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Ben Stern

What Does Good PD Look Like?

Change is in the air . . . that’s a lot of hot air.

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Topics: Instructional Leadership, TeachBoost, Personalized Professional Development, edtech

Responding to Jin-Soo Huh's Return to Teaching

Our friend Jin-Soo Huh of KIPP Chicago wrote an insightful piece for EdSurge about his return to the classroom. You should read it. He is the Director of Technology, but he put his teaching hat back on for a middle school math class.

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Topics: News, TeachBoost, edtech

Responding to "As Apprentices in Classroom, Teachers Learn What Works"

Last week, the NY Times featured a lengthy piece on teacher mentorship programs, entitled, “As Apprentices in Classroom, Teachers Learn What Works.”

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Topics: News, Education

The Shifting Public Perception of Teacher Evaluation

We pay close attention to state legislation on teacher evaluation. We have to. Lately, it seems that the tide has turned dramatically against the inclusion of student test results as part of teacher evaluation. For example, Missouri voters resoundingly voted down Missouri Teacher Performance Evaluation Amendment 3, which proposed to increase the use of testing, and Michigan’s state legislature introduced two bills (H.B. 5223 and 5224), which decrease reliance on standardized testing, and are receiving broad bipartisan support.

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Topics: News, Teacher Evaluation

Responding to Time and Randi Weingarten on Vergara

By now you’ve heard about the brouhaha over Time’s apple-smashing cover story onVergara v. California. Time has posted a number of thoughtful responses, all worth reading. Randi Weingarten’s is especially notable, and is neatly summarized with her closing paragraph:

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Topics: News, Education, Policy

Reflecting on the EdSurge Summit in St. Louis


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Topics: Event

On Joining the #cem14 Connected Educator Community

In the spirit of Connected Educator Month, we invite our colleagues in edtech to share how they’ve given back, whether personally or as a company, to the community of connected educators. Just use hashtag #cem14 and mention us so we can catalog it for a future blog post!

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Topics: edtech

Responding to "5 Reasons Why Great Edtech Products Don't Succeed"

Colette Coleman had a great piece in EdSurge recently: "5 Reasons Why Great Edtech Products Don’t Succeed." Her argument boils down to edtech companies not fully grasping the realities of life in our schools: overworked teachers, in underfunded classrooms, assaulted by a panoply of demands on their time and attention, are introduced to a dozen new products every day that don’t always align with their instructional style. Products fail because they make life worse, not better.

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Topics: edtech

Responding to Education Next's "Getting Classroom Observations Right"

We encourage you to read Education Next’s expansive piece on lessons learned from a study of the teacher evaluation systems in four “pioneering districts.”

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Topics: Education, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Observation

Responding to Politico's "Rating Teachers Not As Easy As 1, 2, 3"

Politico’s recent piece “Rating Teachers Not As Easy As 1, 2, 3” does a solid job of reporting on the landscape of teacher evaluation right now. In sum, despite all the rancor—or because of it—very little is happening:

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Topics: News, Education, Teacher Evaluation

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