Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Carnival of Things in my Email Box

I am on waaaaaay too many email lists.

Can't help myself. I see a button that says "Click here for our free newsletter about the latest in education!", and I'm powerless to resist.

That said, there's a lot of great content to be found for people interested in schools. Here's some of the best articles and thoughts that caught my eye from the ASCD SmartBrief, the Chronicle of Higher Education Morning and Afternoon Updates, E-School News Daily, and a host of others:

A teacher in Detroit says the solution to school improvement is less NCLB, not more. His best evidence seems to be his Grandma Lulu, but that's OK.

The problem of tying teacher pay to student achievement and advanced certification schemes can be amply seen in Mississippi, where the teachers got all of the bureaucracy and little of the raise that was supposed to make it worthwhile.

NPR did an exceptional piece on an exceptional program, the ProComp system in Denver that was the first to bring "merit pay" to scale in an urban district. Memo to Tom Luna of Idaho: watch this before you try your merit proposal for Idaho, and you'll be better off.

The ASCD is looking for articles on how to reach reluctant learners. I'm tempted to write up something on the work I've done getting young boys into reading....

Paging Doctor Homeslice: George Washington University is finally recognizing the adjunct faculty union.

There could be some openings on staff at a school in New Jersey--12 of their teachers pooled their money and won an $80 million dollar jackpot. I feel for the teachers who said, "Meh....that never works."

The University of Oregon is going to pay the tuition of low-income students. Of all the ways to break the cycle of poverty, this by far seems the most workable.

The average interlibrary loan costs better than $30 a book, report the Chronicle of Higher Education. It's amazing to live in a country where we have access to a system like that.

A teacher in Texas talks about transforming teaching from job into a profession. You're going to be seeing a lot more of this sort of talk; as a union guy, my job is to figure out how to direct it in a way that's best for the members.

Yet another story on how not getting enough sleep effects kids. I have a couple of parents in my school right now who can't seem to get this message.

The staff of a high school in Massachusetts found out that there were hidden cameras in the hallways when the news was spilled in the student newspaper. Somewhere out there, there's a principal who needs to work on their communication skills.

A recent change to Medicare could change the level of services that districts are able to provide, especially when it comes to transporting disabled kids. As the father of a deaf daughter who is at risk of losing her eyes as well, this bothers me.

In Tennessee a teacher actually pressed charges against the high schooler who assaulted her, even though the school security officer encouraged her not to. Good for her, I say--you hit a teacher, you don't belong in any school.

A newsletter that I enjoy very much is Just for the Asking! by Bruce Oliver. Geared more towards lead teachers and administrators, he's done some great columns on how to use data recently that would be useful for anyone.

....and that got me down from 250+ messages to 175 or so. Look for another email carnival soon :-P

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