Got behavior problems? Here’s a solution.

Science was never piqued my interest. Perhaps better stated, reading and answering questions at the end of the chapter didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t until just a few years ago, I found myself mesmerized by books citing scientific studies and research. Books like Drive by Dan Pink, Made to Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, The Brain Rules by John Medina, Teaching with Poverty in Mind and other works by Eric Jensen, everything Brené Brown, and so many others changed my worldview. Having found myself studying these and others, I did a Google search for “the scientific method.”…

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Book review: Helping Children Succeed

Empty. While reading Helping Children Succeed, the new book by Paul Tough, I went through the ink of a brand new highlighter. Need I say more? In this follow-up to his best-selling, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Paul answers the “tough” questions he encountered while promoting his prior work. This piece continues to note statistics and research such as this note, “In 2013, the United States reached an educational milestone. For the first time, a majority of the country’s public school students — 51 percent of them, to be precise — fell below the…

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“I would prefer not to.”

The setup (i.e. the summary of the summary of Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener (by way of Sparks Notes ) The Lawyer, the narrator of the story, has already been surprised once before by Bartleby’s refusal to examine a document, as all scriveners (law-copyists) are required to do. Bartleby said he would “prefer not to,” and the Lawyer was so surprised that he hadn’t argued with him. A few days after this incident, there is a large document to be examined. The Lawyer calls in all his employees to work on the examination. But when he calls Bartleby to assist as well, the scrivener…

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Federal investments in education: Are you up for it, legislators?

This morning, I was asked to respond to three “homework” questions for our school board to take to the 2016 Advocacy Institute to discuss issues applicable to our school district with members of Congress and/or their staff. Having crafted my states over the past three hours, I use my responses as today’s blog post. Preface As noted in my recent TEDx Talk, “Education Is None of Your Business,” education is a state of flux. It has operated on a traditional, industrialized, business model for well over a hundred years. Education is not a business; and the United States can no longer operate…

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Raising a Ruckus

Note: This post was originally written February 18, 2013 and added to this blog site today because I was reminded of it after my post yesterday, Asking Questions vs Providing Answers (and because I have a blog now). After attending the Summit for Innovative Education hosted by McRel in Denver, CO, I offered a less than enthusiastic review to one of the two dynamic keynote speakers. Days later, my boss, Dr. Mike Mattingly, and I received an email from an exec at McRel stating, “Our hope is that you found it informative and engaging, but some feedback we received indicated…

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Asking questions vs providing answers

“Innovation starts not by providing answers, but by asking questions.” George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity Recently, I attended an invitation-only “innovation forum” billed as the next-generation of “conferencing.” Described with enticing phrasing of participating with a select group of thought leaders with genuine and meaningful dialogue with like-minded individuals, I opted in despite the fact it was mid-May; and in the school business, May is…May. Ask any educator which is more challenging, August or May, and the answer will at a minimum cause a pause, but most likely reflect the time of…

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The Ever Increasing Burden on America’s Public Schools 

This is one of the more fascinating looks into [some of] the plates classroom teachers are expected to spin all while ensuring every child is meeting national and state standards. For a PDF version, visit http://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf. “The contract between our communities and our schools has changed. It’s no longer “Help us teach our children.” It’s “Raise our kids.” No generation of teachers and administrators in history has had to fulfill this mandate. And each year, the pressure grows.” Jamie Vollmer Source: The Ever Increasing Burden on America’s Public Schools (Print Version) | Jamie Vollmer

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Nostesia

As previously mentioned, one of my heroes in education is businessman Jamie Vollmer, author of the book, Schools Cannot Do It Alone: Building Public Support for America’s Public Schools. He coined one of my favorite terms, “nostesia,” a combination of nostalgia and amnesia. Whether changing from conventional A – F grading system to standards-based grading or from a traditional calendar to one spread throughout the calendar year to prevent summer learning loss (or the “summer learning slide”), this term fights to defend and maintain the status quo. Nostesia Millions of Americans argue, often vehemently, that today’s schools are dreadful compared to the…

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Summer learning loss: Long-term ramifications over short-term [economic] gains

On its website, the National Summer Learning Association writes, “For the more than 25 million low-income public school students in America, summer is often anything but a vacation. Instead of a relaxing break to explore new interests and places, it’s often a time when children, youth and families struggle to find and afford food to eat and a safe place to be.  Summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer, is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to…

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