The Hard Part

They never tell you in teacher school, and it’s rarely discussed elsewhere. It is never, ever portrayed in movies and tv shows about teaching. Teachers rarely bring it up around non-teachers for fear it will make us look weak or inadequate.

Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post once put together a series of quotes to answer the question “How hard is teaching?” and asked for more in the comments section. My rant didn’t entirely fit there, so I’m putting it here, because it is on the list of Top Ten Things They Never Tell You in Teacher School. Fulll Story

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Originally posted on National Day Calendar:

National Caramel Apple Day October 31.  Image Credit:

National Caramel Apple Day October 31. Image Credit:


One of the fun memories of many people’s childhood is eating caramel apples in the fall of the year.  It may have been at a fair, at a carnival, at a Halloween party or just at home with family and friends, but the memory is a good one and part of the fun was making them.

Each year on October 31, we celebrate caramel apples on National Caramel Apple Day.

  • Caramel apples (sometimes called taffy apples) are made by dipping apples, on a stick, in hot caramel.
  • Caramel apples are sometimes sprinkled with nuts, chocolate or other confections.
  • For caramel apples in high production, a sheet of caramel can be wrapped around the apple and then heated to melt the caramel evenly onto it.
  • The most commonly preferred apples used in making caramel apples are tart, crisp…

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Massachusetts Proposes Plan to Chase Teachers Out

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Peter Greene writes that there seems to be a contest among the states to see which one can be most hostile and punitive towards public school teachers. Is it North Carolina? Is it Tennessee? No, writes Greene, the state that is in the lead in this category is Massachusetts.

Massachusetts, which leads the nation by far on federal tests of mathematics and reading, intends to adopt regulations that will take away a teacher’s license if his or her students get low test scores.

Can you believe that? The teacher won’t  just be fired; she will lose her license to teach!

He writes:

There are three proposed versions (A, B & C) of the new system, and they all share one piece of twisted DNA– they link teacher evaluations to teacher licenses. Not pay level or continued employment in that particular school district– but licensure. A couple of below-average evaluations, and…

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Nevada: Why Are the Elites Afraid of The Education Initiative?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Nevada is soon to vote on whether to tax big business to raise more money for public schools. The state’s public schools are among the worst funded systems in the nation. Big business is pulling out all the stops to kill the Initiative. They warn that it will kill the economy and jobs.

Columnist Steve Sebelius here explores why the state’s business community is so frightened by the Initiative, why they are trying so hard to block it.

He writes:

“There may be a good reason the elites of the Nevada business community are so vehemently campaigning against The Education Initiative.

“But it’s not what you think.

“There’s certainly a reason you’re seeing billboards, TV ads, mail pieces and spokespeople endlessly parroting the line that The Education Initiative is a “deeply flawed,” “job-killing” tax that will cost the state business.

“But what if it’s not the shortcomings of the tax…

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Technologies and School Reform: Kissing Cousins*

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Over the years, I often get asked how I got interested in the uses of technology in schools and classrooms. I answer the same way each time. When I taught high school history and as a district administrator in two urban school system I was the target for a quarter-century of high-tech innovations and classroom reforms. Again and again.

I then add that I have been trained as an historian and studied many efforts of reformers to improve schooling over the past century in U.S. classrooms, schools, and districts. I looked at how teachers have taught since the 1890s. I analyzed policymakers’ frequent curricular changes since the 1880s. I even investigated the origins of the age-graded school and the spread of this innovation through the 19th century. I also parsed the utopian dreams of reformers who believed that new machine technologies (e.g., film, radio, instructional television, desktop computer) would alter…

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The Educator and the Oligarch’s Spin, Post # 2

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

Anthony Cody begins The Educator and the Oligarch with the words of the Gates Foundation’s Irvin Scott that could have come from Joseph Heller’s Catch 22: “We’re trying to start a movement. A movement started by you.”

Ok, Scott might have misspoke, and his boss may have also done so in 2008 when saying, “There’s a lot of issues about governance, whether its school boards or unions, where you want to allow for experimentation. … They have to give us the opportunity for experimentation.” (emphasis added)

But, Gates and his minions have had years of opportunities to foster an honest conversation based on peer reviewed evidence and the professional wisdom of teachers. Had they been open to the exchange of ideas and objective evidence, they might have learned from the experiments they funded.

Real experimentation requires the intellectually honest wrestling with facts. It requires a respect for differing perspectives. The…

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Originally posted on National Day Calendar:

National Candy Corn Day October 30

National Candy Corn Day October 30


National Candy Corn Day is celebrated annually on October 30th.

Candy Corn was created by George Renninger of Wunderle Candy Company in the late 1800′s. He created this sweet treat to represent the pretty colors of kernels of corn.   Originally, Candy Corn was yellow, orange, and white, but has become popular in other colors as well, when produced for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.

This confection was originally  made by hand using corn syrup, sugar, water, marshmallows, Fondant, and carnauba wax (a wax made from the leaves of a palm tree), but it is now produced using machines.  The originally ingredients are still used in the recipe.

Whether you are adventurous and want to go whip up a batch or go and purchase a bag, go and enjoy National Candy Corn Day.



Within our research…

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