Curriculum. What are the goals of education today in America? What do we wish to achieve as educators? If curriculum is the road map, what should our children know prior to them graduating? Once goals are set what should the curriculum be?
Standardized Testing. High stakes testing- is it distorting and undermining the learning process? Teachers and schools professional survival has become so dependent on test scores- is it giving powerful incentive to cut corners? Cities & states are frequently lowering standards to create the appearance of increased success, thoughts and feelings on this?
Unions & Collective Bargaining. From an educator’s standpoint, what are some of your opinions with the unions and how we can better support them or not?
Assessment. It’s clear there are many problems with our current assessment for accountability regime. How should we as educators approach the assessment of student learning in our schools? Have our standards been dumbed down?
Equitable Funding. What do you as educators envision? How do you feel about merit pay schemes? Competitive grants for federal dollars etc?
Technology. How is virtual schooling affecting education? Where are we going with technology and students? Pro’s & Con’s.
Teacher Evaluations. The current teacher evaluation systems are being questioned in a number of states. Tenure protections are changing from seniority to performance based, teacher observations may be conducted four times a year and independent observers or a “second opinion” may also be introduced. What are your thoughts on the possible changes to the system?
Parental Involvement. How important is parental involvement in a student’s education? Can a parent’s over involvement have a negative effect on their child, what are the boundaries? What is your opinion of “parent trigger laws”?
high school diploma vs. GED. Is the GED still comparable to a high school diploma and is it a valuable asset in this economy and job market?
What is the future of the teaching profession? With a lack of teaching jobs and a misdistribution of qualified teachers what can we expect for the future?
Recruitment, Retention, and Recognition. Corresponding with June’s topic ‘what is the future of the teaching profession?’ What do you think is the most effective way to recruit new teachers? How can we ensure that we retain effective teachers throughout our education system and what is the best way to recognize the unbelievable work of our nation’s educators?
The Decline of Teachers Unions and its Effect on Education.
The Presidential Election. How might the upcoming election affect our education system in the U.S.?
Public Charter Schools. Public charter schools have been both criticized and supported since their development 20 years ago. In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of charter schools?
Alternative Methods of Teaching. Alternative teaching methods, such as “blended learning” have been introduced in classrooms nationwide. Please share your thoughts on this particular teaching method and discuss other methods that are being used.
Education Reform. In your opinion, are there specific areas of our current public education system that require reform more than others? If so, describe these areas and potential changes.
Re-structuring vs. Closing. A considerable amount of school districts have discussed closing schools, with two of the most recent being DC and Philadelphia. Do you feel that schools should be closed or re-structured? In terms of re-structuring, what should be the role of the current principal, teachers, etc?
A day in the life… Please share your own personal teaching experience and comment on a typical day in the classroom including teaching strategies, lesson plans, goals, etc.
Common Core State Standards. Please explain your experience with the new CCSS. Has your school district accepted the new standards? If so, has the transition been challenging? Discuss the positive and negatives of the CCSS initiative.
Cheating. How can cheating be prevented? In your opinion, why do students cheat? Have you noticed an increase in cheating as new technology has been introduced?
School Choice and Vouchers. What are the present arguments for and against school vouchers? Please share your own opinions on this topic.
Teacher Challenges. Please share some of the challenges you faced this school year. Are these challenges faced every year or have new obstacles recently developed? How might these challenges be prevented or overcome in the future?
Teacher Preparation Programs. The National Council on Teacher Quality recently released a study that addressed the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs throughout America. Please share your own thoughts on teacher preparation programs.
Expectations for the 2013-2014 school year. With the start of the school year right around the corner, we would like you to share your expectations for the new year.
STEM Education (Science, Technology, Education, Mathematics) Please discuss your experience with STEM education programs in your own classroom or school district.
Differentiated Instruction. Is differentiated instruction an approach that you use in your own classroom? If so, what are some of the challenges that come with adjusting the curriculum to reach individual learners and ensure that they are taking in the information that is being taught? Please comment on this teaching framework.
Online Testing. Have there been issues in your school district regarding online testing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online testing, compared to traditional pencil and paper testing?
Education Reform. In December of 2012, we discussed education reform and particular areas of our public education system that require reform more than others. How have these issues developed over the past year? In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues today and how might they be reformed?