Learning history in the present

Women marched peacefully on Saturday to demonstrate pride and autonomy — and to let President Trump know they won’t stand for any rollback of women’s rights. Or, women marched and destroyed property Saturday to whine about losing the election. Or, women marched Saturday as dupes of outside forces, including radical Islam. Which version do you…

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Why best practices don’t prevail

Bad news last week. My district’s school board has decided to delay implementation of later start times for high school students – a change that was scheduled for fall 2017. No reason was given, but I imagine it involved pushback by parents and teachers of elementary school kids, who don’t like the idea of their…

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Racism isn’t debatable; it’s wrong

I generally try to avoid politics in my blog. When it comes to education issues, I do not fully agree with either the Democrats or Republicans (or the Libertarians, Socialists or any other party). To say that unions are good or bad or that Common Core is good or bad or that charter schools are…

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83% get a diploma, but what is it worth?

What should a high school diploma mean? What should 12 years of public education add up to? In my view, it should mean you are ready for a job or for general postsecondary training. It should mean we have given you the appropriate skills for your next academic step. Not every graduate needs to be…

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Survival tips for first-year teachers

It’s fun to see colleagues around the country sharing their “teacher stats” as this school year kicks off. Here are a few of mine: 23rd year of teaching – 20th at Mounds View HS 3 schools: Wilbur Middle School, The Independent School and Mounds View HS Grades taught: 8-12 Favorite grade ever taught: 12 Subjects…

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