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Analysis: Yes, Teacher Turnover Matters. But Much of What We Think We Know About It Is Wrong

The 74 Million – Chad Aldeman

“At an event several weeks ago, the Learning Policy Institute highlighted its recent report, “Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It.” While it’s a worthy topic, and the institute accurately diagnoses some persistent challenges in retaining teachers in certain subject areas and in high-poverty schools, the report could potentially mislead people about the true causes of teacher turnover, the likelihood of significantly reducing those rates, and the potential policy solutions to do so.”(more)

Why I Don’t Have Classroom Rules

Edutopia – David Tow

“When I started teaching, I was incredibly traditional in terms of classroom management and discipline. In those early years, a clear code of conduct was reassuring. For infraction X, there was always consequence Y. It gave me a simple if inflexible rubric through which to discover my position in the class and develop a degree of comfort and ease as captain of the ship. As a new teacher, I was thankful for the clarity and certainty this approach offered—and I am sure other new educators feel the same.”(more)

What is STEM education?

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Teaching STEM in physical and online classrooms is the focus on two new papers in the Journal of Science Teacher Education and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. Both pull back the curtain on STEM education to show that there’s more to the art of teaching than science. Especially as school districts look at implementing Next Generation Science Standards, and researchers are encouraged to do more outreach for broader impact, a better understanding of the mental models of STEM ed and the value of designing an online classroom can be useful.”(more)

Text, tweet, email, call—what do parents want in school communications?

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“When it comes to school communications, parents today want more information from their children’s teachers and schools, but they also want that information to be timely, targeted, and personalized to their children or their interest areas. The latest data from Speak Up Research Project gives insights on school-to-home communications. In “Text, Twitter, Email, Call—What Do Parents Say About School Communications?” Dr. Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, shared these insights from parents, educators, and administrators, and discussed takeaways from the research.”(more)

Assessing Creative Writing Is Hard, So Here Are Three Ways To Avoid It

Ed Surge – Aneesa Davenport

“Everyone knows that outside of the school building, creative writing workshops aren’t graded. Whether it’s a group of retirees who cluster in the back of your corner coffee shop or the so-called Ponzi schemes of MFA programs like the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop, assessment comes in the form of peer feedback—marginalia and discussion. But if you’re teaching creative writing in a K–12 classroom or a community college, at the end of the day you’re most likely required to stamp a letter grade—or at least a percentage score—on your students’ work.”(more)

The Purpose of Education—According to Students

The Atlantic – Magdalena Slapik

“Radio Atlantic recently examined a question that underpins many, if not most, debates about education in the U.S.: What are public schools for? Increasingly, it seems many American parents expect schools to first and foremost serve as pipelines into the workforce—places where kids develop the skills they need to get into a good college, land a good job, and ultimately have a leg up in society. For those parents, consistently low test scores are evidence that the country’s education system is failing. Conversely, other parents argue that public schools’ primary responsibility is to create an educated citizenry, to instill kids with the kinds of values integral to a democratic society—curiosity, empathy, an appreciation for diversity, and so on.”(more)