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In "The Teaching Brain," Vanessa Rodriguez and her co-author separate teaching from the learning process.

In The Teaching Brain: An Evolutionary Trait at the Heart of Education, Vanessa Rodriguez and co-author Michelle Fitzpatrick go to the intersection of education, neuroscience and daily experience to explore how the mind of a teacher works, and more important, how it can be made more effective.

Teachers from Teachers College, Columbia University's new program visit nations like Colombia and then build capstone projects to bring their global learning back to U.S. classrooms.

Students join African drum circles in Virginia, debate immigration in the Bronx and participate in overseas book clubs in Minneapolis and Philadelphia. Teachers have brought these activities and others to their classrooms from a growing number of globally-focused teacher prep and professional development programs.

Kate Walsh is president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Are teacher prep programs giving out A’s and honors distinctions too easily?

Sharon P. Robinson is president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

As the U.S. Department of Education combs through the public comments received on its proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs, citizens must wait—probably until late summer—to learn the fate of the vast and controversial proposal.

The plan will require states to rate teacher preparation programs based on graduates’ performance—and then tie new teaching students’ eligibility for federal financial aid to those ratings.

Vince Bertram, formerly superintendent of Indiana’s third-largest urban school district, is now president of Project Lead The Way,

Project Lead The Way President Vince Bertram, a former superintendent, says STEM fields will present graduates with the most job prospects and highest earnings, yet there is a disconnect between who teaches those subjects, how they are taught and how they are applied in the real world.

New teachers in the first semester at the Wright City School District near St. Louis spend one day every month in PD. Teachers learn about assessment, teaching strategies and classroom management.

Teacher quality is crucial to the success of schooling, yet the teacher-hiring process is sometimes rushed and ad hoc. A late-summer flurry of activity in which subjective factors—from where a candidate went to high school to how many resumes an exhausted principal has already reviewed—can weigh as heavily as meaningful evidence of academic achievement or instructional effectiveness.

A National Council on Teacher Quality report compared grades given in teacher preps courses to other majors. (Click to enlarge)

A National Council on Teacher Quality report citing a lack of rigor and grade inflation in teacher preparation courses is being disputed by the organization that represents college and university education programs.

New York Times science reporter Benedict Carey students can benefit from switching up where they do homework, or even changing the music they listen to while studying.

In his book How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, New York Times science reporter Benedict Carey examines well-worn advice about learning, only to find much of it misguided or outdated. Instead, recent research shows that sometimes contradictory study techniques may actually lead to greater success in the classroom.

Administrators can use this web-based tool to observe and sustain effective instructional practice and classroom culture. Using an observation template on any laptop or tablet, data is collected during an evaluation and can be shared with teachers and other administrators via email. observe4success identifies trends by storing, sorting and analyzing data by teacher, grade level, department and school.


Such intervention software is designed to help districts reduce truancy and excessive absences. It allows administrators to track and analyze absence patterns, and compare the data to historical trends. A2A can turn this data into actionable reports, highlighting the areas that help district administrators address attendance concerns and increase parent involvement.

Reader Testimony: 

“A2A has not only helped our district track our attendance but also communicate early and often with our families. The response from families has been very positive and our attendance has improved from approximately 94 to 96 percent. Because of A2A, we have been able to not only track how many students are absent but when they are absent and where” — such as the specific classroom and community. — Margaret Lavin, director of student services, Redwood City School District, Calif.