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Reading from the CFT desk: #CFTrecommendations

April 21, 2014

Below are some recommendations for reading that you might want to add to your list.

  • Teachers are Losing Their Jobs, but Teach for America is expanding.  What’s wrong with that?, Hechinger Report
    • This piece explores the issue surrounding the investment by foundations and the federal government into Teach for America, while cutting back funding for salary increases and professional development of experienced teachers.  Granted foundations cannot invest in faculty salary increases, but they could invest more resources into teacher professional development.  Is the heavy investment into TFA paying off for our students?  The data is confusing at best.  “Burned out and disillusioned!”  (American Scholar)  12 out of 16 TFA Recruits Leave City Schools.  (New Haven Independent)
  • Khan Academy, Open Ed. Providers Evolve with the Common Core, Education Week
    • Some are excited about organizations like Khan Academy getting into alignment of their materials to the Common Core, other educators urge a dose of caution as schools think of investing into these platforms.  The good thing about Khan is that their resources are free to users.  “I like what they do, says Barbara Kurshan, “but I think the education community has to be very careful that they don’t assume it’s a panacea.”  Are claims by Khan of Common Core alignment using high-end software solutions valid and reproducible?
  • Using the Arts to Turn Schools Around, Harvard Education Review
    • If you think about turning STEM into STEAM (A=Arts) then you want to read this piece in HEL.  The article looks at a successful experiment at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston, MA.  It is a Turnaround Arts School.  “The President’s Committee’s Turnaround Arts initiative, created in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, is a public-private partnership designed to help transform some the nation’s lowest performing schools through comprehensive and integrated arts education.” (website quote)  Integrating arts into other disciplines helps to deepen the learning (Steve Seidel from HGSE)
  • Going to Scale with Teacherpreneurs, Phi DeltaKappan, April 2014
    • Investing in teacher leadership benefits students.  Successful schools need dynamic collaboration.  Principals can’t do it alone.  Top performing countries invest in teacher leaders.   Creating a system that supports teacherpreneurs who become invested in their schools, leading the way.  This article provides a vision and the reasons for implementing it.
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