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One Year After Sandy Hook, This Hero Teacher is Still Paying it Forward

Kaitlin Roig didn't let the Sandy Hook tragedy define her or her students. Instead, she's paying the world's kindness forward.


As I try to reflect back over the past year, I still can't answer all of the whys. I will never be able to. My healing began the day I started to focus on the questions I knew I could answer. For myself, after enduring the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I knew two things for sure. I knew I could not let this tragedy define myself or my students, and I knew that I had to give my students and myself our control back. This knowledge led me to these two questions:

How can I make sure this tragedy does not define my students or myself moving forward?

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Why Creative Teaching is Essential For the Information Age

Abandoning a narrow, one-size-fits all approach to teaching would help students develop the curiosity they need to become innovators of the future.


There’s a belief in this country that every student should graduate from high school with the same standard set of knowledge. This standard curriculum is lengthy, and states spend many years—and plenty of money—creating fancy bullet-pointed lists of the subjects students are expected to know.

Sadly, the list of facts and formulas students need to perform well on a standardized test is freakishly small in comparison. And, because education policymakers have narrowed teachers' focus to these few topics, it becomes tempting to resort to drill-and-kill teaching methods that cover information in a generic, surface-level way. Unsurprisingly, instead of fostering curiosity—which is much more important in the long term than rote memorization—this approach causes students to tune out.

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Does Teach For America's Summer Institute Really Prepare Teachers for the Classroom?

Institute guru Susan Asiyanbi responds to some of the common critiques of the intensive process.


Over the next few weeks, 5,200 new Teach For America members will become first-year teachers in some of this nation’s most challenging school settings. In lieu of a traditional, year-long teacher preparation program, they just spent five weeks attending one of the organization's eight summer training institutes. That short time span makes the institute an intense experience, and critics say it can’t truly prepare corps members to teach.

The institutes are overseen by Susan Asiyanbi, Teach For America’s executive vice president for teacher preparation, support and development, who draws on her personal experience growing up on the South Side of Chicago and working as a corps member in Newark, New Jersey, as well her Kellogg M.B.A. We caught up with her to find out what the organization is doing to improve its training program, and got some answers to some of the common critiques of the process.

GOOD: What does a typical day at the institute look like for a corps member?

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That AP Class You Took Might Have Been a Fraud

Schools are slapping AP labels on dumbed-down classes that don't deserve it, and cheating kids into thinking they're learning AP when they're not.


Are AP classes a fraud? According to "High School Classes May Be Advanced in Name Only" in Monday's New York Times, it's a real possibility. It turns out that just as colleges engage in grade inflation to boost their reputations, our nation's high schools might be caving to pressure to enroll more kids in AP courses. Schools dumbing down the curriculum and slapping an AP label on a class just to look good is problem enough. But the real losers in this scenario are the students who think they're learning AP material when they're actually not.

Back in 1990 (when being an honors student was still prestigious enough), only 5 percent of students enrolled in AP classes. By 2010 the number of students taking supposedly more challenging AP classes rose to 13 percent. The percentage of kids taking AP exams has also almost tripled over the past decade, from 1.2 million in 2000 to 3.1 million in 2010.

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Help Decide Which High School Gets Obama as a Commencement Speaker

Six high schools are competing for the President to be their graduation speaker, and it's (partially) up to a public vote.


As part of the "Race to the Top Commencement Challenge," some lucky high school is going to have President Obama speak on campus on graduation day. A public vote, happening this week, will take the current pool of six finalists down to three semi-finalists, and then the President will choose the final winner himself.

Each of the schools—Booker T. Washington High School (Memphis, Tennessee); Bridgeport High School (Bridgeport, Washington); High Tech High International (San Diego); Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, School for Creative and Performing Arts (Pittsburgh); Science Park High School (Newark, New Jersey) and Wayne Early Middle College High School (Goldsboro, North Carolina)—made brief videos and wrote short essays spotlighting what makes them unique—whether its diversity, overcoming poverty, or an innovative curriculum.

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