Phi Delta Kappan

Founded in 1915, the Phi Delta Kappan is a professional policy journal for K-12 educators and is owned and published by Phi Delta Kappa International. Also referred to as the Kappan, the journal runs concurrently with the U.S. school year, with issues being released September to May and a combined December/January issue. The Kappan's editorial headquarters are located in Bloomington, Ind.The Kappan has a circulation of 33,000 subscribers and publishes articles directed to an audience of K-12 teachers, principals, superintendents, school district administrators and professors. Founded in 1906 to serve all members of the educational community, the journal's owner, Phi Delta Kappa International, maintains a large network of campus-based chapters with members in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Articles within the journal primarily address issues related to educational research, service and leadership. Examples of specialized topics within these articles include information on inclusion, class size, testing, tenure, professional certification and alternative school systems. In addition to featured articles, each year the journal publishes results of the Phi Delta Kappa International "Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitude Toward the Public Schools."In June of 2010,the APEX 2010 Awards honored Phi Delta Kappan's Editor-in-Chief, Joan Richardson, and Design Director, Carol Bucheri, for Publication Excellence. Richardson received a Grand Award for her Kappan column, "The Editor's Note," and Bucheri received an APEX Award of Excellence in the Best Redesigns category–an award category that includes highly competitive submissions from a wide range of professional journals, newspapers, newsletters, annual reports, brochures and websites. The Editor-in-Chief of the Phi Delta Kappan is Joan Richardson. David M. Ruetschlin is Managing Editor and Carol Bucheri is Design Director.

Articles from Vol. 91, No. 6, March

Assessment
In this space in November 2009, we discussed how students have been sitting for tests and exams since the 19th century and for examinations since the 17th century. This month, we head back further in time for a look at a still older term: assessment....
Changing the National Conversation on Assessment: A Consortium of New York Public High Schools Serves as a Model for a Multi-Dimensional System That Is Performance-Based
"The sharp separation often seen in the literature between qualitative and quantitative methods is a spurious one." --Bent Flyvbjerg "The conventions of standardized testing have become so widely accepted that many evaluators cannot think of...
Changing the System Is the Only Solution: States Should Hire and Employ Teachers; School Boards Should Focus on Improving Student Learning and Get out of the Business of Running Schools
Long ago, I was a member of the school board in my home town. I've been an observer of school governance in the United States ever since. I come away from these experiences humbled by memories of the countless unpaid hours of hard work put in by people,...
Coherent Instructional Improvement and PLCs Is It Possible to Do Both? A Synthesis That Draws on Two Common Approaches to PLCs Produces a More Coherent Way to Tap the Power of Teacher Teams to Improve Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Scheduling common planning time for teacher teams can be an effective way to use scarce teacher time, but often schools don't make good use of this resource. In response, two approaches have arisen for structuring teaching collaboration and developing...
Education Leadership in a Culture of Compliance: Education Leaders Face the Same Problems Other Leaders Face. but They Must Be Particularly Careful Not to Let Regulations Get in the Way of Leadership
Effective leadership in education is not significantly different from effective leadership in business and government. The threats facing education leaders are the obstacles that all leaders must face and constantly struggle to overcome. One of these...
Education Reform vs. American History: Current Reforms Not Only Damage Our Students' Learning, They Arise from a Perspective That Claims a Different Purpose for Education Than Was Put Forth by Earlier Reformers
When I was a boy playing basketball on a Brooklyn playground, I was fully absorbed by what I was doing. Throughout my life, I've found that same kind of absorption in many other activities: following a sustained argument or a detailed explanation in...
Emerging Leader: Jenny Sue Flannagan
Did you know that a dollar bill is attracted to a magnet? And did you know that starting a science lesson this way is more likely to engage students than asking them to turn to page 125 in their textbooks? It may seem like common sense, but starting...
Handcuffing Discipline
On March 6, 2006, in Portland, Oregon, high school junior Abie Ilias and her cousin Brianda Ilias arrived at school more than 30 minutes late. (1) Main office staff followed school policy and sent the girls to the detention room rather than allow their...
Helping Haiti
The faces of the children of Haiti haunt me. Images of their broken bones and their broken hearts bring tears to my eyes. Stories of the homeless and orphaned children of Haiti disturb my sleep. By the time this magazine reaches your homes and offices,...
Link Higher Education and Results
High school seniors are eagerly waiting to rip open envelopes and log onto web sites to learn the reaction to the college applications they labored over during the first part of the school year. No doubt they pored over a host of commercial guides...
On Chemo Brain, Citizens' Arrests, and the Development of Kittens
My brain has a mind of its own. Most of the time, I give it commands in much the same way Captain Kirk gave commands to the Enterprise computer. "Computer, plot a course for Alpha Centauri." Without hesitation, the computer replies, "Course plotted."...
School Boards: A Neglected Institution in an Era of School Reform School Boards Can Be Ignored or Bypassed in Reform Efforts, or They Can Become a Crucial Element in Leading and Sustaining Positive Change
A guiding mantra of the school reform movement, with its appropriate emphasis on student achievement, is the need for a systemic approach to improvement. Critical components of school reform--such as standards development, assessments, and accountability...
School Boards in America Flawed, but Still Significant: Will School Boards Regain Their Vitality or Simply Slip Further into Irrelevance, Reduced to Discharging Hollow Legal Responsibilities?
If the problems of school district governance lent themselves to quick repair, they would be fixed by now. But very little is easy when it comes to school boards and what ails them. As the expert observers who have written articles for this issue of...
School Boards Should Focus on Learning for All: Boards That Prioritize Learning for All Will Telegraph That Message to Administrators and Invest Deeply in Human Resources, Especially Professional Development
School boards are miracles of governance. They endure in spite of widespread dissatisfaction with the quality of public education. They keep public schools afloat, with some notable exceptions, but do little more. During the past 60 years, school...
School Boards Why American Education Needs Them: If School Boards Didn't Exist, Someone Would Invent Them to Create a Link between the Community and Its Schools, to Ensure Oversight of Education, and, Increasingly, to Translate State and Federal Government Mandates for Local Use
Everyone thinks that they know what's best for schools because they have had a school experience. The public wants their voices heard inside the schoolhouse walls. They want to know that their tax dollars are being spent effectively and responsibly....
Seeing What You Normally Don't See: Video Can Be a Powerful Tool to Support Teacher Research, Help Teachers Notice What's Not Readily Visible in Their Daily Teaching, Transform Their Practice, and Improve Student Learning
Traditional professional development has long been criticized for its ineffective "one-shot" and "one-size-fits-all" approach that is disconnected from teachers' classroom practice and fails to bring about changes in their teaching (Wilson and Berne...
Teachers Say the Most Interesting Things-An Alternative View of Testing: In Spite of the Barrage of Anti-Testing News, Some Teachers Say Tests Have Not Sapped Their Creativity or Hindered Collaboration and That They Appreciate Having Useful Data, a Road Map for Instruction, and a Sense of Accountability for All Educators
It's hard to know what teachers really think about testing. On the one hand, teachers are constantly giving tests and quizzes and morning work and a myriad of assessments to ensure that the students are following along and understanding the material....
The Learning Economy
There is an increasing consumer value on personal growth that is driving a diverse market for educational and learning products ranging from food, toys, and games to housing and travel. Think about it. We eat specific kinds of food or take supplements...
The Problem with Parental Advice
While eating my high-fiber, high-protein cereal, I began thinking about parental advice. Our son is selling his house and moving, and I looked back on my vast experience in this area. I have bought four and sold three homes. As I tried to figure out...
Unintended Consequences of Cost Recovery: A Well-Intended Plan to Give Schools More Flexibility in Spending Leads to a Range of Unintended Consequences and Few of the Anticipated Advantages
What's the best way to organize a school district in order to offer the multitude of services that districts must provide? Organizational analysts tell us that a variety of different organizational designs each have advantages and disadvantages and...
Weighing the Case for School Boards Today and Tomorrow: School Boards Are a Flawed Form of Governance but Still Serviceable. the More Pressing Task Is to Rethink the School District Itself
School boards govern school districts. That raises two linked questions: the desirability of boards as a form of governance and of districts as a way to organize schooling. Reform proposals routinely ignore this second question. This is a mistake,...
Why Is Everyone Talking about Adolescent Literacy?
For years, there was a widespread assumption that reading instruction was finished by the end of 3rd grade. The successful 3rd-grade reader was assumed to be prepared for content-area reading in later elementary and secondary grades. But even students...
Why Public Schools Need Democratic Governance: By Endorsing Mayoral Control and Privatization, the Obama Administration Is Making a Risky Bet
Every time some expert, public official, or advocate declares that our public schools are in crisis, stop, listen, and see what he or she is selling. In the history of American education, crisis talk is cheap. Those who talk crisis usually have a cure...
Writing a Philosophy of Education for a New Curriculum Turning a Dull Task into a Party: Many Educators Find Education Philosophy to Be Deadly Dull. but If Done Right, It Can Be an Enjoyable and Productive Party
Not long ago, my mother-in-law approached me with a groan. She's an elementary programs coordinator in a suburban Cincinnati district, and it was time for her district to construct a new curriculum, complete with a guiding philosophy of education....