The plaintiffs and their supporters would have you believe that racial discrimination and hatred are things of the past. They regard affirmative action as "reverse racism," as though such a thing can possibly exist. Racism requires power and privilege, attributes in short supply in communities of color.
Now, in the sphere of higher education, we often talk about the potential for OER to save students billions of dollars in textbook costs, but what's happened at Williamsfield since the switch reveals that the value of OER over traditional learning materials extends far beyond the difference in price.
These computational thinking skills are becoming more important as computers, algorithms and data become ubiquitous. Coding will also become more common, particularly with the growth in the use of visual programming languages, like Blockly, that remove the need to learn programming language syntax, and via custom blocks, can be used as an abstraction for many different applications.
The transition from middle to high school is a critical inflection point, and students who fall behind in ninth grade are at great risk of dropping out. That is why I support the Middle School Success and High School Graduation Initiative Amendment, which aims to provide struggling schools with tools to help students bridge this gap.
As exciting as all this was, where were the teachers in these conversations? Many of us felt that we were invited because we actively lead in our schools, communities, and countries, and we expected to have a similar role at ISTP. We felt stifled in the exchange. So, in true teacher form, we didn't give up.
Annual testing is valuable, but students deserve a system that protects them from unnecessary, redundant tests. Congress should ensure that the SMART Act is included in the final ESEA bill that it sends to the president, because this will make us all smarter educators and give us additional time to make our students learn smarter.