Speak Out: Waiting for "Superman"

Phone Booth, February 2008 by Flickr user Maggie Osterberg.

The documentary film, Waiting for “Superman,” by producer Davis Guggenheim is scheduled to open in Columbus on Friday, Oct. 14. A film that evokes strong emotions, it tells the story of injustice in America’s education system. It says important things about the challenges of the public education system. However, the reductive messaging—“charters are good” and “teachers unions are bad”—oversimplifies complicated issues and threatens to thwart thoughtful discussions about improving public schools.

You will be tempted to get defensive about this film. But CEA welcomes and encourages filmgoers to join us in our mission of making great public schools for every student. Association members have always led the fight for great public schools, and we hope the movie inspires others to become engaged in a larger discussion about the shared responsibility for public education.

The CEA Blog wants to know:

What are your thoughts about  Waiting For “Superman”? Do you think this film will create a constructive or divisive dialogue about improving public education? Feel free to write a review if you have already seen the film!

Visitors to the CEA Blog do not need to be registered to leave a reply. Simply click on the “Comments” link directly below the post title. Type in a screen name of your choice, enter your email address and leave your comment. Please make sure your comment adheres to our posting guidelines. Once your comment has been moderated, it will be visible to all visitors to the CEA Blog.

Ohio is seventh state to adopt common standards

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roswellsgirl's

By a 17-0 vote of Ohio Board of Education, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio has become the seventh state in the nation to adopt common math and language arts standards. The Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI) was originally spearheaded by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

CCSI enlisted the participation of 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia in their creation. Only Texas and Alaska refused to participate in their creation. Since the Common Core standards were released earlier this month, Virginia decided to opt out, keeping its existing academic standards.

State adoption of the Common Core Standards has a significant connection to the Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program.

[Read more…]

Teaching In The 614: Who Am I?

Editor’s Note: This installment of Teaching In The 614 was written by Mister Umm, a high school teacher with more than ten years of experience serving the students and families of CCS.

Who I Am? by flickr user tonyhall.

Who I Am? by flickr user tonyhall.

For nearly the past decade, I have given my students an oral project as their first “real” homework assignment. The project, called “Who Am I?” is always due the second Friday of the school year.

The point of the assignment is simple—I want to know my students better. I need to know about the young people I am teaching, and they are the foremost experts on themselves.

“How would you like to earn a project grade and not have to write a single thing down?” I ask each of my classes.

The classroom resounds with positive noises. This will be easy, many think. They don’t know what is going to be expected of them– yet.

I turn on my overhead projector and begin to explain the concept of my “Who Am I?” assignment.

As they hastily copy my transparency notes, I explain that they will be required to bring in four objects for the assignment. Each object must answer the question “Who Am I?”.

It is then that I inform them that they must stand in front of the class and explain how each object they bring in answers the aforementioned question.

A mosaic of fear and puzzled stares appear on my students’ faces. A handful of them still don’t understand the assignment. Many students simply don’t want to do the assignment.

[Read more…]