Latest posts from Special Education

Jul 30 2013

Common Core: Perpetuating the Opportunity Gap

Only a little over a week ago, I was sitting at Markham Middle School at 8 o clock in the morning learning about the Common Core Standards and Assessment Data. As I sat with my friend and colleague Dominic, taking the seventh grade practice math assessment for the Common Core State Requirements, I realized that…

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Jul 25 2013

End of Days. Or Just the Beginning.

Dear Friends and Fellow Advocates, Today is our first day of Professional Development post- Los Angeles Institute and gosh, it has been a whirlwind. Since accepting my offer to Teach for America that fateful day in November, I have been all TFA all the time. When I first began preparing for this fall, I was…

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Jul 21 2013

#80: Fight the real enemy

Mrs. Villanueva-Beard, I’ve been reading your speech to TFA alumni in Detroit. I found the title of your speech compelling: “Fighting the Wrong Enemy”(1). Once I was able to get past the more boilerplate aspects of the speech, I dug into the core of your message. I know one of the things you and Matt…

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We have a new principal who has charged members of their respective departments with interviewing and recommending potential hires this summer. I was privileged enough to be on that committee for a couple of different rounds of interviewing. First, we had two vacancies left by teachers who took jobs at neighboring schools. We interviewed five…

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For those of you who would like to participate, I posted about a MOOC offered by Stanford called “How to Learn Math” for which you can still register. This course is my introduction to MOOCs, so I’m at once enjoying the content and the presentation of it as well. I don’t think this substitutes for…

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I’m going to take a break from breathing fire for a post and get into my summer plans: digging into the new state standards. If you teach in Texas, our illustrious legislators approved changes to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards in 2012. Those changes will go into effect for the 2014-2015 school…

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Jul 15 2013

#76: Some anti-TFA blowhard lights a torch

Hi, my name is Didymath(1), and I am anti-TFA. I’ve been blogging in this space for nearly two years and if you are a regular reader, you are probably not shocked in the least to see that sentence. To muddy the waters a bit, I want to clarify what it is I am against. I…

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Jul 13 2013

#75: How to be a teacher on the internet

The serendipity of Mr. Rubinstein showing us Chad for America¬†and the triumphant return of parus¬†inspired me to lecture y’all on professional internet etiquette. While I am certain that everyone has sat through a session on this already, I feel obliged to reiterate a few things. Here’s the Didymath guide to internetting: Everything you do online,…

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Institute has a pretty classic narrative structure. Induction is your exposition, setting the scene. Your rising action: first day jitters, getting your dorm room, ice breakers, the first big pep rally where you stand with your regional compatriots: it’s college all over again! Then, teaching for the first time, being excited to meet your students,…

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Last year, our district was in thrall to the unit exam schedule of CSCOPE, a very expensive curriculum/unit exam regime not at all appropriate for students who were behind grade level. Our district math coordinator at the time insisted at the time that fealty to this schedule would ultimately lead our students to the promised…

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