February 23rd, 2012
01:47 PM ET

Black male teachers becoming extinct

By Allen Huntspon and George Howell, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) – Take a moment and think of all the teachers you had between pre-K and twelfth grade.

Now, how many of them were black men?

For most people, this question won’t take too long to answer. That’s because less than two percent of America’s teachers are black men, according to the Department of Education.

That is less than 1 in 50 teachers.

Terris King, 25, a kindergarten teacher at the Bishop John T. Walker School in Washington D.C., believes that for African-American children, having a strong role model in front of them can make a huge difference.

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Filed under: In America • Practice • Teachers • video
February 23rd, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

U.S. Department of Education: Putting the “E” in STEM during National Engineering Week
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the launch of the new public-private partnership 100Kin10. The initiative looks to recruit 100,000 STEM teachers over the next 10 years.

The Educated Reporter: Will Raising School Attendance Age Lower Dropout Rate?
Although President Obama wants states to mandate that students stay in school until they are 18, many districts have trouble getting students who are already required to be there to actually show up.

Edutopia.org: Lights, Camera…Engagement! Three Great Tools for Classroom Video
Ron Peck offers three different ways to use video that will make social studies more engaging and student-centered.

Education News: More, Diverse Families Opt for Homeschooling in New Jersey
Across the state of New Jersey, more families are joining networks for socializing and sports as they homeschool their kids.

U.S. News: How and Why to Get an On-Campus Job
The authors offer some reasons for and advantages of working for the college you attend.

Grading teachers
New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City's United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew announce the agreement reached on teacher evaluation on Feb. 16.
February 23rd, 2012
06:10 AM ET

Grading teachers

By Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) Last week a deal was reached between the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the state’s Department of Education on how teachers would be evaluated.

The New York Times reports that the deal permits school districts to base 40 percent of a teacher’s review on how that teacher’s students performed on standardized tests (what’s sometimes referred to as “value-added” data), with half of that portion based on the student’s test progress from one year to the next.  The remaining 60 percent of the review will consist of “subjective measures”, including principals’ evaluations and observations.

Like 18 other states that qualified for federal grants under Race to the Top, New York was under a deadline to devise a plan to evaluate teachers, or lose this funding.

After the deal was reached,  Governor Andrew Cuomo is quoted as saying, “It’s a victory for all New Yorkers. Government works, and that makes this state a better state.”

Carol Corbett Burris, principal of South Side High School, disagrees.  In the Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog  she says she “was struck by the lack of logic and fairness” in the deal.  Burris, who was named the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the state’s School Administrators Association, co-authored “An Open Letter of Concern Regarding New York State’s APPR Legislation for the Evaluation of Teachers and Principals” which has been signed by nearly 1360 principals opposing the use of standardized test scores to evaluate educators.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice • Teachers