In Reform Battle, Teachers Oppose Testing, Support Standards

The results of a humongous survey of 40,000 school teachers, developed and funded jointly by USA Today, Scholastic, and the Bill...

The results of a humongous survey of 40,000 school teachers, developed and funded jointly by USA Today, Scholastic, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are out today and put in perspective where on the reform battlefield the actual classroom educators stand.

According to a story in USA Today, only 7 percent of teachers believe that students' test scores are an accurate reflection of teacher performance. Rather, 55 percent support evaluating teachers on "student growth over course of an academic year." How that would be determined is not explicitly stated, though a Fresno, California-based teacher deciphers it as students "performing at levels which will prepare [students] for college and for the real world." (My question is, "performing on what?")

Interestingly, only 29 percent of the teachers surveyed think that merit pay will have a great effect on student performance and 10 percent see the granting of tenure as indicative of a good teacher. Also, a majority support the adoption of common standards for academics.

Here's a number that made me laugh: 31 percent said that "self-evaluation" is an accurate measure of performance. (And they wonder why everyone is gunning for them and their unions.)

Photo (cc) by Flickr user ronmad.

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading