(Teacher TalkBack ceased publishing in February 2008.)
Education Ranking the Schools
In a recent article, high school English teacher Mary Tedrow argues that magazine rankings of the "best high schools" in America only serve to reinforce the worst aspects of our educational culture. According to Tedrow, such rankings simplify the definition of success in learning and create a counterproductive winners-and-losers mindset. What really needed, she says, is a broader discussion about what "constitutes a successful high school graduate" and how best to nurture students aspirations and originality.
Education Full Course Load
According to a recent AP story, Utah is considering dividing the school year into trimesters to alleviate the teacher shortage. Teachers would have to work year-round, but stand to gain as much as a 60 percent hike in salary. Students, however, would choose or follow different academic calendars, depending upon their age. State Sen. Howard Stephenson called the model a "no brainer;" however, others see problems, including scheduling student testing and uneven classroom numbers.