Found in Education: Fed. leader changes, reform fails, and resources for secondary LA/SS

The big news this week was Arne Duncan's announcement of his resignation as the Secretary of Education at the end of this year.  Is this a good thing?  It's hard to say. The Obama administration's education policy has been abysmal.  Race to the Top cost states money they didn't have, the testing regime demanded by No Child Left Behind has not been reduced despite statements from Obama that the focus on testing was hurting our schools, and the NCLB waiver linked student test scores to teacher evaluations even more directly. 

How much of that policy was Duncan's and how much was Obama's? I have no idea. Before his tenure as Secretary of Education, Duncan was an early adopter of the Broader Bolder Approach, which touts the importance of the whole child and not standardized testing yet the policy he put forth did little in this area.  And of course, Duncan's replacement is unlikely to do much as Obama's presidency comes to a close in 2016. Reactions are definitely to the news are mixed.  So I would say Duncan's resignation will have a net zero effect on education in the U.S. next year. I'm looking towards the campaigns and hoping that the next president will do better for education.

Also this past week, Michael Fullan released a study showing that reform has had little effect on the achievement gap over the past two decades. Argues Fullan, we are going nowhere because we are not using the right strategies to affect change.   You can read his interview with EdResource here and if you are interested in the achievement gap, I recommend reading Sean Reardon's work as well.  

For the classroom, the monthly C.L.A.S.S. newsletter came out this past week. The newsletter is filled with ideas and resources for teaching in the secondary language arts and social studies classrooms. I especially enjoyed ideas for flipping your classroom effectively.  You can read the newsletter here as well as grab links to 10 freebies (including the graphic organizers shown to the left) for your social studies and language arts classroom.

And finally, ever feel like this?  Crossing my fingers that Friday comes soon.  Until next week...

Found in Education (F.I.E.) is a weekly blog post on interesting ideas, tips, products, and stories related to education that I find over the week.  See something I should know about? Please send your ideas.  Comment here or leave me a message on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, or at the store.



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