Saturday, January 25, 2014

The "Performance" issue...again, a teacher's view of the PISA scores, and other items...

Teachers’ pay should be based on performance, not years worked: report
Globe and Mail
Teachers should receive pay increases based on their classroom performance and student feedback...oh yeah, we'll have a lot to say about this this brilliant, nae - genius idea (tongue impaling cheek) in a few days. Here's the full report.

Sexting in middle school linked to early sexual activity, study finds
Toronto Star / Journal of Pediatrics
Sexting behavior (both photo and text messages) was not uncommon among middle school youth and co-occurred with sexual behavior. These data suggest that phone behaviors, even flirtatious messages, may be an indicator of risk. Clinicians, parents, and health programs should discuss sexting with early adolescents - Abstract.

As a teacher, I know global math scores are meaningless
Globe and Mail
Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals unveiled a math plan to “...battle the province’s poor test scores…”. The $4-million initiative placed the responsibility for addressing Ontario students’ declining math scores on teachers and parents. Meanwhile, the minister defended the math curriculum and refused to consider a ‘shake up’ of teaching methods.

Stop soaring school costs in Ontario
Toronto Star
While recent media attention has focused on Ontario students’ dismal math performance and the government’s “discovery” curriculum approach to learning math, another government education scandal has escaped broad public scrutiny. The provincial government spends billions on budget-busting new school construction that thwarts the interests of students throughout the province.

CUPE complains Ontario's school boards ignoring new deal for non-teaching staff
Toronto Star
The union representing 55,000 non-teaching staff in Ontario schools — janitors, food workers, early childhood educators and others — says some school boards still aren’t giving their members all the benefits won in the latest contract with Queen’s Park...That raises concerns over the chances for successful bargaining in future.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Learning Registry...a U.S. DoE Initiative

A few years ago the United States Department of Education started developing the Learning Registry - an "academic resources" knowledge exchange network for educators and the public, with an emphasis on meeting individual teachers' and students' needs. The network can be accessed via a variety of sites that connect to the main repository: e.g. free.ed.gov, Illinois Shared Learning Environment, and LearnBig. Here's the original news release posted back in 2010):

The network is now developed and ready to pass on for the tough part of the process - building the culture and "buy-in" required to populate the network with the quality resources and materials it needs to thrive and succeed. Portals for education materials are out-there in abundance, too many in fact, and will a knowledge exchange network like the Learning Registry provide a difference? Well, a curriculum standards (Core) driven search may help...a curriculum driven library / search for education materials and resources? There's something educators and parents in Ontario would love to have, and a nice education initiative for Ontarians - just saying.

Education Week has a great article on the Learning Registry.