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American Educator
Fall 2000


Table of Contents

Standards are Working (PDF)
But States and Districts Need to Make Some Mid-Course Corrections
By Sandra Feldman

AFT's president looks at the progress of standards reform and makes some pointed suggestions about what we should—and should not—do to fix what's wrong.

Swords and Pens
What the Military Can Show Us about Teaching Basic Skills to Young Adults

By Thomas G. Sticht

How can we help high school students who are falling behind in their struggle to meet higher standards? A technique for training new recruits, first used in World War II, looks promising.

At Play with Words
By Kenneth Koch

Providing children with some simple rules and structures and encouraging them to take chances can result in wonderful poetry.

Prompting Kids to Write (PDF)
By Traci Johnson Mathena

How do you get kids to stop worrying and start writing? A middle school teacher describes a framework that gives inexperienced and nervous writers the confidence to go ahead.

How to Establish Writing as a Way of Life (PDF)
By Shelley Harwayne

Writing need not be limited to classroom essays. A former middle school principal talks about how writing can flower when it becomes part of a school's everyday life.

A Level Playing Field? (PDF)
What We Can Learn from the New Zealand School Reform
By Edward B. Fiske and Helen F. Ladd

Supporters of market-style school reform often maintain that it will give more and better choices to kids who are currently being shortchanged. But that, as the authors tell us, is not what happened in New Zealand.

A Blackboard's Reflection
The Making of the Albert Shanker Memorial

By Jennie Shanker

Al Shanker's sculptor-daughter talks about choices and decisions she made in creating the Shanker memorial.

Al Shanker Remembers
In excerpts from interviews that he gave shortly before his death, Al talks about John Dewey, the appeal of socialism, teaching tough kids—and much else.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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