How 37 States Are Handling Teacher Shortages

http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2016/how-37-states-are-handling-teacher-shortages/
Dan Meyer does a nice bit of ed policy work here by surveying various initiatives being undertaken in states to address teacher recruitment and retention problems.

Once considered too easy, is teacher certification now too hard?

http://michiganradio.org/post/once-considered-too-easy-teacher-certification-now-too-hard#stream/0
For years we've had tests for teachers that miss the mark, often by focusing on content but not the specialized skills needed to teach it. Deborah Ball appears on this Michigan Public Radio story to discuss the current state of teacher preparation and testing and the directions we're heading.

Lawsuit revives an old debate: Should Florida's struggling readers be forced to repeat third grade?

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/lawsuit-revives-an-old-debate-should-floridas-struggling-readers-be-forced/2291243
A nice article in the Tampa Bay Times about grade retention, including some quotes from CU Boulder's Lorrie Shepard.

"Deeper learning" continues to show higher high school graduation rates - The Hechinger Report

http://hechingerreport.org/deeperlearningstudy/
I don't know exactly what "deeper learning" is, and it sounds like this author isn't sure how it's special, either. But some research by AIR suggests that maybe "deeper learning" schools are getting some better results. There's a possibility that the results they're seeing are caused by confounding variables, but I think one thing is likely: "deeper learning" is well-poised to be a new buzzword in education, even though most people using it won't know what makes it special.

Growth mindset doesn’t promise pupils the world

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/growth-mindset-doesnt-promise-pupils-world
I really like that Carol Dweck is working to keep the "growth mindset" train on its rails. In many of the references I've heard to growth mindset, the message was simple: If kids can believe they can get better at something, then that goes a long way towards it happening. So make kids believe they can achieve anything, because that's how growth mindset works. Not so simple, says Dweck. We really need to be honest with students about the work involved in reaching goals, inform them about the pathways that might get them there, and avoid filling them with false hope.

TRU Math Suite

http://map.mathshell.org/trumath.php
The "Teaching for Robust Understanding" (TRU) framework was designed by a Schoenfeld-led group at Berkley and Michigan State. Its purpose is to shape the ways in which classroom environments are structured, as outlined by 5 dimensions: (1) the content, (2) cognitive demand, (3) equitable access to content, (4) agency, authority, and identity, and (5) uses of assessment.

CU-Boulder fellowship seeks to tackle public issues with research

http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_29657395/cu-boulder-fellowship-seeks-tackle-public-issues-research
It's great to see Ben Kirshner and others take this on. I wish it went one step further, though: Instead of supporting grad students to work beyond academic journals, I wish it also supported junior faculty. They're the ones with the most pressure to publish, and in the 6-7 years it takes them to earn tenure they can develop habits about publishing that are difficult to reverse.

Why Education Research Has So Little Impact on Practice: The System Effect

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/top_performers/2016/03/why_education_research_has_so_little_impact_on_practice_the_system_effect.html?cmp=SOC-SHR-TW
There are more reasons for why education research seems to have little impact in the United States, but I believe Marc Tucker is right when he says there's a lack of system-level thinking in our research.

Schools Need Introverted Teachers, But Avoiding Burnout a Challenge

http://neatoday.org/2016/02/04/introverted-teacher/
I very much consider myself to be an introvert, but I was mostly okay during routine school activity. When I taught, as I do now, I kept my social calendar rather light, as I seem to enjoy time to myself for big chunks of each day.

How Many Decimals of Pi Do We Really Need?

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/news/2016/3/16/how-many-decimals-of-pi-do-we-really-need/
Not very many, it turns out. This is a pretty good example of "attending to precision," and why rules for rounding decimals should yield to the context of what's being measured or calculated.

Carol Dweck Revisits the 'Growth Mindset'

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/09/23/carol-dweck-revisits-the-growth-mindset.html
This article gets at one concern I've had about growth vs. fixed mindsets: We are socially biased to value growth mindsets, so we'll say we have one and are building them as teachers whether we really are or not. It's difficult to be honest with ourselves with these things, so I'm glad Dweck is pushing us to "legitimize" fixed mindsets and remember we all have varying degrees of them.

Fourth Grade Math: A Dad’s Journey From Frustration To Realization

http://www.scilogs.com/the-leap/fourth-grade-math-a-dads-journey-from-frustration-to-realization/
After criticizing unfamiliar methods to learning mathematics, a father decides to learn more and discovers that he had been too quick to judge. Kudos to Kirk Englehardt for being willing to publicly change his mind on the internet, something seen all-too-rarely.

Missouri state senator aims to block student's dissertation on abortion

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/11/11/missouri-senator-aims-to-block-students-dissertation-on-abortion.html
Hidden in all the other chaos at the University of Missouri earlier this month was this story, in which a Missouri state senator tried to prevent a student from completing a dissertation about abortion. As far as I can tell, the attempt was unsuccessful and the dissertation will be completed. However, it's not necessarily because academic freedom prevailed -- rather, the student and university showed that the dissertation work was not funded through scholarships and grants from the university or otherwise tied to state funding, which could be construed as against Missouri's law that prohibits using public funds to promote non-life-saving abortions. Academic content standards like the Common Core are a hot-button topic. Not as hot as abortion, I'd say, but still hot enough that I would not be shocked to hear about anti-Common Core lawmakers attempting to muck around in the work of those of us who study academic standards like the CCSS. We're still seeing resistance from science committee members of the U.S. House of Representatives who think it should be up to them to decide what the National Science Foundation finds worthy of funding (http://news.sciencemag.org/policy/2015/10/nsf-peer-review-remains-target-congress), as they question climate science research and various kinds of work in the social sciences. As a grad student whose primary funding came from the NSF, I'd rather Lamar Smith not get to pick and choose what research he likes and dislikes. Similarly, I think we need research to better understand how abortion policies affect the lives of women, regardless of the source of funding.

Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says - The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/business/racial-wealth-gap-persists-despite-degree-study-says.html
Growing up I was told a college degree was the key to a better job, higher salaries, and a better life. That's still largely true, but more true if you're white than if you're Black or Latino/a. The differences are especially stark when you look not at income, but at wealth.