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Top Ten Posts of 2012

December 28, 2012

Happy New Year to everyone!  In case you’re in that retrospective kind of mood, or just curious about what other InterACT readers find most interesting, here are the top six posts that were published on this blog in 2012.

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves (March 9, 2012) – excerpt:  In the long run, I suppose I am optimistic.  This too shall pass.  I can’t believe, can’t let myself believe, that we as a nation or as a state will allow our public education system to implode.  But how long will it take to turn the pendulum, and how much damage will be done in the meantime?

Are You Feeling RESPECT? (February 17, 2012) – excerpt: Most frustrating, however, is that you can’t even imagine having a legitimate debate about these policies with [Education Secretary] Duncan because he seems so incapable of owning and defending his positions.  In the webcast announcing the ideas in the RESPECT plan, Duncan said at one point that teacher evaluation tied to test scores makes no sense.  Anyone who’s been following this issue for the past three years knows that Duncan has repeatedly said the opposite, and has created policies that drive the use of test scores for teacher evaluation, and even praised the L.A. Times for publishing its own teacher rankings based on single tests (for the students).  I’m left to wonder if Duncan is utterly lacking in self-awareness, or memory, or respect for the intelligence of his audience.

Students First [sic] Uses Children to Attack Teachers (June 5, 2012) – excerpt: Now, in the title of this blog post, I used some inflammatory language.  I intend to back it up.

Unpacking the Meaning of Appreciation (May 9, 2012) – excerpt: Yet another meaning of “appreciate” is the gradual increase in value, as in “If the value of your house does not appreciate, you will have to sell it at a loss.”   So, teacher appreciation would be most welcome in this sense. We need to make teaching more valued.  I mean that in strictly economic terms applied directly to teachers – more pay, especially for younger teachers – and also more economic investment in the quality of teaching.  Truly excellent teaching requires sufficient time to identify and meet the needs of each student, and to engage in ongoing, high quality professional development.  If teachers are going to experience some appreciation, we need a commensurate investment in their work.

Diane Ravitch Addresses Sacramento, and Undresses Education Reform (includes video clips; January 27, 2012) – excerpt: When teachers protest these ideas, especially through their unions, the unions themselves are subject to attack for obstructing progress – nevermind that the leading states and nations all have strong teachers unions, while the lowest performing states, generally, are non-union or have weaker unions.

Promoting Quality Teaching: New Policy Report from Accomplished California Teachers (November 15, 2012) – excerpt:   [This ACT report] lays out a vision of teacher compensation systems and career pathways that will not only attract and retain teachers, but also enable them to become leaders in their field without removing them from schools and classrooms. Central to this vision is the creation of a “third-tier” teacher license, certifying those instructors who are highly effective to take on additional responsibilities for higher pay.

Some posts from prior years remained popular in 2012.  The following four posts from 2010-11 were still among the most viewed posts in 2012, rounding out the top ten for the year.

Common Core Confusion – ASCD Edition

Eugenic Legacies Still Influence Education

A Silicon Valley Lesson for Secretary Duncan

Fundamental Attribution Error

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