August-September, 2005

This Issue
Vol. 17, Issue 1

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How the charter school movement got started, and why it's been derailed.
I enjoyed the article “Homegrown” in the May/June issue of Teacher Magazine. Programs like UTAP in Broward County, Florida, represent a new approach to addressing the teacher shortage facing our nation. However, I would caution against viewing [such] programs as a cure. Teachers who have only been trained to teach do not always make good educators.
As a high school student and future educator, I’ve often been shocked at the lack of say that we students have in the important decisions that affect our lives and futures every day and [at] the lack of discussion on these subjects in the classroom [“The Silent Majority,” Perspective, May/June]. If we can’t talk about these things in a safe environment such as school, then where are we supposed to turn for democratic and moral role models? Most of the students I know have lost faith in the government and society when it comes to important decisionmaking and want no part of it.
We want to remind you that even during an era of standardization, there are many ways to work (and work around) the system so that your goal, serving students, is realized.
I think your article on technology and plagiarism [“Keeping It Real,”, May/ June] missed one important ingredient that is too often absent from middle school on. Plagiarism is often the result of an inability of students to write ideas in their own words. In low-income areas, decreased vocabulary acquisition and a lack of emphasis on teaching paraphrasing result in a population of students convinced that they do not have the words to communicate the ideas of others.
Are David Ruenzel and Larry Cuban ["Book Review: The Blackboard and the Bottom Line," May/ June] forgetting what public education was like in this country before education reform? Public schools weren’t bad, they were an embarrassment! Thank goodness the business community, along with state legislators, stepped in to fix this disaster.
The summertime pink-slip game takes a serious turn.
Excerpts from a TalkBack discussion.
Why the four-day week is gaining popularity.
Notable quotes on teaching and schools from around the country.
Politically incorrect mascots fight to stay on the field.
School news from points across the globe.
By embracing NCLB, a tiny school in the California foothills has driven its scores to the top. At a cost.
Growing numbers of educators are using music, and guitars especially, to reinforce lessons across the curriculum.
Principal Nelson Beaudoin's student-voice approach at Kennebunk High in Maine excites teenagers but raises questions about teachers' roles.
A Kenyan educator finds himself at the forefront of bringing AIDS education to a country that's remained silent about the disease for decades.
In 2003, a reform government led by newly elected President Mwai Kibaki instituted universal education and began paying for textbooks and other supplies once covered by fees. Still, education beyond the primary level is far from universal, and teacher shortages, poverty, and the AIDS epidemic pose ongoing challenges.
Bearing John Lennon's name, a tour bus packed with recording equipment offers high schoolers a creative outlet.
It's not easy to spot the signs of sexual harassment or to report a colleague as the perpetrator. But, as one young teacher discovered, it's part of the job.
Howard Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, says educating kids may be tough, but it pays off in incalculable ways.
A former teacher realizes that the corporate environment isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
The problem with these education reformers' expectations, Mary Kennedy, a Michigan State University professor of teacher education, explains in her wonderful new book, is that they often conflict with one another as well as with teachers’ own ideas about teaching.
The International Baccalaureate program is becoming increasingly popular. In Supertest, Jay Mathews and Ian Hill elaborate on why the International Baccalaureate program is becoming more influential.
Cusick’s thesis—namely, that “education is primarily an individual, not an institutional, responsibility”—is perhaps a surprising one for an education professor to make.
Author Sarah Sentilles questions Teacher for America.
Recent novels for kids ages 15 and up are saturated with characters discovering the potential within and around themselves.
With online schools growing, it's time to reevaluate face-to-face contact.
During a recent substituting assignment, I picked up your March/April issue to read during lunch. My interest was piqued when the first heading in Letters was “Sub Standards.” To paraphrase the movie Cool Hand Luke, what we have here is a communication impasse. Both the teacher in Mr. Cech’s article [“Totally Engrossed,” January/February] and the response from Ms. Moore represent opposite ends of the spectrum occupied by persons acting as substitute teachers. As with many human endeavors, some come to help, others just for the money, and some to avoid the stagnation of retirement. With such a varied group, we get a variety of ability and talent.
Armed with a Karaoke machine and grab bags, Steve Tutunick makes writing creative.