Archive for the 'featured' Category

20th 2010
Let’s Focus on Replicating Great Teaching Rather Than Shrinking Class Sizes

Posted under featured & Innovation and Reform & PPC & Research & Teachers

You’ve got to hand it to the teachers unions. They have so many people conditioned to call for more teachers and smaller class sizes as the leading remedy for what ails public schools. The tide slowly is turning to a greater realization of what the abundance of research shows us: namely, that the quality of the individual teacher is far more important than small differences in class sizes.

But what can policy makers do about it? Are great teachers just born that way, and we need to do more to import their natural gifts into the education system? Or are there practical skills and mechanics that teachers can learn from their peers who have achieved remarkable success in the classroom?

With plenty of teaching experience between them, authors Doug Lemov (Teach Like a Champion) and Steven Farr (Teaching as Leadership) make a strong case for the latter. The 12 minutes it takes to listen to the two authors’ new Education Next podcast interview with Michael Petrilli is a worthwhile investment of time for anyone truly concerned about how to make our schools better. Continue Reading »


19th 2010
How Do Common Core Standards Compare to Colorado’s New Academic Standards?

Posted under featured & Federal Government & Grades and Standards & PPC & State Board of Education

The deadline for the Colorado State Board of Education to decide whether to approve Common Core Standards (CCS) is fast approaching, now only two weeks away. The debate continues to pick up steam. Are these academic standards for K-12 students truly high quality and voluntary? Is there truly a benefit beyond the money tied to adopting Common Core?

One argument against adopting math and language arts CCS for Colorado — besides legitimate fears of opening the doors to expanded federal government influence on local school curricula — is the potential conflict with existing state standards. Only seven months ago the State Board of Education adopted new academic standards in 11 areas. Which raises some natural questions: Do we really need to re-invent the wheel? Are the quasi-national CCS more focused and rigorous than Colorado’s new standards? Continue Reading »

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