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Kirylo, James D. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
Largely led by parents of school-age children from around the country, the opt-out movement has gained momentum in resisting the overuse of standardized testing. The author, a teacher educator, former K-12 teacher, and parent, argues that the opt-out movement is raising awareness regarding standardized testing and opening the door toward policy…
Descriptors: Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Policy
Niesz, Tricia – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
Teacher activist groups (TAGs), which are formed both locally and through online communities, appear to be a growing force in response to the more corporate-driven reform movement of recent decades. The author explains how TAGs seek to influence education policy and practice through organized collective actions, such as protests, letter-writing…
Descriptors: Activism, Teacher Role, Educational Policy, Educational Practices
O'Connor, Ken; Jung, Lee Ann; Reeves, Douglas – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
The authors posit that the traditional grading system involving points and percentages is not the best way to prepare students to be the self-directed, independent learners they need to be. A better system would produce grades that are FAST (fair, accurate, specific, timely). To bring about these changes, school leaders need not create full…
Descriptors: Grading, Skill Development, Study Skills, Grades (Scholastic)
Greene, Jay P.; McShane, Michael Q. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
Over the last two decades, federal and state policy makers have launched a number of ambitious, large-scale education reform initiatives--No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core State Standards, and others--only to see them sputter and fail. In 2017, the authors convened a number of leading scholars to explore why those initiatives…
Descriptors: Educational Change, Failure, Educational Policy, Educational Legislation
Stosich, Elizabeth Leisy; Bae, Soung – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states greater flexibility in designing educational policy, but questions remain about whether and how states will use this opportunity to design truly innovative new policies to support higher levels of student learning. The authors describe how educational leaders in four states--California, Iowa, New…
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Stakeholders, Educational Policy
Gross, Magdalena H.; Terra, Luke – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
All modern nation-states have periods of difficult history that teachers fail to address or address inadequately. The authors present a framework for defining difficult histories and understanding what makes them difficult. These events 1) are central to a nation's history, 2) contradict accepted histories or values, 3) connect with present…
Descriptors: History Instruction, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Course Content, Misconceptions
Heller, Rafael – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
"Kappan"'s editor talks with Michigan State University's Sarah Reckhow about her research into the ways wealthy private philanthropies have influenced K-12 education in recent years. As Reckhow explains, not only have Gates, Broad, Walton, and other big foundations spent unprecedented amounts of money to support their favored reform…
Descriptors: Educational Finance, Private Financial Support, Philanthropic Foundations, Elementary Secondary Education
Rumberger, Alyson – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
Leveled reading, in which students select "just right" books based on their assessed reading level, has become a significant part of elementary reading instruction. However, libraries remain places where students can select books to read outside their reading levels. Based on observations of 1st-grade students, the author describes how…
Descriptors: Reading Material Selection, Libraries, Grade 1, Elementary School Students
Van Ryzin, Mark J.; Roseth, Cary J. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
As children reach adolescence, peer groups gain special power to influence their behavior, and young people tend to adapt their behavior to fit group norms. When students engage in bullying, alcohol and drug abuse, and other behavior, those in their peer group are more likely to engage in those behaviors as well. The authors sought to evaluate…
Descriptors: Peer Influence, Student Behavior, Peer Teaching, Cooperative Learning
Andrews, Gordon P.; Warren, Wilson J. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
The authors describe the politicization of the process to revise Michigan's social studies standards from 2005 to the present. In 2005, critics objected to the omission of topics they considered important, even though the content expectations document was not intended to be an exhaustive list of material to be covered. The latest, more limited…
Descriptors: Politics of Education, Social Studies, State Standards, Educational History
Neumann, Jacob W. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
People often think that power only flows downhill in school. The author draws on his own research observations, as well as the philosophy of Michel Foucault, to offer more nuanced insights. He explains that power is not a "thing" people can possess and that it flows in multiple directions, forming a web of influence. These insights…
Descriptors: Power Structure, Educational Environment, Influences, Teacher Role
White, Rachel S. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
As the Every Student Succeeds Act is returning authority over teacher evaluation policies back to the states, policy makers at the state level have the opportunity to revise their policies. But who will they listen to when it comes to potential reforms? The author surveyed education policy makers to determine to what degree teachers, education…
Descriptors: State Policy, Teacher Evaluation, State Government, Government Role
Preston, Teresa – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
This exploration of Phi Delta Kappan's archives shows how the magazine has covered questions related to the purposes, governance, and funding of the public schools. Articles have discussed the role of schools in a democratic society, how schools should relate to the public, whether public funds should be diverted to private and religious schools,…
Descriptors: Public Education, Public Schools, Role of Education, Educational Objectives
Labaree, David F. – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
Eminent historian David Labaree describes a gradual shift, over the last two centuries, in Americans' beliefs and attitudes about the goals of public education. At its founding, our school system was designed mainly to serve the public good, conceived at the time as an effort to create a unified citizenry. By the early 20th century, the schools…
Descriptors: Public Education, Educational Attitudes, Educational Objectives, Educational History
Driver, Justin – Phi Delta Kappan, 2018
Although, at one time, many observers believed that the courts and the schools should have little to do with each other, Justin Driver argues that the public school has, in recent decades, served as the single most significant site of constitutional interpretation in the nation's history. He traces four reasons for this growing intersection…
Descriptors: Constitutional Law, Public Schools, Courts, United States History
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