Sunday Salon: What I Read Online August 18-24


Kentucky 

This important blog post from our state commissioner, Dr. Holliday, discusses possible hindrances to innovation in our state because of new USED action that infringes upon our state rights. A topic of huge concern is that the USED now expects Kentucky to test students on old science standards in the spring of 2015. We've been excited about the new Next Generation Science Standards and our students learning science in more innovative ways, and as it stands now, the USED expects Kentucky to assess students on old standards using a ridiculous multiple-choice test.

In Lexington, where I live, one of the middle schools across town created a new mentoring program for incoming sixth graders. Read about it here.

 Since I've long been passionate about pre-service teaching programs and also teach one class at the University of Kentucky, I was interested in reading about this e-mentoring program for teacher candidates offered by a neighboring city's university. 

I am thrilled to be working in education for a non-profit aimed at encouraging and supporting innovative practices in schools. Also exciting is this upcoming education summit our organization is hosting.


Teaching

In "Building Better Teachers" Sara Mosle writes for The Atlantic about teacher time to collaborate--something American schools don't provide. If you've read some of my own posts this week, you will know this is a topic my husband and I are exploring in our new written conversation series.

Since I now have two middle school sons, I was interested in this article by Michelle Icard, because she offers tips for letting middle school students take risks.

For some time now, I've been following the work of Josh Boldt because he writes about the plight of adjuncts, and for so long, that was the world in which our family lived as my husband worked as an adjunct for years before deciding to become a high school English teacher. In this post, Boldt write about why he, too, left the adjunct gig behind.

The Common Core debate continues, and I was excited in this post to see praise for Kentucky's implementation. Indeed, we have many hard working teachers and leaders who have striven for successful implementation with teacher voices leading the way. The post isn't all about Kentucky though, so read for yourself to see how CC is playing out in various places.

Literacy 

The New Yorker writer, Dani Shapiro, shares thoughts about writing memoirs versus sharing Facebook status updates.

I'm contstantly reminded lately of the importance of stories, so I was excited to learn about this new book, Minds Made for Stories, that's been written by Thomas Newkirk

If you're looking for a new book to read or if you want to share book suggestions with your students, check out Malala Yousafzai's suggestions here.

As a woman who's been advocating for education for women and girls around the world, I was excited to learn that Malala Yousafzai's mom is learning to read.


Humanity

For a couple of weeks now, I've been following the story of the killing of Michael Brown, and my heart has ached as a mother and as a teacher. In this post you read about how hard his mom worked to keep him in school. He graduated just weeks before his death and was planning to attend trade school.
Issues of inequality keep me moving as an educator because I can't stand to see students treated differently or offered different schooling options because of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. In this New York Times article, I saw hope because one of the largest school districts in America is aiming to reduce the arrest rate in their schools.

I can't help but feel for the family of James Foley. This post honors his life.

Just when we're feeling down about many dire situations in our world, we are reminded by Gwyn Ridenhour that there remains hope for the future.
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