Marsha Godard, Chicago Mother, Fined Over $3,000 For Son's Behavior At Noble Network Charter School

A charter school system in Chicago fines students for disobedience and other violations of school policy. Do you think fining students is an acceptable punishment? What do you think the school should do with students who can't pay?

Popular study strategies called ineffective — report

This article cites a report that claims some popular study strategies are ineffective. Which of the study strategies do you use? Do you agree with the findings? If students are studying in ineffective ways, who should be responsible?

Dartmouth Stops Credits for Excelling on A.P. Test -

Dartmouth says students with high AP scores aren't any better prepared than students without, so starting in 2018 they won't give students credit for AP. I wonder what my School and Society students will think about this, as I'm sure many of them earned college credit through AP.

Hundreds of Teachers Rally Against Standards Based Grading - Maple Grove, MN Patch

It's often very difficult to know from a news story what's going on in a school district. In this district, teachers are rallying against standards based grading, and the article doesn't explicitly say why. I get the sense that SBG here might have been implemented as a top-down mandate, which is rarely an effective educational policy strategy. I also sense that some of the protesting teachers might have interpretations of SBG that are different from mine, and they haven't gotten to see how it might be worth the effort in their classrooms.

Bill to put Right to Work in Iowa Constitution advances amid criticism from unions | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs

Iowa has been a right-to-work state since 1947, but lawmakers, with apparently nothing else to do, want Iowa to be even more right-to-worky by moving the law into Iowa's constitution. Given that this probably won't get past Iowa's Senate, I don't see how anyone sees this as a wise and efficient use of government, regardless of your position on unions.

Outrage over 'Distribute the Wealth' worksheet | Shownotes

Beware how the distributive property is being used to indoctrinate children as part of a liberal agenda (says Fox News). Seriously, if liberals were in charge of how the distributive property worked, it's more likely problems like 2(4x + 6y) would come out like 10x + 10y, assuming x and y should be treated as equal while respecting their differences.

Hickenlooper touches education bases | EdNewsColorado

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper addressed school funding issues in his "State of the State" speech, saying, "TABOR, the Gallagher Amendment and Amendment 23 shouldn't be viewed in isolation. They create a fiscal knot that can't be untied on strand at a time." The challenge to untie that knot is large, as these are constitutional issues, not just policy.

dy/dan » Blog Archive » Is This Press Release From 2012 or 1972?

Dan Meyer illustrates the parallels between the individualized education movement of the early 1970s and the technology-driven "personalized" movement we're seeing now. It's something that's hard not to notice when reading Erlwanger's Benny paper now, like I did in this post from 2011:

AAUP committee condemns UNI administrators' actions surrounding budget cuts

The continuing administrative issues at the University of Northern Iowa sadden me. When I was a student there in the late 90s, I talked to more than one professor who said one of the biggest reasons they were at UNI was because they treated their faculty well. Year-after-year budget cuts and some questionable (at best) actions by President Ben Allen and the administration seems to have all but eliminated that feeling of good will. UNI is currently seeking candidates to replace Allen, who is retiring, and I hope the new president is particularly skilled at mending fences.

Academic Men Explain Things to Me

This is a great site where smart women can vent about the men who talk down to them. I might browse some of the posts and use them when we talk about gender issues in School and Society, which I'll be teaching again this spring.

PodOmatic | Podcast - Math Ed Podcast

Sam Otten, an assistant professor at Missouri, has been doing a podcast that features math education researchers. I think this kind of disintermediation could grow into a great thing, bringing teachers and researchers together in ways that journals and conferences can't. I've added it to my podcast app and will be listening to some of the back episodes to get caught up.

JSTOR to offer limited free access to content from 1,200 journals | Inside Higher Ed

Among the journals JSTOR is making accessible, I found the following mathematics education journals: the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME, NCTM's main research journal), Mathematics in School (a teacher-targeted UK journal), The Mathematics Teacher (NCTM's journal for HS teachers), For the Learning of Mathematics (an international research journal), Teaching Children Mathematics (NCTM's elementary teacher journal), and Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School (NCTM's journal for MS teachers). It's not a huge list, but if you had to have access to just one, it's probably JRME.


I've used ConstructMap and R to do the calculations behind Item Response Theory, a set of educational measurement techniques and tools for analyzing test items and test respondents. It can get a bit complex, and it doesn't help that some of the software is difficult to learn. I've never tried jMetrik, but it looks more user-friendly than either ConstructMap or R.

The Mathematics Teaching Community

The Mathematics Teaching Community looks to be a Reddit-style site for teachers of math to ask questions and post stories. As much as I like the idea, it's difficult for such sites to gain traffic. I've added it to my RSS feed, and hope to share interesting discussions when they come about.

Math Reasoning Inventory

I suppose sites and resources like this are a good thing, but after talking to a group of teachers at the EdCamp Colorado conference last fall, it sounded like diagnostic tools were outweighing effective intervention strategies. A diagnostic instrument can be bought or downloaded, but the intervention sometimes takes the time and skill of a master teacher, something far more difficult to package and deliver.

Aurora theater shooting victim Caleb Medley to go home from long-term care - The Denver Post

Good news for my former student - Caleb is slowly getting better and able to stand (albeit briefly) on his own. He still hasn't been able to speak, but I have hope -- trust me, he seemed to get plenty of practice talking when he was in class! There's a site dedicated to helping him at