who joined Teach For America […]

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Can we Evaluate #Teachers Without Using High-Stakes #Testing?

Late in the summer I received an email from Larry Ferlazzo, an award-winning English and Social Studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School here in Sacramento, asking if I was interested in contributing to the conversation about the evaluation of teachers for his Edweek Classroom Q&A blog. He asked several other folks across the nation […]

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Teachers Matter: The Letter Defending Educators @Time Wouldn’t Print #TIMEapologize #TIMEfail

To: Nancy Gibbs, Time Editor From: Thomas L. Good, Professor Emeritus College of Education University of Arizona 1936 E Fifth Street Tucson, AZ  85719 520-884-4298 TEACHERS MATTER The November 3 issue of Time magazine includes a sensational cover, an editorial statement and a feature story that systematically question the value of American teachers who often […]

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The Nation Storified: This Is What Happens When You Criticize @TeachForAmerica

The Nation released a brilliant piece exposing how Teach For America spends millions to silence critiques of the organization by its alums and others. Below I have included selected Twitter quotes and photos from excellent investigative report by George Joseph on Storify. Twitter blasts usually get lost in the annals of Twitter history— so I turn […]

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A Message to Democrats (and Republicans too) about Education Reform

Because I am California bound, I had to cancel an engagement to speak with the Sun City Democrats about education reform. To make up for it, I taped a message to them and answered their questions. I pasted the YouTube response below. Here are the questions: We read, in the Austin Statesman, that one of the […]

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Teaching as a Profession?: Heading for the Exits, Fellows, and North Carolina

Teacher attrition is an issue across the United States. Amongst traditionally trained teachers, about 50% leave after 5 years. The infamous Teach For America program has an attrition rate of about 80% after five years (this is why Teach For America wants to focus the public on a 50% in “education” field number). As seen […]

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Happy Birthday!: A Conversation About Education With César E. Chávez

Happy Birthday César Chávez! Often education “reformers” toss around civil rights as a justification for their “reforms.” See for example Reframing the Refrain: Choice as a Civil Rights Issue. If he were still alive today, how would César Chávez have weighed in on the school “reform” movement? I pose several questions about hot topics in education reform— then I […]

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Startling Findings?: Black students “hardest hit” by Teacher Quality Inequities

This is why the Civil Rights data collection by DoEd is so important. EdWeek published a piece entitled Black Students Less Likely to Be Taught By Certified Teachers, Ed. Dept. Data Show. A few months ago Cloaking Inequity took up this issue in the post Whats Good for Goose, is Good for Gander: Feds propose changes to Civil […]

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Why are TFA and “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform?

Why are TFA and, more generally, “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform? Why do they get defensive when faced with critiques based on empiricism (data and research) and efficacy (is their reform working)? See for example Jonathan Alter get defensive when I discuss charter school data and research on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. He […]

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Democratic National Convention: Day 2

It’s Sommer Time: TFA alum Critiques Co-CEO’s “Slick Willie” Interview

I recently caught a rebroadcast of PBS’ American Experience: Clinton, and was reminded that today’s future “first man” was once dubbed “Slick Willie” by the press due to his mastery of duplicitousness in dancing around controversies. However, with Bill Clinton’s approval rating now upwards of 69 percent, he may have finally shaken off that unpleasant moniker. But with […]

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American Radioworks® Conversation: Does Teach for America Need Reforming?

How about radio media today instead of print? Today American Radioworks® (ARW) released a conversation (“Does Teach for America Need Reforming?”) that I had with Stephen Smith. What is ARW?: ARW is the national documentary unit of American Public Media. ARW is public radio’s largest documentary production unit; it creates documentaries, series projects, and investigative reports for the public radio […]

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