Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn

Sign In/Register
RSS Subscribe
Add to any service

Recent Posts:


Show All Posts


« September 2014 »
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930 


Show Archives:


Popular Categories:

4 followers


Follow

State of Schools around the US

By Barbara Bray      July 17, 2008 -- 07:23 AM

I live in California and work around the country. I am appalled about the state of education and how we are leaving more children behind then we ever have before. The focus of "No Child Left Behind" was framed so people thought that we were going to fight for all children. Actually, what has happened is that "Every poor, disadvantaged, learning disabled, at-risk, and minority child is left behind." What kind of country is this that we do this to our future. In today’s SF Chronicle, the headline is 24% of high school students will dropout.

Where are they? What are these dropouts doing now? How ...   more...

Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Mrs. Shannon Riek  July 24, 2008 -- 04:56 PM

No Significant Impact of Reading First Program

By Barbara Bray      May 4, 2008 -- 08:32 AM
President Bush’s Reading First program has had problems from the beginning. There are charges of conflicts of interest, budget fights, and now  the Department of Education finds that it doesn’t work any better than approaches already in place. There was no difference in comprehension scores between students who participated in Reading First and those who did not.

"There was no statistically significant impact on reading comprehension scores in grades one, two or three," Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, the Education Department’s research arm, ...   more...

Comments ››

What does understanding mean to you?

By Barbara Bray      April 26, 2008 -- 08:51 AM
In redefining what learning in the 21st century means, I reflected on what learning means to me. I see each day and moment as a learning opportunity. I just came back from a long walk in a beautiful park where the birds were chirping. It was so peaceful and a great place to reflect. I stopped at a bridge over a lake and stood quiet for ten minutes just looking around and taking everything in.

I saw a colorful male mallard duck with his mate. Some questions popped into my head (even though I already knew some of the answers):
  • Why are male birds more colorful than ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Roxanne Clement  April 29, 2008 -- 05:26 PM

What does assessment look like to you?

By Barbara Bray      April 12, 2008 -- 07:07 AM
Just read Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No by Patricia Deubel and have some thoughts. Deubel wrote that before NCLB, many teachers closed their doors and taught what they wanted. There was little accountability on what was taught. However, with NCLB, the pendulum swung way to teach what is taught on the test. She also mentioned teaching to the state standards.

Since I work in multiple states and have most of the standards, I see many inconsistencies between states where some are more rigorous. All have too many standards that touch on content that may or may not be relevant. Historical ...   more...
Comments ››

Saving our Kids

By Barbara Bray      February 21, 2008 -- 07:53 AM
Have you had enough? I listen and cry. What is happening in our urban schools? The dropout rate is higher than ever and these aren’t stupid kids. They are smart - street smart but we dump them because they cannot pass the tests. I bet I couldn’t have passed the math test when I was in high school. But that’s not the problem. Poor kids are going to be out - trying to get work - without a degree. What can they do? How can we help them?

Will Olkin wrote They Schools in the New York Times today. He quoted a teacher concerned about the status quo and not doing anything that will make a difference:

“We ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By jsteph  February 21, 2008 -- 09:21 AM

Proposed cuts in Budget

By Barbara Bray      February 1, 2008 -- 04:39 PM
Oh no! The Federal budget is slashing education - completely eliminating educational technology. Here's a summary:
  • Reading First would be restored to $1 billion. That's the amount it received in fiscal 2007, before Congress whacked it down to $393 million.
  • Title I grants to schools districts would increase $406 million, or 2.9 percent, to $14.3 billion.
  • Special education grants to states ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Lisa Dilles  February 10, 2008 -- 01:58 PM

Report says Americans are reading less

By Barbara Bray      November 19, 2007 -- 07:34 AM
The National Endowment for the Arts study "To Read or Not to Read" was just released and found that an increasing number of adults in America have not even read one book in a year. [source] Some of the findings include:
  • In 2002, only 52 percdent of Americans ages 18 to 24 read a book voluntarily, down from 59 percent in 1992.
  • Money spent on books, adjusted for inflation, dropped 14 percent from 1985 to 2005 and has fallen dramatically since mid-1990s.
  • The number ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By Kathleen Scott Meske  January 3, 2008 -- 11:34 AM

Importance of Critical Thinking Skills

By Barbara Bray      October 14, 2007 -- 08:37 AM
I just read "Changing the way we think about learning" article in the SF Chronicle by Linda Hammond-Darling.

One of the central lessons of No Child Left Behind is that if school sanctions are tied to test scores, the testing tail can wag the schooling dog. And a key problem for the United States is that most of our tests aren't measuring the kinds of 21st century skills we need students to acquire and that are at the core of curriculum and assessment in high-achieving countries.

While a debate rages about whether our tests should be created at the national or state level, th...   more...

Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Cheryl Vitali  October 17, 2007 -- 07:19 AM