Not enough time to be data-driven
I do a lot of work with schools on data-driven accountability issues. Before you immediately decide that I'm just another data huckster, I'll point out now that my work with schools focuses on good ongoing, formative assessment for student progress monitoring purposes rather than on the stupid yearly summative autopsy data that most schools are spending WAY too much time on. Intelligent use of progress monitoring data related to key academic and other educational goals has been shown time and time again, in both high-quality research studies and in tens of thousands of schools and classrooms across the country, to have significant impacts on student learning outcomes. The most common complaint that I hear from teachers, however, is that they're already pressed - they don't have time to add another thing to their plate. Balderdash. Here are a few things that teachers can get rid of that will free up some valuable time.
Teachers work extremely hard. They're some of the most caring, dedicated people I know. But, like most of us, they often don't use the time that they have very effectively (or others don't use their time very intelligently). If we truly care about student learning, we should be taking a critical look at teachers' precious time and try to eliminate many of our low-yield practices.
You get my drift. The list probably could on for a while - each of you can think of other things that teachers could eliminate or do differently to free up valuable time for high-leverage instructional strategies (add them below as a comment!). So what could teachers do instead with the time they gain? Here are a few things:
In other words, they could do things that we know to have better instructional payoff than some of what teachers are doing now. Plus, there's the very sobering list from Mike Schmoker's newest book, Results Now, that reminds us that teachers often don't do things they already know have high payoffs instructionally (from a study that did thousands of classroom observations):
As Schmoker notes, "such statistics point to how even fairly obvious actions could have an immediate and enormous impact on students and their levels of learning" (p. 18).
The phrase "work smarter not harder" is trite and often is used in a condescending manner. Many times, unfortunately, it also happens to be true.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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