Monday, June 17, 2013
With the debut of common assessments less than two years away, states and districts are worried about the accountability systems that hinge on those tests. A growing chorus of policy groups is urging more flexibility in how states evaluate teachers, label schools, and enforce other high-stakes consequences during what's likely to be a messy transition. (Michele McNeil and Catherine Gewertz at Education Week)
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
During my years as a high school teacher, summer vacation was often the time to catch up on the reading I didn't have time for during the school year. My reading list frequently featured books unrelated to education, but I always included a book or two related to my teaching, as long as it was both thought provoking and readable. So I want to suggest some books that I think would be good to check out for this summer. These are my picks. (Mark Phillips at Edutopia)
Monday, June 10, 2013
I must admit that I cannot take credit for figuring all this out. That honor goes to Dr. Francis Christensen, who was a professor at the University of Southern California. In 1967 he published his masterpiece, The Christensen Rhetoric Program, which proved beyond a doubt that the study of the basic grammatical building blocks—phrases and clauses—is the fastest and most effective path to better writing. Christensen’s most important discovery was the amazing numbering system that graphically shows how those phrases and clauses accumulate outside of the main clause, leading to an almost infinite variety of sentence structures in what is ultimately known as style.
In 1988 I acquired the copyright to the works of Dr. Christensen, and since then I have revised his original text and written an additional pair of workbooks, resulting in a three-book series, published as The Stewart English Program, that spans grades seven through twelve. I have also reprinted Christensen’s collected essays, called Notes Toward A New Rhetoric: Nine Essays For Teachers. Amazon has them all. (from the about page at Strata Writing)
If you a fan of the work of Francis Christensen, click on the above hyperlinked text. Don Stewart is carrying on Chrstensen's work.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
I am the principal in a grades 7-8 school, perhaps the last venue where we try to give kids second, and sometimes third, chances. This happens mostly with discipline, but also with academics, because this is the last time when a kid's grades do not really matter. What I mean by this is that I am unaware of any college or employer that has ever requested a transcript from a student's junior high school. (Ryan McLane at Education Week)
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
“I don’t actually look for inspiration. I look for ways to recoup the joy of writing when that joy is lost to me. Whenever I find myself stuck or just without any ideas, it’s because I seem to have forgotten how incredibly fun it is to mess around with words. So to remind myself, I read. But not just anything. I have to read fiction that is exuberant—not in content but style. Writers who howl on the page so loudly, you can hear them for miles. Barry Hannah and Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor and Angela Carter. Jose Saramago and Denis Johnson. Cormac McCarthy. Faulkner. Joy Williams. Annie Proulx and Nicholson Baker. Writers whose work feels alive and fresh and a little nuts, so that before long, I'll start to feel more alive, too. Alive to possibility, which is generally when I start typing.” —Fiona Maazel, author of Woke Up Lonely (Graywolf Press, 2013)
From Poets & Writers' Writers Recommend
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