Announcing new ebook available on Education Reform

I thought I'd share some exciting news with you.  I've begun a new series of books exploring tough topics in education and suggesting real, practical ways for solving them. The series is entitled "Education Reform and Other Myths" and the first book in the series "Examining the Stumbling Blocks in our System and What to Do About Them" is available TODAY on Amazon Kindle.  Education Reform Myths Stumbling blocks in the system and solutions

Through Amazon Kindle, you also have the opportunity to participate in their lending library -- I'm really excited about that part, although it's only going to be available for the first 90 days of the book's Kindle publication.

To check it out for yourself, visit Education Reform and Other Myths on Amazon!

I'm eager to see what you think of it. For the first 25 people who read this book and write a review of it, I'll give you a copy of the next book in the series "Breaking the Bully Culture" for FREE.  Drop me an email when your review is posted and I'll put you on the list to get your complimentary copy of "Breaking the Bully Culture!"

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You can’t teach them if they’re not paying attention…

Yes, this is a basic statement and will likely cause several "yeah, duh" reactions, but it's surprising how overlooked this simple truth really is.  When we read about the factors influencing education, we hear so much about curriculum - whether there should be national standards or not, should there be more emphasis on STEM, etc. Or, funding -- there is a never-ending litany of schools/districts/states talking about how there isn't enough money to do what needs to be done.  Classroom size is another oft-debated topic -- our classrooms are still "over-crowded" yet on average they have been getting consistently smaller over the last 30 years.  Or how about charter schools are the better way to educate our children?

The one thing that gets VERY little attention, however, and has, frankly the biggest impact on education is student behavior. All of the above things I just mentioned are directly affected, for good or for bad, by how students conduct themselves in the classroom, yet this is virtually never addressed in any high-level discussions on how to improve education!

I know it's a problem, both from my direct experience in the classroom as well as from discussions and feedback from teachers and administrators. Take, for example, this comment on a recent posting of mine. Steve wrote (more…)

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Bullying: “If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist”

Do you remember being a child and pretending that if you had your eyes closed you or someone else with whom you were playing the game was invisible?  The thinking was, "If I can't see you, you aren't there."  Well, most of us grew up and learned that just because you aren't looking at something or someone, it doesn't mean it's not there.

I read an article this morning in the Miami Herald that has me concerned that our schools may be falling into the same child-like dreamland.  The gist of the article is that in Florida, apparently cases of bullying are going under-reported in school districts across the state. If you look at the chart cited in the article, bullying has decreased in every school district over the past two years listed (2008-2009, 2009-2010).  Virtually half of the school districts in the state, the Herald shares, reported fewer than 10 bullying incidents per year.

School district officials question these statistics. Pinellas County reported only 71 bullying incidents in 2009-2010. Given what we know of previous data, school district size, and average rates of bullying nationwide, the officials would have expected a number closer to a little over 1,100.  (more…)

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