thinking between the lines

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An Invitation to Explore the Role of Image

December 30, 2013

I’ve always wondered about Jesus’ response to the religious leaders concerning the payment of taxes. The story goes something like this… The Pharisees and the Herodians were desperately trying to shut down Jesus’ momentum. With a simple message of love and hope, he was changing the world right before their eyes, and they were smart… Read More ›

Threats of Failure on 8-year-old Shoulders

You know those days when everything thrown at you comes with an “or else” attached to it?  The days when you physically clasp the palms of your hands to your head and squeeze? Sales reps, you get this, right? Public service workers, what about you? Restaurant wait staff? Can I get a shout out from… Read More ›

How It All Began & How to Fix It: The Cult of Student Testing

Very informative from Tom Pauken. The solution is simple, if not easy. We need to allow for multiple pathways to a high school degree. One academic pathway would emphasize math and science. Another, the humanities and fine arts. A third would focus on career and technical education. All students would get the basics, but there… Read More ›

Don’t Buy the Snake Oil

Shuffling through the pressing crowd at the convention center, I felt very much out of place, but at the same time a bit privileged. I, along with another teacher from the district, had been invited to attend a regional meeting for administrators for the unveiling of some incredible evaluation tool that would change everything when… Read More ›

Five Questions for Texas Parents

Because parent voices are the driving force behind educational change, I’m hoping these five questions will reach every parent in the State of Texas and encourage each one to seriously consider the STAAR/EOC testing system we’ve built for our students. Question #1: Are you okay with how much the State is paying for this testing program? By 2015, the tax payers of Texas… Read More ›

Follow-up: “To America from a Teacher”

When I clicked the button to post “To America from a Teacher” to my blog a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea the response it would generate. The visits to my website exploded from a little over a thousand to ninety-thousand, online magazines requested permission to reprint the letter, and Diane Ravitch, the… Read More ›

Gun Violence and Common Ground Action

“The first movement he made the following morning was to reach under his pillow for the gun. In the gray light of dawn he held it loosely, feeling a sense of power… And if he were holding his gun in his hand, nobody could run over him; they would have to respect him. It was… Read More ›

To America from a Teacher

Please see the follow-up to this letter at Dear America, It feels strange to hear your voice praising teachers for their selflessness, dedication, and love for their students. We’re listening to what you’re saying, but we must admit that we are listening with tilted head and quizzical eye. Why? Because we’ve become accustomed to… Read More ›

Have We Kicked God Out of Our Schools?

I am a teacher, and like the vast majority of teachers, I love my work. By this, I do not mean I love the curriculum and bells; I mean I love my students and would do anything necessary to protect them. Maybe this is why I can’t seem to break away from the news concerning… Read More ›

Red and Blue Biblical Values

Last week, something happened I never thought I would see. The Rev. Billy Graham stepped into the political realm and virtually endorsed a presidential candidate. This week he is encouraging us through a series of ads to “vote for biblical values,” and as a Christian, I couldn’t agree with him more. There’s only one problem…. Read More ›

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