Teachers Swap Lesson Plans for Cold, Hard Cash
"Thousands of teachers are cashing in on a commodity they used to give away," reports the New York Times. But selling lesson plans appears to be diminishing the isolation that teachers feel in the classroom and increasing their cooperation:
Lauren Perreca, 24, used a $10 lesson on the Vietnam War novel 'Fallen Angels' as a reference last year while creating her own lesson for her classes at Weston High School in Connecticut. She also revised her reading questions about 'Lord of the Flies' after comparing them with two other lesson plans.
"At first I was self-conscious I had bought something, because what did that say about me?" she said. "But I realized I wasn’t just taking it and using it, I was adapting it to fill in the gaps of my knowledge."
Unfortunately, legal and ethical concerns are brewing. NYU professor Joseph McDonald fears that "the online selling cheapens what teachers do and undermines efforts to build sites where educators freely exchange ideas and lesson plans." Though education blogger Joanne Jacobs responds by asking, "So teachers who create value are obliged to give it away?"
A Calculated Risk
At a low-performing high school packed with students still struggling to learn English, you might not expect an AP Calculus course to be the one filling seats. But as the Voice of San Diego tells us, "This isn't your typical calculus class. [...] It is a different way of teaching math, deeply personal and tailored to English learners who struggle with problems loaded with words." If that doesn't inspire you, check out the high school's honors math fraternity!
Changes in Chicago Magnet School Admissions
Income and other socioeconomic factors will now come into play when reviewing student applications for Chicago magnet and selective enrollment schools. "It's a departure from the last 30 years," Chicago Public Radio explains, "when race had been the deciding factor." But Catalyst Chicago asks, "Can the district achieve [racial diversity], especially in the most sought-after magnets, which have already become less diverse in recent years?"