Stone Soup

Cross Posted at the Rethink Learning Now blog.

I have a folder on my desktop called Blog Fodder. I bookmark pages that I think are interesting and worth sharing and which spark some loquacious tendency in me. Typically I discover a theme and I’m off to the races. Sometimes I don’t. Today is one of those “don’t” days, so rather than serving up my typical smooth-as-silk-soup- style post, I’m sharing something a bit more stew-ey. Think of it as Stone Soup, Interweb-style.

First, in case you missed it, the Washington Post has the story of mass-teacher firings in Central Falls, Rhode Island.has the story of mass-teacher firings in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Edweek has posted this response, calling the measures “draconian.”

In related news, today President Obama unveils this plan for 5,000 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Under this plan, $900 million will be made available to districts that are willing to engage in one of four reform strategies: reform instructional strategies and improve teacher effectiveness, the “turnaround” model, “which requires replacing a principal and half the school staff and setting up a new structure of school governance and instructional program,” a “restart” in which schools close and then reopen as charters, and the final “closure” model in which kids are sent to a better school in the district.

“There’s got to be a sense of accountability,” Obama told the group. “Our kids get only one chance at an education. We need to get it right.”

The Washington Post has this today, about President Obama’s launch of “Grad Nation,” his new initiative to ensure that 90% of today’s 4th graders graduate. He’s supposed to share the details at the America’s Promise Alliance, but their website is describing it as

a 10-year campaign to mobilize the nation as never before to reverse the dropout crisis and enable our children to be prepared for success in college, work and life.

And while we’re talking about the USDOE, Arne Duncan will be hosting a Call with High School Students to Discuss Presidential Commencement Challenge and Education Reform on March 3 at 3:30 EST. Want to join in? Dial-in: 888-970-4134 Passcode: SCHOOLS

Edutopia provides a forum for Nicholas Provenzano (aka The Nerdy Teacher) as he builds on the February 23rd #edchat about students and their passion for learning. If you’ve never been a part of #edchat, get thee to Twitter tomorrow evening! It’s the best 140 characters you’ll ever read.

Finally, I really enjoyed this take on student motivation. She points out that motivation isn’t something a kid has or doesn’t have. The question, though, is why schools don’t tap into what motivates kids. On a related note, USA Today explores what it means to re-envision the Senior Year.

So there you have it. All the Edu-News that’s fit to blog.

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