May/June 2005

This Issue
Vol. 16, Issue 06

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Kids can play a much larger role in reforming their schools.
I have just read the article profiling John Parker of the Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, school district [“Greener Pastures,” March/April]. In an era when the standardized test increasingly seems to be heralded as the one-stop fix for nearly every educational challenge, John Parker has determinedly and steadfastly championed good teaching and hands-on learning to develop creative, innovative thinkers, not just skilled test-takers.
What a surprise to read the feature article “Home Base” in the March/April issue. I have been an elementary teacher at Patch Barracks for many years and can relate to much of what Mr. Toner wrote. His favorite teacher, Mr. Hanks, was a friend of mine, and he is truly missed. I have shared this article with my colleagues, and I hope that Mr. Hanks’ widow has also read the article.
I was tantalized when I saw the name “Melville” on your front cover and then became excited when I read in the Contents the name “Bartleby” [“Bartleby, Savitri, & Me,” January/February]. I just completed a unit on “Bartleby, the Scrivener” in my classroom.
I really enjoyed reading “Dropouts In America” [Books, March/ April]. In 1977, I dropped out. I fought to keep my son from leaving school and did a homeschool program just to get the diploma. I now fight again with my 16-year-old to stay in school. “Why? It is such a waste of time”; “They have no idea how to teach”; “I am not learning.” He is right. For 12 years, I fought our broken public school system. My children all have superior to high-average IQs in a broken system of special education that has failed to teach reading, writing, and math.
I enjoyed the column by Tony Wagner suggesting that, as do other professionals, teachers would benefit from observing each other in practice [“The Buddy System,” Comment, January/February]. I was pleased to read that such a program was being tried in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district. However, I was disappointed to see no information on the results of this effort.
I’ve enjoyed Teacher Magazine for several years, but the November/December issue seemed to have something for me at every turn. My sister went to Simon’s Rock [“Classic Rock”]; my brother had Frank McCourt for high school English at Stuyvesant in the ’70s [“Joyless Endeavors,” Comment]; my own school is a one-room school on an “isolated island” [“Lost & Found”]; we had one of those “Flat Stanleys” visit here [“Paper Trail”]—we took snapshots of him “playing hockey” on a frozen puddle—and I’m currently reading The Arctic Schooner Bowdoin to my middle schoolers, and the author just mentioned the Clearwater [“Hudson River School”]! Just thought I’d let you know how well you’re hitting the mark around here.
Teachers take preventive measures to stop online plagiarism.
Full-day kindergarten is catching on nationwide.
Notable quotes on teaching and schools from around the country.
Researcher David Brunsma gives the public school uniform craze a dressing down.
School news from around the globe.
An acclaimed ballet dancer returns home to Florida's so-called Redneck Riviera and opens a magnet school for dance.
Unlike its neighbour to the south, Canada has made parochial schools public in many of its provinces.
As writer in residence at a New Jersey prep school, novelist Paul Watkins discovered that teaching and writing about the past go hand in hand.
Desperate for quality teachers who won't flinch at a challenge, educators in one Florida district are offering full scholarships and guaranteed jobs to a local corps of high schoolers.
One of the gurus of environmental education helps students act globally by thinking locally—starting in their schools' backyards.
The AP program may be booming, but not at every school.
New teachers quickly learn whom not to cross.
A first-year teacher discovers that inspiration can dangle from the ceiling.
In his new book, education historian Larry Cuban takes a critical look at business' efforts to remake schools.
Jay Parini—esteemed poet, novelist, and Frost biographer—may be a professor of English at Middlebury College, but what he writes about teaching will be of keen interest to all educators, especially young ones.
A professor at the Columbia University School of Law demonstrates that during the past two decades, the legal answer to the question posed in the title has been a conditional "yes."
How a school in 1930s New York let immigrant students shine.
Tales of travel, adolescent strength, and stilt-walking whales.
A new national technology plan lacks one thing: Vision.
Application deadlines for grants and fellowships available to individuals and schools.
Application deadlines for awards, honors, and contests available to teachers.
Dates for workshops, conferences, and other professional development opportunities for teachers.
Application dates for student contests, scholarships, and internships. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.
Kathryn Stevens finds signs of life in a concrete-lined river.