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Real Change or the Next Illusion: Coding, Robotics and Makerspaces

It’s here and coming to a school near you. Coding, Robotics and Makerspaces (CRAM) comprise the latest trend in educational reform. Is CRAM the marketing hype of an information technology industry? Is it the next new thing for grantmakers, the hope—and perhaps fear—of K-12 educators, or the reasonable expert estimate of a sea change in … Read more »

What to Do Next With Teacher Evaluations

  Teacher evaluation is a contentious issue. It tends to be more so when evaluation systems must show evidence of a teacher’s contribution to student learning, as federal initiatives have recently required. The stakes are high, since how a teacher is rated affects his or her continued employment, advancement, and even compensation. In the wake … Read more »

Long Overdue: A New Discourse on School Reform

Photo by Martin Fernandez (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dodeacommunications/9457988689/) CC-BY-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)

  Remember the last time you were part of a conversation about school reform that was balanced, respectful of different perspectives and focused on finding common ground? Didn’t think so. Such exchanges are becoming an endangered species–largely due to the interwoven influences of ideology, money and power. And the result is that we’ve handicapped our … Read more »

The Power of SLOs in Teacher Evaluation

By Selma Broeder (https://flic.kr/p/6ALaGA) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Nationwide, Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) have emerged as the “it” component of new teacher evaluation systems. Developed by teachers, SLOs are carefully planned goals for what students will learn over a given time period. This process is designed to evoke critical, evidence-based thought about student growth. SLOs are being implemented in more than 20 states … Read more »

About CTAC’s new blog

CTAC’s work with communities, school districts, states, and the federal government gives us a broad perspective on the issues and on how policies play out at different system levels. Through our initiatives around the country, we hear stories behind the headlines from teachers, principals, parents, and policymakers—the people who are trying to make a difference. … Read more »