November/December 2002

This Issue
Vol. 14, Issue 03

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To be most effective, says Ronald A. Wolk, "professional development needs to be integrated into the workday of the teacher and the culture of the school."
  • History Lessons
In Detroit, character education has teeth. And beaks. And fur.
Word Problem

Wilmington, North Carolina, school officials punished a 4th grade teacher in September for describing a stingy literary character as "niggardly" during a class discussion, according to the Associated Press. After Williams Elementary School teacher Stephanie Bell used the word, an African American parent claimed that it was offensive because it sounds like the racial slur "nigger." Although "niggardly" has no etymological connection to the epithet, the school has demanded that Bell refrain from using it and participate in sensitivity training.

Sidestepping big publishers, teachers roll out their own work.
"F = Fantastic"

—The slogan on the back of T-shirts worn by teachers at a pep rally this fall at Mollie E. Ray Elementary School in Orlando, Florida. As they began to prepare students for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, the educators aimed to put a positive spin on the failing grades the state has given the school for two years in a row.

Office-seekers don't win elections these days without educators.

KENYA

Pay Off: Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi is taking a strange approach to teacher pay: The reportedly corrupt leader has announced that his government will withhold educators' annual raises until foreign aid starts flowing into the country again. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank suspended donations to Kenya in January 2001 due to concerns about graft and mismanagement in the East African state. Thousands of teachers have protested, and others are planning to boycott classes if the policy is not changed, the Nation reports.
Italy's Reggio Emilia method is heartily embraced by a New Hampshire school.
It's no joke—comedy classes can teach youngsters how to handle life's twists and turns.
Getting into New York City's top science high schools demands great scores on the entrance exam. And if you're a disadvantaged kid, the surest route to success is the Math/Science Institute.
Do you think most U.S. teachers are just like those hip, young things who work in schools of weapon-wielding, oversexed teens as seen on Boston Public? Think again!
The writer returns to the classroom following a ten-year hiatus and discovers a simple truth: Relationships are at the heart of education.
With a few official decrees, the self-appointed Queen of Education improves schools and wins teachers the respect they deserve.
Remembering the sweet offerings of an aspiring chef.
Harmful sex stigmas, the free-school fizzle, and voucher reality.
Interview with Jonathan Zimmerman, author of Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools.
On the outside, looking in. Plus: Saladin in the Holy Land, a legendary fireman, Bruegel's works, and alien encounters.
Following are application deadlines for awards, honors, and contests available to teachers. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.