American Educator: Summer 2007

  • Notebook

    New Mexico Expands Kindergarten-Plus

    It's no secret that, on average, disadvantaged children enter school behind. Even before first grade, they typically lag behind their middle-class peers when it comes to knowing their letters and numbers and exhibiting well-developed social skills. Poor kids tend to have fewer books at home and...

  • Critical Thinking

    Why Is It So Hard to Teach? Daniel T. Willingham
  • You Probably Solved the Puzzle Based on Hansel and Gretel—Now Try This One Based on Chao Chong

    WEB EXTRA Daniel T. Willingham

    As explained in the main article ("Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard to Teach?"), when experimenters showed American and Chinese college students the puzzle that required a treasure hunter to make a sand trail to...

  • The Quest for Professional Voice

    Why It Has Been—and Continues to Be—High on Our Teacher Union Agenda Leo Casey

    For all of the conflicts that divide American education today, there is a remarkably broad consensus on one central idea: The classroom teacher makes a huge difference in the successful education of a student.1 This insight has been commonplace among educators and parents, but more...

  • The Heart and Mind of a Teacher Unionist

    Leo Casey

    Like many teachers, I did not originally plan on a career in K–12 education. I came from a family of teachers—both of my parents taught in New York City public schools, and four of my five siblings are educators—but my passions were politics and the life of the mind, and as I approached 30, I...

  • Uncovering Academic Success

    Karin Chenoweth

    Can it be done? Can schools help all children learn to high levels, even poor children who typically enter school far behind their more privileged peers? Is it even possible?

    As a longtime education reporter and columnist, I knew the answer was yes, but I knew it as an article of faith...

  • Inside Philadelphia's M. Hall Stanton Elementary School

    Karin Chenoweth

    Anyone looking for a dramatic turnaround of a school need look no further than M. Hall Stanton Elementary. In just two years, Stanton went from being a school where few children met state standards to one where most students met them. Stanton sits in just about as difficult an urban environment...

  • Results Like These Are No Fluke

  • Sharing the Secret of Success

    Stanton Teachers Tell How the School Improved

    Several teachers have spent their entire careers at Stanton. They remember the school's past struggles and have witnessed—and contributed to—its transformation.

    American Educator talked to first-grade teacher Pam Mace, who has been at Stanton for 13 years, fifth-grade teacher...

  • A Place for Poetry

    Together Poetry and History Make Field Trips Memorable Anne Marie Whittaker

    Islands and peninsulas, continents and capes,
    Dromedaries, cassowaries, elephants and apes,
    Rivers, lakes and waterfalls, whirlpools and the sea,
    Valley-beds and mountain-tops—are all Geography!
    The capitals of...