Tag Archives: K through 12

rePost::What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley

On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in math.

One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor’s math classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked.

The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so.

At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools—not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it’s worth noting, not a very hard one).

After a year in Mr. Taylor’s class, the first little boy’s scores went up—way up. He had started below grade level and finished above. On average, his classmates’ scores rose about 13 points—which is almost 10 points more than fifth-graders with similar incoming test scores achieved in other low-income D.C. schools that year. On that first day of school, only 40 percent of Mr. Taylor’s students were doing math at grade level. By the end of the year, 90 percent were at or above grade level.

As for the other boy? Well, he ended the year the same way he’d started it—below grade level. In fact, only a quarter of the fifth-graders at Plummer finished the year at grade level in math—despite having started off at about the same level as Mr. Taylor’s class down the road.

This tale of two boys, and of the millions of kids just like them, embodies the most stunning finding to come out of education research in the past decade: more than any other variable in education—more than schools or curriculum—teachers matter. Put concretely, if Mr. Taylor’s student continued to learn at the same level for a few more years, his test scores would be no different from those of his more affluent peers in Northwest D.C. And if these two boys were to keep their respective teachers for three years, their lives would likely diverge forever. By high school, the compounded effects of the strong teacher—or the weak one—would become too great.

via The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley.

Excellent Read!!!

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Thinking Of Oneself::Chasing after the Wind : Aardvarchaeology

I only ask the very hard question , or rather I only try to answer the HARD questions during my birthday, which as more than a week ago, I’d be lying if I thoughts like this didn’t enter my mind.

I was brought up to believe that I am special. I was told that I am unusually smart and gifted. Whether or not this is true, it has given me a deep-seated expectation of myself to do great(ish) things, to achieve a bit more than the average Joe, to stand out from the crowd, to gain recognition.

Most people of course achieve very little that is noteworthy beyond the solid humble everyday victories of a quiet life. I’m sure that most people do not have a sense that this is in any way insufficient. I’m also sure that many of these average achievers have talent and potential far beyond that needed to live a standard life. They just don’t expect of themselves to do any more than the average person. I believe they are by and large content.

The skills and training I have are not much sought after. There is very little professional demand for me. This clashes badly with my grandiose ideas about myself. I achieve things that I am proud of on a small one-man-project scale, but few care, and I gain little recognition. I am frustrated.

via Chasing after the Wind : Aardvarchaeology.

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Best Read-Resume Cover Of a Startup, Employee??–Dashnine Media » I (may) need a new job because my boss is a jerk

Jerk City
Image by Emma Swann via Flickr

Read the whole thing . I’d have to say after a 12 hour work day, with only a 30 minute lunch and a couple of breaks I felt a surge while reading this. Although I am not working for a startup.

Dear _________,

I’m writing to express an interest to interview with your company. I may need to leave my current situation. I know its against convention to trash my last employer when applying for a job. If you read this, I think you’ll understand and excuse my behavior.

For six months I’ve worked under the promise of an eventual pay off. To date, I’ve received minimal compensation for my efforts. The past three months, I’ve worked 12-14 hour days six days a week and my boss expects me to “stick it out” for success that may or may not come. I know the hours for a fact. When I had trouble getting things done he made me account in writing

Dashnine Media » I (may) need a new job because my boss is a jerk.

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