Educational CyberPlayGround ®


Why do many states put in place such onerous requirements to become a teacher? There is no widely agreed-upon definition of quality teaching — or how to measure it, how to prepare someone to teach, and how to ensure that a prospective teacher will be effective — it's no surprise that 50 different states can't agree either. The certification maze why teachers who cross state lines can't get back into the classroom! The difficulty in transferring teacher certification from state to state to the detriment of student achievement.

TOTAL FAIL BY ADMINISTRATORS - State Superintendents Teachers should file a lawsuit against the state.

  1. there is only a modest relationship between someone's ability to do well on a certification test and their performance in the classroom. Some have argued that this is because paper-and-pencil exams are inadequate, but even the EdTPA, a performance-based assessment, has limited value in assessing teachers' contributions to student achievement, according to a recent study.
  2. Studies have not consistently shown which types of teacher training are effective and which aren't.
  3. Real Answer: The colleges, Phillip Rogers, head of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, the AFT, the NEA - the National teachers unions do not address the issue!

Why can't we have a relatively straightforward path to reciprocity?? Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which he sees as part of the solution. The group grants accreditation to teacher prep programs based on standards designed to ensure quality. Koch thinks that reciprocity should be granted to any teacher who has graduated from a nationally accredited teacher training program. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification has compiled certification agreements between most states in the country. They are not reciprocity agreements but simply a collection of the (often obscure) requirements for moving teaching credentials from state to state. The researchers note that this may be caused by licensure rules as well as the lack of pension portability and the benefits of maintaining seniority in the same state. The paper argues that such policies are harmful: “Barriers to mobility might exacerbate teacher shortages and increase attrition from the profession.”
The Pennsylvania certification test that she had successfully passed wasn't the one used by New York. Kocher said she initially submitted four separate certificate applications because she wasn't sure which ones she would qualify for, and has since been granted two “initial conditional” certifications. To get them, she had to pass four separate tests, costing more than $500 in total.
To obtain her “initial” license, Kocher will also have to pass an exam called the EdTPA, which costs an additional $300. A handful of states, including Arizona and Florida, issue certifications to out-of-state teachers with relatively few requirements. One state, Delaware, grants reciprocity based solely on evidence that a teacher was effective in his or her past position.

  • Twenty-five states have adopted a uniform bar exam that can be transferred across those states.
  • Similarly, 25 states use a single license for nurses.
  • All 50 states use the same certification exam for architects.
    Accountants have a uniform exam, and most states have adopted rules to make it easier for CPAs to work across state lines.
  • Journalists don't have licensure or certification rules and can freely move from state to state in their field.
Users post resumes and professional information. Prospective employees can also buy information regarding the schools they are interested in, so they can learn more about the system where they are applying.





Problem: Every year, kindergarten students have a special girl's event, where parents and daughters participate in a special activity, and a special boy's event for parents and sons. This year, the girls's event was a fairy themed tea party at a hotel. I just learned that the upcoming boys event will be a field trip to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. I know this museum - it is lots of fun for kids who like technology and planes. I am absolutely incensed over this kind of gender stereotyping.

Like the private sector, a principal can dictate top-down policy changes such as equitable access. And like the private sector, any change achieved will be surface level unless the employees (teachers) buy into why it's necessary. Parents can convince the teacher that gender should not dictate educational opportunities, which has a much higher chance of creating institutional change. When another parent or teacher asks why the activities are open to either gender, the teacher can explain why logic, common sense, and non-discriminatory policies required it - all because a parent gave him/her the chance to change without the specter of disciplinary action. Otherwise, a top-down policy will simply drive the gender bias to more subtle manifestations. Good principals and executives are not immune to bottom-up change, as long as it can be rationally explained. People, including educators, are sometimes unaware of their internalized biases. Giving them an opportunity to examine and change their bias in a non-threatening manner can produce better outcomes, especially when considering concern for children's well being.
All of that aside, it is entirely possible that the gender bias has been created and/or fed by the principal. If the teacher and principal are not willing to view things rationally, Parents should request to speak at the next Board meeting which will difinately get their attention.

Gender Bias is potentially illegal based on title IX, so it would be wise for the school or district to make changes for other reasons.

• Lack of inclusion for single-parent families.
• Lack of inclusion for same-gender parented families.
• School funds spent on non-academic activities. This might not be the case, but if the activity is associated with the school or with any organization associated with the school, it's worth addressing.
It might be worth it to talk to the district about the number of children who are un-invited simply because their family doesn't fall into someone's idea of the standard.
A conversation with the district that included the words "equal,"
"unwelcome," "educational value," and "opportunities" would hit enough buttons to get them started thinking about changing the format of the activities.


Be Ready, You Need to Know . . .

Does you District Internet Use Policy have provisions addressing disclosure of student personal information on sites like It should.

Do you know the difference between free speech rights (including expressing viewpoints that administrators and teachers may not like) and free speech wrongs (ex: defamation, harassment) and are able to teach your student? You should.

On family

Yes the school district got sued and lost!

Webcam Spy Federal Investigation

2009 Do we want the next generation to grow up comfortable with being tracked? There has been an expedited push to force many people to accept biometrics as normal tracking tools for everyday life. Online, we often read of new tools capable of tracking our every move so that our behavior can be tracked, targeted, and sold to advertisers. Several groups and individuals, however, have been pushing back and demanding privacy, so companies have begun to shift their focus towards children. The question of tracking children keeps coming up in newspapers, editorials, blogs, and magazines and we must face it realistically instead of ignoring it. We cannot always rely on organizations, such as the ACLU and EFF, to do the investigations for us.

In an open letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department, ACLU-NC and EFF are asking officials to disclose what technical and security measures are used by the system to safeguard the privacy and safety of preschoolers, as well as what data is collected, how long it is retained, and who has access to the information. The letter also calls on officials to publicly address why and how the government decided to track Head Start students, and if the government plans to expand such tracking.

  • Privacy of Student Records
  • Security - Privacy, Laws
  • Freedom of Information Act
    List of statuary citations of FOI laws. Find education-related records and reports concerning allegations of corporal punishment in your local area schools, and investigative reports concerning alleged misconduct by your local area school district employees available to the public.
  • K-12 Copyright Law for CLASSROOM TEACHERS
  • CopyRight <> CopyLeft
  • Publishing Students Pics on your school site Release Form
  • Free speech rights apply to speech on the Internet.
    "Today the First Amendment protects students' speech to the same extent as in 1979 or 1969, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Tinker v. Des Moines," Judge Thomas McPhee said. In that case, the high court issued a landmark ruling that, "Students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." See
    "Never let your schooling interfere with your education." --Mark Twain
    "God made the idiot for practice, then he created the school board." --Mark Twain
  • School Bomb Threats / Drugs - Use Dogs
  • Chilling Effects Do you know your online rights?
    Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? Understand intellectual property laws and the First Amendment protections give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, parody politicians, celebrate their favorite movie stars, or criticize businesses. Individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence online users.
  • Teacher Absenteeism
    is rapidly becoming an important topic area of educational policy analysis largely because of its direct impact on the quality of instruction and its association with poor participation in school reform efforts.

Screening Volunteers and Background Checks

Here are some citations or links to resources that may be useful in providing input towards determining the shape and nature of a policy that meets the security and ethical considerations of providing quality volunteers for educational programs and that meets the political considerations of the school boards or other policy making or implementing groups making decisions on volunteer standards and screening policies.

  • Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2005 Presents data on crime and safety at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population. A joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics, this annual report examines crime occurring in school as well as on the way to and from school. It also provides the most current detailed statistical information on the nature of crime in schools, school environments, and responses to violence and crime at school. There doesn't seem to be any statistics here keeping track of crimes committed by teachers.
    Opportunities for school choice in the United States have expanded since the 1990s. This report uses data from the National Household Surveys Program (NHES) to present trends that focus on the use of and users of public schools (assigned and chosen), private schools (church- and non church-related), and homeschoolers between 1993 and 2003. The percentage of students enrolled in their assigned public school decreased from 80 percent to 74 percent between 1993 and 2003, while this decrease was nearly offset by an increase in chosen public school enrollment from 11 to 15 percent between 1993 and 2003. During this same time period, enrollment in church-related private schools remained stable at 8 percent and enrollment in non church-related private schools increased from 1.6 to 2.4 percent. This report also presents data on parental perceptions of public school choice availability and associations between the public and private school types children were enrolled in and parental satisfaction with and involvement in the schools. About one-half of all students have parents who reported that public school choice was available in their community, with one-quarter of students attending assigned public schools having parents who considered enrolling them in a school other than the one they were currently attending, while 17 percent of all students and 27 percent of Black students attended a school other than their parents first-choice school. Generally, there were no parental involvement differences detected between students enrolled in assigned and chosen public schools. Parents of students in private schools reported more direct involvement in their childrens schools than parents of students enrolled in other types of schools.
  • Illinois School Board Journal November-December 2000
    It's the law in Illinois by James Russell IASB director of publications. Illinois law, not board policy, has been largely responsible for the dearth of criminals being hired by Illinois public schools
  • Volunteer Management Bibliography
    Compiled by Steve McCurley Latest Version: February 1999
  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act An Overview and Advice to Locals
    NYSUT Information Bulletin 200102 January 2001
  • Index of Web Sites Featuring Volunteer Management Information & Resources
    This information was last updated on May 1, 2000 Volunteer Management Information & Resources



K12 School District Technology Grants, Sponsors and Funding


Develop The Technology Plan

  • Educate administrators to integrate technology and teaching.
  • <Law Suit The School District gets sued and loses because there was no Technology plan in effect for the Apple Laptop webcams that were used to spy on students in their homes.
  • There are Technology Standards for School Administrators
    TSSA has standards for administrators. They must be competent also. By educating the administrator you will also reinforce the use of technology by example.
  • Develop long range tech. staff development programs.
  • Assess current and future resource needs.
  • Assist teachers in planning for the use and integration of technology into the curriculum. Technical knowledge is only part of the job description.
  • Develop necessary web applications/sites... not just static HTML
  • Evaluate and implement approved instructional technology initiatives, instructing teachers in both the traditional classroom atmosphere and online.
  • Identify and apply for appropriate grants to help procure funding for said technology initiatives.
  • Chair a district committee on educational technology initiatives.
  • Traditional classroom instruction will occur between the consultant and teacher during one of the teacher's preparation periods on a weekly basis. Additional face-to-face sessions will occur during other inservice opportunities.
  • Face-to-face session the consultant should incorporate several tutorial sessions, PowerPoint demonstrations, scheduled chat sessions and literature references on a web page. These tutorial sessions and modules created should range from Beginning computer skills (identifying the main hardware and desktop elements), Beginning, intermediate and advanced Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, web page development and Internet searching skills. The key to each session is to make the knowledge gained relevent and applicable. In most sessions teachers should walk away with "Wow, I just made a (web page, parent letter, gradebook, etc)".
  • Inservicing during the summer should be a decision made with the teachers' input. Usually volunteer opportunities for in-services work well during the summer months.
  • And you my want to have:
    -- IT certification from Microsoft, Cisco, SAP
    -- Master's degree in Ed. Tech, Instructional Design, or related field
    -- Formal instructional design expertise in the or similar model.
    -- At least 2 years classroom experience & valid teacher certification so they can -- identify with the trials, tribulations and triumphs of a classroom teacher.

Single Sex Classrooms / Schools - Gender Grouping

Single-sex education advocates say research abroad and in private schools supports their contention that boys and girls learn better in classrooms tailored to their learning styles -- more competitive for the boys, more collaborative for the girls. However, David Sadker, a co-author of "Failing at Fairness: How Our Schools Cheat Girls" (Touchstone Books, $14), said studies on the benefits of same-sex education for girls vary, but some suggest that students at all-girl schools are not only more confident, but also more likely to go to graduate school and venture into math and science. Reliable studies on the benefits of same-sex education for boys are scant. Source


Wed, 5 Jul 2000 from Edupage (New York Times July 3 2000)
Although 95 percent of American schools now have Internet access, many teachers still do not know how to use the tools or do not feel comfortable using the technology in their classrooms. According to a survey by Market Data Retrieval, 61 percent of teachers in elementary or secondary schools consider themselves "somewhat prepared" or "not at all prepared" to incorporate technology into their lessons. Many of these teachers feel intimidated by having computers in their classrooms, especially when their students may have more computer experience than they do, while other teachers simply do not think computers add anything to the educational process. The White House has already given $75 million worth of grants for teachers' technology instruction, and Intel is creating a group of "master teachers" from across the country who will then be able to train other teachers.


(Chronicle of Higher Education Online, June 30 2000) http://www.iste.orgThe International Society for Technology in Education has released national standards and recommendations for colleges that will be used in preparing teachers to use technology effectively in the classroom. The U.S. Department of Education awarded the nonprofit group a three-year, $2.2 million grant last year to develop the standards, which describe what beginning teachers should know and be able to do with technology. Teachers should be able to use technology in developing curricula, increasing professional knowledge, and assessing students.