Friday, April 29, 2005


I'm waiting to hear about the results of an interview; I really want the job. It would mean getting back into teaching Physical Science, and the excitement of a new program.

I've been trying to get my mind off the wait by looking over some Social Studies textbooks for middle school. They're pretty bad - too little text, too many meaningless pretty pictures, and jam-packed with inaccuracies, distortions, and implied untruths. Just dreadful, in other words.

When I finish my review, I'll post it here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I found this source of information about NCLB's impact on state education budgets. How does your state compare?

For teachers, the Department of Education site also provides the Teacher's Toolkit, which helps explain the provisions of NCLB, and how it could affect you, including information about becoming a Highly Qualified Teacher.

You can also get FREE (I love that word) video workshops on topics, including:
  • Math/Science

    Developing Computational Fluency in Addition and Subtraction

    Early Steps Count: Teaching Arithmetic to Prepare Students for Algebra

    Feedback: A Powerful Tool for Raising Student Achievement in Mathematics

    Measurement and Geometry: Building Conceptual Understanding in Young Children

    Patterns to Symbols: Algebra

    Standards-Based Differentiated Math

    Taking the "Dense" Out of Density

    Using Technology to Enhance Algebra Instruction

If anyone has any experience with these or other Teacher-to-Teacher workshops, email me with your take on them.


After a conversation with my daughter, a teacher-in-training, I checked out the current status of the No Child Left Behind act (NCLB). There have been some changes recently, including:
Secretary Spellings announced that the first example of this "workable, sensible approach" would be to apply the latest scientific research and allow states to use modified assessments for their students with persistent academic disabilities who need more time and instruction to make substantial progress toward grade-level achievement. These scores will be limited to 2 percent of all students for accountability purposes; this is a separate policy from the current regulation that allows up to 1 percent of all students being tested (those with the most significant cognitive disabilities) to take an alternate assessment.

Worried about an "unfunded mandate"? To help states implement these above changes,
Secretary Spellings also announced that she was directing an additional $14 million in immediate support for these students and that the Department would provide states with a comprehensive tool kit to help them identify and assess students with disabilities.

Yeah, but what about funding in general? Didn't the NCLB cause major expense for the states, without any additional money?
Federal resources have increased substantially during this period, including:

* An $8 billion, or 46 percent, increase for No Child Left Behind programs;
* A $10.3 billion increase in overall funding for federal elementary and secondary education programs;
* An increase of $4.6 billion, or 52 percent, for Title I Grants for economically disadvantaged students, which go directly to local education agencies—the key drivers of NCLB reforms; and
* A $4.8 billion, or 75 percent, increase for grants to states under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B.

The president's budget provides nearly $1.5 billion for this High School Initiative, and includes $1.24 billion for a High School Intervention initiative that would focus on strengthening high school education and providing specific interventions. The president's high school program also includes $250 million to help states develop and implement new annual High School Assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics by the 2009-10 school year.

The graph below shows the increase in federal money, which includes an especially significant increase, compared to spending under President Clinton:

Sunday, April 24, 2005

April 24th, Cleveland Posted by Hello