American Educator, Spring 2015 In this issue

  • Where We Stand: Reading—A Lifelong Love

    Randi Weingarten

    I can’t imagine my life without books. My father was an electrical engineer, and my mother was a public school teacher; books were an integral part of my childhood. Throughout my career as a lawyer, teacher, and labor leader, books have remained my constant companions—stuffed into a briefcase,...

  • News in Brief

    Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is in full swing, and some of the most powerful messages to Congress on what needs to change under the law have come from educators. In January, teachers from New York City...

  • For the Love of Reading

    Engaging Students in a Lifelong Pursuit Daniel T. Willingham

    How should American teens spend their leisure time? I recently asked* American adults this question, after explaining that the typical teen enjoys approximately five hours of leisure time each weekday.1 The activity with the...

  • A Friend in First Book

    What started out as a simple book-giveaway event has blossomed into a far-reaching partnership to expand access to books for children and families in need. As part of the AFT’s 2011 Back to School tour, First Book, a national nonprofit dedicated to donating books and raising the quality of...

  • Quieting the Teacher Wars

    What History Reveals about an Embattled Profession Dana Goldstein

    I began writing my book The Teacher Wars in early 2011 with a simple observation: Public school teaching had become the most controversial profession in America. Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, and even the Democratic governor of deep-blue Massachusetts, sought to...

  • You Are Embarked

    How a Philosophy Curriculum Took Shape and Took Off Diana Senechal

    Outdoors, the wind blew and the rain fell. Indoors, 10th-graders wrestled with Blaise Pascal’s Wager—his argument that one has everything to gain and little to lose by choosing to believe in God. “Yes, but you must wager,” he writes. “It is not optional. You are embarked.”1 He then...

  • Puzzling Out PISA

    What Can International Comparisons Tell Us about American Education? William H. Schmidt, Nathan A. Burroughs

    It is no secret that disadvantaged children are more likely to struggle in school. For decades now, public policy has focused on how to reduce the achievement gap between poorer students and more-affluent students. Despite numerous reform efforts, these gaps remain virtually unchanged—a fact...

  • Group Work for the Good

    Unpacking the Research behind One Popular Classroom Strategy Tom Bennett

    It wasn’t until I had been teaching 11- to 18-year-olds for four years that I realized I had been consistently misled. Up until that point I had trusted my teacher training to provide the best of what had been discovered in the discipline of teaching and learning. If I had been shown a method or...

  • Teachers Uncaged

    Helping Educators Create Meaningful Change Frederick M. Hess

    There’s a lot of smart guidance out there for teachers seeking advice on instruction, pedagogy, curriculum, and culture. But, when it comes to dealing with the practical frustrations that can trip teachers up every day, not so much. For teachers struggling with technology, wasted time,...

  • What We’re Reading

    Books about education—some good, some bad, a few great—are published at a constant rate. Here at the AFT, we want to let educators know what they might find worth reading. Starting with this issue of American Educator, “What We’re Reading” will appear in these pages. This new...

  • Share My Lesson

    A Partnership for High-Quality Lessons

    “Building Better Classrooms,” a three-year effort in Cleveland, Ohio, has enabled teachers in grades K–12 to take the lead in preparing high-quality instructional materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

    The partnership between the Cleveland Teachers Union (CTU) and the...

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American Educator Spring 2014–2015

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