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Shaun Johnson
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Shaun Johnson is a teacher educator and former elementary teacher. He returns to his roots every summer, teaching 5th graders in a DC public charter school. Shaun earned his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University and researches and publishes about gender in education, social studies, and education reform.

Entries by Shaun Johnson

The Kinder Chronicles, Part Two

(2) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 10:23 AM

I was somewhat recently a guest on the new Al Jazeera America show The Stream to discuss the common core. When hearing about my appearance, my grandfather asked, "Well, what did they introduce him as?"

I think my grandfather, who's been a dominant fixture in my life, comes from...

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The Kinder Chronicles, Part I

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 1:32 PM

Today's word is "co-location." Simply put, it's the presence of two or more entities in one space. But I am learning that co-location in education is not so simple. It's actually pretty complicated.

After leaving the elementary classroom to earn a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, I spent four...

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It Makes Me Wonder Why All the Amateurs Have Come to Education

(36) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 5:27 PM

I'm a little late to this party. I was clued into this 2012 video of a Kennedy Center Honor's performance of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." I'm not normally sentimental about videos that get passed around. Perhaps the stakes were higher because the late John Bonham's son made...

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The Stubborn Insistence That the Common Core Is NOT a Curriculum

(54) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 10:28 AM

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), in its list of Myths versus Facts about the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), addresses the curriculum issue thusly:

Myth: These Standards amount to a national curriculum for our schools.

Fact: The Standards are not a curriculum. They are...

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At Long Last, We Are Treating Doctors Like We Treat Teachers

(61) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 2:03 PM

Almost two years ago to this very day, I wrote a couple of largely hypothetical pieces that toyed with the idea of performance pay for physicians, similar to what's being forced on educators. The first hammered out some specific proposals for doctors, such as the use of a few fundamental...

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Educators Testing Their Courage After Newtown

(9) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 10:10 AM

Swimming midstream between holiday reflections and New Year's resolutions, there will be a lot more time, attention, and line space devoted to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

A mild kerfuffle erupted in the last couple of weeks over who in the education community could claim ownership of...

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The #CTUStrike: Education for the Best of Us Versus the Rest of Us

(27) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 12:27 PM

Much has and will be written about the strike in Chicago. The battle in the Windy City is essentially about one thing: education for the best of us and then for the rest of us. This isn't just a clever phrase, however. There are drastic inequalities between the best and...

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Connections Between Teach for America and Parent Trigger

(23) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 2:51 PM

A new fantasy film is on the horizon pushing "legitimate" education reform: Won't Back Down. Activist Leonie Haimson recently published a helpful list of FAQs on this film to get the reader started. But I'm going to take a closer look at the troubling connections between the film...

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Let's Get to the Bottom of #Edtech Hysteria

(25) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 2:09 PM

I taught summer school for four weeks without any technology. Not willingly, per se. But the charter school in which I've taught the last three summers simply didn't have any available in this particular classroom. I didn't make a big deal out of it. I checked out a ton of...

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Career Educators Are An Investment Too Easily Squandered

(10) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 12:36 PM

This is my third summer in a row as a higher education faculty member returning for a brief stint in a charter school elementary classroom. This time it's second grade. I have written and will continue to develop my written thoughts about this experience because it has been exceedingly valuable,...

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Lessons Learned for Educators From the Wisconsin Recall

(96) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 2:47 PM

This will likely be one of the many hundreds of reflections written after the dust-up in Wisconsin. I'm also certain that what can be said has been already, with much of the wisdom coming in bits and pieces 140 characters or fewer. As an educator, I want to...

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STEM STEM Technology STEM: Relax Reformers

(5) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 5:09 PM

I read a lot about education. As I do my cursory checks of what's happening in the education blogosphere, there is so much ado about technology in the classroom and today's buzz-acronym STEM, which in case you haven't heard, stands for an integrated curriculum of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics....

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Occupying the Department of Education

(27) Comments | Posted March 25, 2012 | 6:39 PM

Between March 30 and April 2 of 2012, public school advocates will arrive in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Department of Education on Maryland Avenue to make a clarion call in opposition to test-driven and data-mad education reforms. The event will include four days worth of teach-ins, marches,...

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Is the Teaching Profession Dead?

(38) Comments | Posted March 13, 2012 | 10:08 PM

When I've studied the issue of who chooses to teach and why, its status as a profession always comes up. In case you haven't noticed, teachers as a whole are not taken very seriously these days. Teaching as a respected profession has been on life support for quite some time....

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On Reproductive Rights and the Over-Regulation of Teachers

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2012 | 6:40 PM

I've made a few comparisons between other occupations and teaching to highlight some of the ridiculous rules and regulations imposed on educators as a result of both No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and now Race to the Top (RT3). I wondered what would happen if physicians suffered the...

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Climate Scientists, Educators, and Why We Avoid Consulting the Experts

(23) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 2:47 PM

The Wall Street Journal recently published the editorial "No Need to Panic About Global Warming" claiming that the scientific hysteria surrounding climate change is exaggerated and perhaps misguided. A few days later, a second editorial was published in reply, written by actual climate scientists, who argued that...

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Instead of Complaining About Teachers, Become One

(88) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 10:17 AM

Over the holiday break, I had a pretty heated conversation with a conservative friend of mine about politics and other assorted topical sundries. The discussion turned towards the obligatory public versus private meme trotted out by most Republican and Tea Party sympathizers. That is, the public sector needs to shrink...

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Corporate Education Reform and ALEC's Definition of Acceptable Risk

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 4:17 PM

The left-leaning political blog Think Progress recently reported on a comment from a top-executive with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that some children eating rat poison is "an acceptable risk." Thus, there is no justification for the government to regulate these kinds of products. For ALEC, the...

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Who's Overpaid, Teachers or the Wonks Who Write About Them?

(26) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 12:57 PM

A recent study from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) argues that public school teachers are actually overpaid, which seems contrary to the conventional wisdom regarding educators' salaries. These "fat cat" elementary teachers with second jobs must have been doing it for fun all this time. I guess mixing...

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The American Ambivalence Towards Education

(8) Comments | Posted October 9, 2011 | 8:20 PM

Although a bold statement, I'm starting to wonder: can Americans actually care less about education? I don't think so, and here's why.

On a broader scale, there is an overwhelming attitude in this country that embraces and champions ignorance. It seems all right to publicly admit a misunderstanding of science...

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