November/December 2005

This Issue
Vol. 17, Issue 03

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Kentucky native Joe Bowen isn't just crossing the country by bicycle. He's bringing elementary school kids along for the ride.
As schools in the suburbs begin to reopen, New Orleans’ own system remains in limbo. For years, the Crescent City’s district has been immensely troubled—both academically and managerially—and the devastation wrought by Katrina has led everyone from community leaders to U.S. congressmen to consider starting with a clean slate. “We’re not going to rebuild a failing system,” Louisiana superintendent of education Cecil Picard told Education Week, Teacher Magazine’s sister publication, in an e-mail. But change doesn’t come easily—or without controversy.
In her ongoing blog, Hanne Denney, a 47-year-old “career-changer," relects on the challenges and rewards of starting over in teaching.
Who's buried in Grant's tomb? Our education system makes it difficult to care.
In reading the article on student involvement at Kennebunk High School [“Vocal Arrangement,” August/September], I was astonished to discover high school classes discussing how to have safe oral sex using Saran Wrap. Surely we can muster sufficient judgment to determine that parents are not sending their children to school so we can encourage already-rampant promiscuity by conducting “how-to” sessions on sexual issues.
Rail Road Flat and NCLB, a place and an idea that created the perfect storm—a lost community adopts “drill and kill” as a means to an end [and] test scores as the sole indicator of school success [“One-Track Minds,” August/September].
Some homeschoolers wanting to sample a class or two are being told they have to take the whole meal.
Notable quotes on teaching and schools from around the country.
Public schools are finding new reasons to segregate the sexes.
From bracelets to tagging classmates "it," new no-nos keep surfacing.
School news from points across the globe.
The end of the Cold War ended most schools' interest in the language, but one district in Connecticut soldiers on.
Outside of New Orleans, a high school battered by Hurricane Katrina reopens. But for many displaced students, life is far from being back to normal.
Age-old societal pressures and new worries are making male teachers, always in the minority, even more uncommon. Some groups are trying to turn the tide.
For the author of a book on education, a junket to Japan became an opportunity to better understand two cultures connected by the horrors of war.
Kevin Jennings doesn't speak for gay, lesbian, and transgender students. Instead, the longtime activist helps them find their own voices.
Fifty years after it was first published, The Blackboard Jungle is still considered a classic—for reasons other than you might think.
A teacher learns that perfecting students' prose only goes so far.
“Myths aren’t lies” is how Jay P. Greene begins his broadside against 18 long-held beliefs about schooling. Instead, the education researcher argues, they usually have an air of plausibility, some evidence to back them up, and, most important, vested interests who depend on them.
The numbers are chilling: Boys account for 70 percent of all D’s and F’s and 80 percent of classroom discipline problems. And every male student, Michael Gurian writes, is “at risk of being taught ... in a system that ... may not know how to fix either him or itself.”
Chris Whittle calls the public school system the nation’s “last great cottage industry,” with its thousands of independent districts too small to address the broad steps needed to truly change schooling.
Author Frank McCourt on his long road to becoming a good teacher.
As they learn more about themselves, older elementary-age kids find out the meaning of family—those they were born into as well as those they make. This spirit of self-explorationis reflected in several new novels for 8- to 12-year-olds.
While e-mail links teachers with parents, a surprising number don't use it at all.
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I greatly appreciated your recent article on Guitars in the Classroom [“Striking a Chord,” August/September]. I first realized the tremendous kid-appeal of music when I walked into a classroom with my guitar in 1972, and I’ve been teaching with music ever since.
I read with great sadness and indignation the interview with Sarah Sentilles, particularly her indictment of Teach for America [“Training Days,” , Books, August/September]. Her complaint is that folks who enter Teach for America are simply there to pad their résumés, then move on to what they really want to do.
Roxane Rollins takes kids back to the Wild West, down to the root beer in the saloon.