TEACHERS EDITION -- January 29, 2015

The Teachers Edition

January 29, 2015  |  Sign up to receive THE TEACHERS EDITION.

still from interview with Mindy Epp and  Justin Minkel

In outtakes taped during the making of the popular video A View from Jones Elementary School, Springdale, Arkansasteachers Mindy Epp and Justin Minkel reflect on their changing practice.


Teachers Share Personal Insights 

Educators who couldn’t get enough of last week’s video, A View from Jones Elementary School, can view outtakes of extended interviews with Jones teachers Mindy Epp and Justin Minkel. Learn more

In one excerpt, Ms. Epp talks about how her use of data has changed over time and how she uses data to help students set goals. Mr. Minkel offers insights about how his students' work has taken on a new face and how the school's approach to embedded, staff-led professional development shapes his teaching.

Teach to Lead Update

And the Teachers Shall Lead

A BRILLIANT, BUZZING BRAINSTORM. Check out this blog by Cristina Duncan Evans calling the Teach to Lead website and its online community, Commit to Lead, “a brilliant, buzzing brainstorm of great ideas that you should definitely check out.” Evans encourages teachers to try out their big and small ideas. Learn more.

NEARING 70. Two organizations have joined the Teach to Lead effort, bringing the official supporter count to 64. The team welcomes the Philadelphia Education Fund and Boston Public Schools. Check out the complete roster.

Draw Disability


The Art of Drawing Challenges

How do children perceive disability around them? The Global Education First Initiative is accepting submissions to the #DrawDisability campaign, which invites young people to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of persons with disabilities through drawing. 


The best artwork received by April 1, 2015 will be displayed at the World Education Forum in Korea and at the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York. However, all submissions will be accepted until July 15, 2015, when the general public will be invited to vote for their favorite drawings online. A designated jury will select thirty drawings to be exhibited at the 70th United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. Guidelines are available here

Seriously? News No One Can Use


Indiana Teachers Take Second Jobs To Make Ends Meet

Haley Dover reports on the plight of teachers in Indiana who find themselves compelled to take on second or third jobs to make ends meet. She quotes sixth grade humanities teacher David Barrrett, who in addition to his full-time job, coaches football, waits tables, and referees games to make a living. "I don't have a life really," Barrett says. Read the story (Lafayette Journal and Courier).

the New Math

Ed Excelencia

• The Latino population is projected to increase dramatically in the coming decades. By 2060, Latinos are projected to represent 31% of the total U.S. population (129 million), while Whites are projected to represent 43%. 
• Educational attainment for Latinos has increased over the last ten years. Between 2004 and 2013, the number of Latinos earning an associate degree or higher increased 71% (3.8 million to 6.5 million). 
• Hispanics have lower levels of educational attainment than other groups. In 2013, 22% of Hispanic adults (25 years and over) had earned an associate degree or higher, compared to Asians (60%), Whites (46%), and African Americans (31%). 

(From Excelencia in Education's 2015 Factbook. Check out the snapshot of the Hispanic population and the conditions of Latinos in American education.)

Did you know?

How career-ready are students?

The Association of American Colleges and Universities released a report based on surveys that show only about one-quarter of employers consider graduates well prepared in critical thinking and analytic reasoning, written and oral communication, complex problem solving, innovation and creativity, and applying knowledge and skills to real world settings. Furthermore, 58% of employers say that improvement­­­­­s are needed to prepare students for success in entry-level positions.

P Chat

Principal Chat

SHAPING STRONG SCHOOL LEADERS. A report “Shaping Strong School Leaders,” looks at how districts, professional organizations like the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and training programs are "retooling efforts” to help principals prepare for and develop their careers. The package of stories also examines the support school leaders need to do their difficult work and lead effectively. Learn more (Superville, EdWeek).

 HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS NO JOKE. A new guide, “Human Trafficking in America’s Schools,” helps lay out ways principals and school personnel can help identify and report suspected abuse and connect students to services. Their actions can prevent trafficking and even save lives. The guide also outlines indicators of the crime, its warning signs, and how to respond when a student is an apparent victim.



Good Stuff for Eduwonks

The Alliance for Excellent Education has introduced "Federal Flash," a weekly video series to keep folks in the loop on important developments in national education policy. In less than five minutes, the Alliance will review the latest federal activity while previewing what to expect in the week ahead. 

Check out the inaugural video, which profiles the top-line information about reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as NCLB. (It's only 3:51 minutes.)

African American history month


On Racial Equality

During February, The Teachers Edition will feature teaching resources to support this year's African American History Month theme, "A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture," which focuses on African Americans who struggled to achieve equality in American society. 

• In Choices in Little Rock, a seven-week online course featured on Facinghistory.org, participants will learn ways to engage students in issues raised by the U.S. civil rights movement and their implications for today. The related teacher guide explores civic choices and focuses on efforts to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock. The course is offered from February 12-April 1, 2015 for $350 (limited scholarships available) and graduate credit is available for an additional fee. Learn more. 

sticky notepad

Teachers' Notes

• STRONG ENTITLEMENT AND TRUST. Following an international summit on teacher development with the Gates Foundation, Sutton Trust released "Developing Teachers: Improving Professional Development for Teachers," which highlights five policy recommendations and practical case studies of professional development in schools around the world. Read more.

• A SOUND YOU CAN LIVE WITH. Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire safety plans and emergency kits. These are just some of things that kids can learn about from the FREE website item on fire safety. Learn more.

• GETTING COMMON CORE RIGHT. The Learning First Alliance published a guide on how states can successfully implement the Common Core, including exemplars from various states. Among the top priorities: engaging a broad coalition of teachers, parents and community members in the work. 

Questions or comments about The Teachers Edition? Send them to ED's Teacher Liaison, Laurie Calvert: Laurie.Calvert@ed.gov.

teacher roundtable

Top 5 Quotes

Wisdom from educators heard by ED

5. "Our country seems to have invested in all kinds of programs for schools that are all happening at once. We call them initiatives." (Teacher, Md.)

4. "No matter what happens with the new ESEA bill, I hope people remember that it's important to measure growth." (Principal, Ark.)

3. "The key to our success has been moving from a system of sanction and shame to one of transparency and support." (Principal)

2. "I've seen a lot of districts putting a lot of emphasis on the subjects that are tested. This hurts students of poverty." (Principal, Compton, Calif.)

1. “Believe in yourself when other people doubt you. Dream big, even when some dreams don’t come true. Inspire yourself when others don’t.” (Student, Miss.)