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Rigor: A horrible word for schools?

I thought this Oregon parent made a good case for abandoning the use of "rigor" in discussing school reform: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HQnvmzxDmoo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Are we teaching students the basic writing skills needed for college or are professors spending time on teaching skills that should have been mastered in high school? (AJC Photo/Chris Hunt)

Bad student writers: You get what you pay for

University of Georgia professor and frequent AJC Get Schooled contributor Peter Smagorinsky had a strong and immediate reaction to fellow academic Rick Diguette’s blog essay today on how ill prepared college freshmen are in writing. And Smagorinsky put that reaction into a column. His piece will only make sense if you read ...

Are we teaching students the basic writing skills needed for college or are professors spending time on teaching skills that should have been mastered in high school? (AJC Photo/Chris Hunt)

Has freshman year in college become grade 12½?

Local college instructor Rick Diguette has written many provocative pieces for the blog. Today, he provides another great column on a topic that gets little discussion -- student writing skills. Diguette's column prompted a response from a University of Georgia professor who trains English teachers. Take a look when you ...

High performing schools in Cobb, Gwinnett with low growth rates: Cause for concern?

After the AJC education reporters met with the Department of Education Monday on its new growth model, we talked about how to report the news to help folks understand the measures. If you read the package on MyAJC.com, you will find my news colleagues assembled a thorough examination of the ...

Georgia rolls out growth model: Does it help to know your student is growing but still trailing peers?

Can we change the conversation among parents from how did your child do in school this year to how much did your child grow this year? Georgia parents now have the data to answer that second question. Will it matter to them?  A great deal of time and thought in ...

A long bank of computers in the media center.

Flip, blend and serve up a more enticing education through technology

I asked educators to share their experiences with technology. Several have done so, including Kelly Walsh,  CIO at the College of Westchester in White Plains, NY, where he is an adjunct faculty member. In 2009, Walsh founded the website EmergingEdTech.com, where he writes about engaging students and enhancing learning outcomes ...

Alisha Thomas Morgan

Alisha Morgan to supporters: Our work is not over

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan sent out a note this afternoon to supporters after her loss in yesterday's Democratic runoff for state school superintendent to Valarie Morgan. From Morgan: After spending several months on the campaign trail, last night I respectfully conceded the race for State School Superintendent to my ...

Turnout is expected to be low in Tuesday's runoff election.

Why did 85,000 Republican voters blow off the state school chief race?

Interesting point worth discussing this morning: In the GOP Senate runoff between David Perdue and Jack Kingston, 483,000 Republicans cast ballots yesterday. Yet, in the GOP state school superintendent runoff, only 397,788 Republicans voted. That is a difference of 85,000 voters. Those 85,000 people were in the polling booths. They ...

University of Pennsylvania student Clare Lombardo is a guest writer for the AJC Get Schooled blog this summer.

Rating colleges: Can the feds find a fair way to do it?

President Obama is seeking more accountability of the $180 billion the federal government invests annually in higher education, including student loans. He wants a rating system that will consider graduation rates, student debt and job placement. Today, Clare Lombardo weighs in the proposed rating system. A University of Pennsylvania student ...

Democratic state school superintendent candidate Valarie Wilson talks with supporter Mary Alice Kemp at Wilson s headquarters in Decatur Tuesday night, as the camp waits for runoff election results.

State school chief race: Wilson over Morgan, but GOP contest may go to recount

UPDATE: The AJC is reporting the Republican contest for school superintendent remains undecided the morning after the election as Richard Woods holds a slim -- around 1 percent -- lead over Mike Buck, which means a recount will likely be held. The AJC is showing Woods drew 199,071 votes, while ...

Former LA mayor and union organizer: Rhetoric of teacher unions destructive and wrong

Antonio Villaraigosa is the former mayor of Los Angeles and a former organizer with the United Teachers of Los Angeles. He wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal urging teacher unions to stop defending a broken system. Several readers asked that we take his essay up on the blog ...

President Obama looks over 3D printers on display at the first White House Maker Faire. (Courtesy of the White House.)

President Obama delivers a message today about power of education. Will young black males listen?

Can the White House influence the decisions of 16-year-old minority males to stay in school? President Obama is trying with a multi-pronged campaign that includes private industry, professional athletics, community organizations and government. He will talk about the campaign this morning at a media event in Washington. Readers of this ...

State School Chief John Barge: A few remarks in his 'eulogy' he'd like to correct

The four candidates for state school superintendent wooed more than a thousand educators this past week at the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders conference on Jekyll Island. Among the educators in the audience was John Barge, the man who now holds the job the others were seeking. As I watched ...

SACS to DeKalb: You're making strides

Here is a new SACS update from DeKalb County Schools:  You can read the SACS report here. The DeKalb County School District continues to make “material progress” in confronting recent challenges and in completing “required actions” mandated by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, according to a recent report ...

University of Pennsylvania student Clare Lombardo is a guest writer for the AJC Get Schooled blog this summer.

Gifted education: Georgia is not only place struggling to get it right

The AJC package on gifted education is still generating a lot of discussion. Today, Clare Lombardo weighs in on the issue. A University of Pennsylvania student and Decatur resident, Lombardo is a rising sophomore with aspirations in journalism and an interest in education. She is contributing blog entries this summer. ...

Viewing every black student as at-risk: Are we pathologizing children rather than helping them?

Here is an interesting piece by University of Georgia professor Peter Smagorinsky on the over application of "at-risk" labels in school data collections. Smagorinsky says data collection is an example of the expected bureaucratic time-wasting built into organizational life. But he says the new wave of data gathering required of teachers ...

Turnout is expected to be low in Tuesday's runoff election.

Many complain about schools but don't vote when it matters. And it matters Tuesday

I have shared the class size findings of Cobb resident and parent John Morris in the past. In this piece, Morris urges Cobb GOP voters to participate in the runoff elections for school board. He focuses on Republican contests, but there are Democratic runoffs as well, including state school superintendent. ...

A new study finds that drilling and worksheets help first graders struggling in math more than group activities or other student-centered activities.

A head teacher tells students: These test results don't tell your whole story. And the Internet applauds.

The Internet is celebrating a letter sent to students in a British elementary school from the head teacher. Addressed to each student by name, the printed letter -- which the teacher adapted from an essay she spotted on an American blog -- cites the recent results of England’s national curriculum ...

State school chief candidates in the final stretch. No idea who will prevail.

The four candidates for state school superintendent made their case today to 1,200 school superintendents, principals, assistant principals and other school administrators at the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders conference in Jekyll Island. The quartet had a rehearsal Sunday night when they participated in 30-minute debates in the Atlanta Press ...

Pick a reform, any reform. And then stick with it long enough to see change.

I received an interesting piece from DeKalb parent Allyson Gevertz about a program she just attended at Harvard University on creating sustainable and effective school reform. A side note: I am in Jekyll Island at the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders conference. (I am about to go hear the four ...

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