Phi Delta Kappa International

The Kappan is the flagship magazine of PDK International, a professional association for educators that focuses on tenets of service, research, and leadership. Selected Kappan articles are presented here through a content-sharing partnership with Education Week.

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May 2014 ISSUE

Student Disengagement: It's Deeper than You Think

Authors Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski argue that while students are required to fit into a restrictive school structure, schools do little to fit themselves to their students. (May 1, 2014)

Stop the Pay, Stop the Play

The only motivation most students get from rewards is the motivation to get more rewards, writes teacher Steve Gardiner. (May 1, 2014)

Superheroes and Transformers: Rethinking TFA's Leadership Models

Interviews with current and former Teach For America members reveal a decided preference for school leaders whose personality traits are akin to superheroes, write professors Tina Trujillo and Janelle Scott. (May 1, 2014)

April 2014 ISSUE

Teachers Lead the Way in Denver

We must shift away from schools in which teachers are factory workers assembling uniform "products," argues author Lori Nazareno. (April 1, 2014)

The Lost Opportunity of the Common Core State Standards

Whatever its potential benefits, the actual common-core package will almost certainly exacerbate the policy failures of the past decade, writes author Kevin G. Welner. (April 1, 2014)

Legislators Should Listen More to Teachers

Author Nancy Flanagan provides a guide for legislators to making "useful" education policy. (April 1, 2014)

March 2014 ISSUE

Class Rank Weighs Down True Learning

According to Thomas R. Guskey, educators must answer one basic question: Is my purpose to select talent or develop talent? (March 1, 2014)

Growing Income Inequality Threatens American Education

Authors Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane question if income inequality is undercutting the effectiveness of schools serving disadvantaged populations. (March 1, 2014)

February 2014 ISSUE

A Critical Look at the Charter School Debate

If proponents and opponents of charter schools looked at the facts instead of relying on their philosophies, we might make progress at improving schools, argues Margaret E. Raymond. (February 1, 2014)

Charter Schools and the Risk of Increased Segregation

Evidence suggests that policies that have led to a largely uncontrolled expansion of charter schools is risky, argues author Iris C. Rotberg. (February 1, 2014)

December 2013/January 2014 ISSUE

When All Else Fails, Organize and Advocate

Caught in the perfect storm of a sour economy, declining home values, legislative tax hesitance, and growing unfunded mandates, a school district leads a campaign to raise local tax and bond levies to save jobs and enhance education. (December 1, 2013)

Preparing Students for Romantic Relationships

One of the most important aspects in our lives is learning how to have mutual, caring romantic relationships, writes Richard Weissbourd. (December 1, 2013)

November 2013 ISSUE

Today's Lesson

Young educators are replacing professional development sessions and conferences with Twitter, blogs, and Edcamps as their preferred ways to learn and share new ideas, writes William M. Ferriter. (November 1, 2013)

Best Practice for Spreading Innovation

An Alabama nonprofit spreads best practices, especially around high-needs schools by enabling practitioners to learn from each other. (November 1, 2013)

October 2013 ISSUE

'I Keep Me Safe'

Educators can recognize that behaviors that are considered problems at school may have developed because they keep students safe in the terrifying parts of their lives, writes Travis Wright. (October 1, 2013)

Mapping a Teacher Boycott in Seattle

Seattle teachers did more than just say "no." They educated themselves, worked with parents, and presented their recommendations for how to improve student assessment, writes Noah Zeichner. (October 1, 2013)


Do You Have the Right to be an Advocate?

"Where do teachers’ rights begin and end when it comes to voicing their opinions in the public square?" asks Julie Underwood. (September 1, 2013)

Computer Programming Goes Back to School

"Learning programming introduces students to solving problems, designing applications, and making connections online," Yasmin B. Kafai and Quinn Burke write. (September 1, 2013)


Leading by Learning

When principals immerse themselves in learning about formative assessments and how students learn, they become better instructional leaders for teachers, Susan M. Brookhart and Connie M. Moss write. (May 1, 2013)

Do As They Say: It's the Law

Edwin C. Darden writes that by their nature, schools are places of rampant intellectual discourse. But school employees rarely have leeway to refuse direct or implied orders from higher-ups. (May 1, 2013)

Principals: Don't Settle for the Rolling Boulder

In selecting, training, socializing, and mentoring leaders, we have unwittingly encouraged caged leadership, writes Frederick M. Hess. (May 1, 2013)


Raising the Bar for Teaching

A rigorous board exam for teachers could change who is attracted to the profession, and greatly increase public regard for teachers and teaching, write Jal Mehta and Joe Doctor. (April 1, 2013)

Teacher Preparation: Not an Either-Or

James V. Shuls and Gary W. Ritter write that the whole debate about teacher preparations isn't particularly productive because teachers and students are too diverse for a single prescription. (April 1, 2013)

Does Safety Conflict With Parental Rights?

School systems are taking greater precautions to secure schools against tragedy, but parents and guardians are viewed as potential perpetrators, writes Edwin C. Darden. (April 1, 2013)


Scattered Challenges, Singular Solutions: The New Latino Diaspora

According to a group from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, educators can draw on the skills and knowledge of Spanish-speaking students to foster student success. (March 1, 2013)

If It's Good Enough for Joe...

Videos can provide teachers and leaders with the opportunity to find and fix small mistakes that can have a big impact on learning, says Paul Bambrick-Santoyo. (March 1, 2013)

Todo tiene que ver con lo que se habla: It's all about the talk

With a collective focus on academic rigor, administrators and teachers in Cula Vista, Calif., were able to improve the academic achievement of its Hispanic and Latino students, experts found. (March 1, 2013)


Do We Need School Districts?

Opponents say districts are unwilling or unable to adopt change; proponents say they serve a crucial, practical role implementing and preserving local input. Where's the middle ground? (Feb. 1, 2013)

New 'Chief' Will Stay the Course

Choosing Chris Minnich to lead the Council of Chief State School Officers means the organization likely will stay focused on helping states adopt and adapt to the Common Core. (Feb. 1, 2013)

Having Allies Makes a Difference

One of the nation’s only schools created specifically to be gay-friendly has made the difficult teenage years easier for a population of students who often struggle. (Feb. 1, 2013)

Knowing the Warning Signs of Sexual Misconduct

Educators can prevent much of the sexual misconduct in schools if they know how to recognize and respond to suspicious patterns and if administrators enforce an environment of high expectations for behavior. (Feb. 1, 2013)


Literature Opens Doors for All Children

Inclusion literature can broaden perspectives for all readers and create classrooms where all are accepted, says Donna L. Miller. (Dec. 1, 2012)

Preparing Parents to Advocate for a Child With Autism

Educators have a vital role to play in helping parents develop the skills to become effective advocates for children with autism, say Anne Foster, Debbie Rude, and Caroline Grannan. (Dec. 1, 2012)

Staying Optimistic in Tough Times

Shrinking budgets and unrelenting demands for higher achievement are threatening education, but education around the world is still better than ever, writes Ben Levin. (Dec. 1, 2012)

G-R-O-U-P W-O-R-K Doesn't Spell Collaboration

Timothy Quinn outlines a guide for assigning and administering collaborative work among students. (Dec. 1, 2012)


Beginning Teacher Induction: What the Data Tell Us

Induction support programs for beginning teachers is an education reform whose time has come, says Richard M. Ingersoll. (May 16, 2012)

Philanthropy Gets in the Ring: Edu-Funders Get Serious About Education Policy

If education philanthropists want to influence policy, then they must open themselves to more public debate about their plans and goals, writes Frederick M. Hess. (May 16, 2012)


Is Modeling Enough?

Leaders must be explicit if they want teachers and others to get the messages they're trying to communicate, says Khym G. Goslin. (April 1, 2012)

Let's Keep Moving

The nationwide effort to battle childhood obesity is making progress, but schools should continue and expand efforts to promote healthy lives for children, writes First Lady Michelle Obama. (April 1, 2012)

Teaching to the Common Core by Design, Not Accident

The Gates Foundation's investment in developing the Common Core State Standards now depends on translating big ideas into practices that teachers can and will use, write Vicki Phillips and Carina Wong. (April 1, 2012)


Evaluating Teacher Evaluation

Popular modes of evaluating teachers are fraught with inaccuracies and inconsistencies, but the field has identified better approaches, write Linda Darling-Hammond, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Edward Haertel, and Jesse Rothstein. (March 1, 2012)

Rightsizing a School District

A dramatic self-examination led Kansas City, Mo., schools to cut $68 million from its annual budget, write Mary Esselman, Rebecca Lee-Gwin, and Michael Rounds. (March 1, 2012)

A Smart ALEC Threatens Public Education

Coordinated efforts to introduce model legislation aimed at defunding and dismantling public schools is the signature work of this conservative organization, write Julie Underwood and Julie F. Mead. (March 1, 2012)

Triggering Reform at Public Schools

Proponents of parent trigger laws must find ways to promote stability in the aftermath of a successful petition, writes Andrew P. Kelly. (March 1, 2012)


Yes, Black Males Are Different, But Different Is Not Deficient

Stop pretending that all students are alike; teaching to their differences will improve their chances for academic success, argues Christopher Emdin. (Feb. 1, 2012)

Saving Black and Latino Boys

Solving the educational challenges facing black and Latino boys is an American responsibility, not just the responsibility of the black and Latino communities, says Pedro A. Noguera. (Feb. 1, 2012)

The Voices of Young Black Males

These profiles reveal how family and culture affect the educational outcomes of urban youths. (Feb. 1, 2012)


Emphasize the Ambitious: Q&A With Kati Haycock

A warrior in the battle to close achievement gaps reflects on the value of NCLB, what's she learned about the task, and what's required to move ahead. (Nov. 1, 2011)

Decentralized Education
in New Zealand

Global Voices Column: School change in New Zealand is made more difficult by the high degree of decentralization and the unwillingness to build a national approach to improvement, writes Ben Levin. (Nov. 1, 2011)


TFA: How Long Do They Teach?
Why Do They Leave?

Most TFA alumni continue to teach after completing their two-year obligation. Those who leave the profession exit because of the same poor working conditions that drive away other young teachers. (Oct. 1, 2011)

Conversations With Arne Duncan

The national push for new teacher evaluations is real; educators should not miss this opportunity to influence policy makers with solid evidence, write Carol Corbett Burris and Kevin G. Welner. (Oct. 1, 2011)


Improving Teaching When Budgets Are Tight

Spending limited dollars strategically is key in an era when funding is tight and expectations are high. (Sept. 1, 2011)

R&D Column: The Minority Teacher Shortage: Fact or Fable?

Over the past two decades, efforts to recruit new minority teachers have been very successful, but retaining them has not, write Richard M. Ingersoll and Henry May. (Sept. 1, 2011)


Leading Through a Fiscal Nightmare

A survey of principals and superintendents reveals high levels of professional and personal anguish from the ongoing pressure to cut budgets, people, and programs. (May 1, 2011)

Washington View Column: In the Game

A little-known Senate staff person is playing a leading role in the ESEA reauthorization, writes Thomas Toch. (May 1, 2011)


Manage 'Human Capital' Strategically

Our current education system doesn't recruit, train, hire, induct, deploy, develop, retain, or strategically manage the top talent we needed to accomplish our goals. These shortcomings are most acute in the largest urban districts and in many rural districts. (April 1, 2011)

Thoughts on Teaching Column: Change, Sputnik, and Fast Food

We need change, but it should be careful, thoughtful, considered change that responds to individual needs and is grown much closer to home than the office buildings of Washington, D.C., writes Bobby Ann Starnes. (April 1, 2011)


Finding Fairness for Rural Students

One-third of American children attend school in rural or small towns, but we overlook their needs and fund their schools poorly. (March 1, 2011)

Global Voices Column: Survey Shows Rise of Asia

While there is no one "Asian" way to academic success, high-performing Asian school systems share some common characteristics, writes Vivien Stewart. (March 1, 2011)


Keeping Youths in School: An International Perspective

Blending work and learning may provide pathways that ensure that more students are able to complete high school and successfully enter the workforce. (February 1, 2011)

Innovation Column: Learning Deserts

Bold transformation plans are necessary if we want to prevent more urban communities from becoming learning deserts, writes Monica Martinez. (February 1, 2011)


Pressuring Teachers to Leave

Harassing supervision is a rational response to an irrational system —and an unavoidable reality until we address its root causes. (December 1, 2010)

Teacher Unions Are Dead! Long Live Teacher Unions!

Washington View Column: With more than 3 million members and vast political networks, teachers' unions are a powerful force. That won't change, but they'll have to make peace with reform, writes Thomas Toch. (December 1, 2010)

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