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With testing, where do we go from here?

Tweet As always, remember that John’s book The Influence of Teachers is for sale at Amazon. Forget cheating on tests for a minute and think about the concept of ‘teaching to the test.’ Just what does that mean? The usual line (which I have used myself) goes something like this: “It’s OK if it’s a [...]

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The play’s the thing

John Merrow writes of an important life lesson he learned as a teacher in 1966.

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A speech I’d like to hear

John Merrow pens a speech for an important educational figure, and invites you — the reader — to do the same.

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Test question — can you spell ‘blackmail?’

Tweet As always, remember that John’s book The Influence of Teachers is for sale at Amazon. If memory serves, years ago a group of students at a California high school deliberately filled in incorrect answers on a test the state used to evaluate its schools, thereby guaranteeing that the school would sink in the rankings. [...]

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The international divide

Is the United States doing right by its students?

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E.D. Hirsch, Mike Smith and Linda Katz offer insights on reading development

On Monday, John Merrow wrote in his Taking Note blog about a new campaign to promote grade-level reading readiness by the third grade; in this installment of Taking Note, days later, he gets feedback from E.D. Hirsch, Mike Smith and Linda Katz on reading development.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Lottery

Put one notion to rest: The Lottery is not a poor cousin of Waiting for Superman. In some respects it’s a purer and more honest film, ferocious in its anger. And although an NPR reviewer called it “a devastating piece of propaganda,” the filmmaker begs to disagree.

Madeleine Sackler, not yet 30 years old, says The Lottery simply tells the stories of the lives of three families as they struggle to find better educational opportunities for their children. “That word, propaganda, has a negative connotation,” she said. “This movie is true.”

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