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By Michelle Strater Gunderson. When I was small and my world was safe, I would wake up on Christmas morning and there would always be an orange at the bottom of my stocking – a “store bought orange” as my mother would say. Because, you see, on our family farm it was always a source of pride that almost …

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By Michelle Gunderson. The children in my first grade classroom play. There are no academic centers where a teacher rings a bell and children move from activity to activity. That might look like play, but it is not. We have body breaks where we sing and dance, but we do not call it play because it is not. We play …

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This is the seventh in a series of blog posts focused on the value of art in our lives, and the role art can play in resisting the test and punish model of education.  See the intro and links to other posts in the series here. By Susan Harris MacKay. In these times, when the demolition of a place as historic …

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By Susan DuFresne.  In my first post,  I tell you why advocacy for children of trauma is personal. Here, while protecting their identities, I tell you their stories and why we must create Compassionate Schools. Childhood trauma has impacted my health across my entire lifetime. This is not uncommon according to …

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By Susan DuFresne. Last year around this time of year, I wrote Beyond the Edge: Climbing Mt. Edreform.  This time of year is always a time of reflection for me, because not only is it the end of the year, but you see, New Year’s Eve is my birthday and it always brings back memories of childhood trauma. I …

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By Michelle Gunderson.   One of the things you learn as an elementary teacher in the Chicago Public Schools is to always have materials available and an extra desk or space for new students. You learn to expect the unexpected and that a child can show up on your doorstep at any minute of any day. And usually it …

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By Susan Dufresne and Anthony Cody. In the past 13 years of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top test-driven education policies, art has been pushed to the margins in our schools. Students have lost countless hours for creating art, music and dance that expresses themselves. But artistic expression is like the …

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By John Thompson. The good news is that graduation rates are improving across the nation (see this announcement from a few days ago.) The best news is that social science points the way to even greater progress. Ironically, corporate school reformers, who have focused obsessively on improving student …

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In 2013, I shared a post written by a New York City elementary teacher, entitled “Data Shows Not Enough Teaching.” She is back today with an update, and although there has been a change in administration in New York City, testing at her school is excessive as ever. By Katie Lapham. While the public in New York …