Monday, March 8, 2010

Some Interesting Links

A tweet from DavidNGoodman (Detroit-area AP reporter) led me to this teacher blog from someone who started out in Teach For America: Not Much, Just Chillin' and to this very interesting article from the New York Times, Building A Better Teacher by Elizabeth Green. The article gives a shout-out to both the Michigan State University and University of Michigan schools of education. And I don't necessarily agree with all of the conclusions, but it is interesting to read about. The article also links to the Uncommon Schools web site (which is promotional--just a warning). I wouldn't normally link to it but I did like the teaching clips on the right hand side.

[There is a recent post on the teachers' blog Not Much, Just Chilling that talks about what this teacher gets paid as a teacher in eastern North Carolina. It struck me just how little she is getting paid, after 5 years on the job, and how low pay is in eastern North Carolina as compared to Michigan.]

Also in the New York Times, as part of a series on the impact of immigration, you can look up every school district in the country (yes, including Washtenaw County), and check out both racial/ethnic makeup and the assigned diversity index (the percent chance that two students selected randomly would belong to different ethnic/racial groups).  The key question--is diversity increasing or decreasing? The data spans 1987 to 2006, so you can really see some trends. In Washtenaw County, for 2006, Fortis Academy is #1 in diversity. Check out #2... (I had fun guessing.) I went back and looked at my hometown in a New York suburb. Racial and ethnic diversity is still every bit as low as I remembered from high school.

In graduate school in education, I often found myself disagreeing with Diane Ravitch, a leading educational thinker. So I was surprised to listen to this NPR interview with her, and find that for the most part I agreed with her. [I think she may have changed more than me. And she essentially says, "I thought this, but now I have changed my mind." Kudos to her for being willing to admit to a change of mind.]

And today, NPR has an article about the Department of Education stepping up civil rights enforcement. It's about time...

On a totally separate topic--not education, but yes, local--The Farmer's Marketer is doing a series on the various community farm/share options in the area. I tried one a few years ago but didn't like driving out to the farm every week, so I'm shopping around, and maybe you are shopping too! There are a lot more choices now.

1 comment:

  1. I read the NY Times Magazine article and it was really interesting. There needs to be a lot more research like that. What stuck out most to me was the huge difference in learning attributed to how effective the teacher is. A bit frightening for those with the ineffective teachers several years in a row. I would also like to see some analysis of the way that other countries opperate their schools.