Register now for the second Young Adult Literature and the Common Core Symposium
March 6, 2013
This week PARCC released additional information about the Common Core Standards tests. Included in the "PARCC Administration and Guidance" document is a description of what the tests will consist of, as well as how long they'll take. You can find it here.
December 5, 2012
Confusion around the role of "informational text" (what we used to call nonfiction) is causing much discussion among teachers of English language arts. Here's summary of the current debate, from The Washington Post:
Common Core sparks war over words
As states across the country implement broad changes in curriculum from kindergarten through high school, English teachers worry that they will have to replace the dog-eared novels they love with historical documents and nonfiction texts.
The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th grade students will be reading mostly “informational text” instead of fictional literature. But as teachers excise poetry and classic works of fiction from their classrooms, those who designed the guidelines say it appears that educators have misunderstood them.
Read the rest here.
October 16, 2012
Over the past few weeks there has been a lively debate about the teaching of writing in The Atlantic Monthly. Here’s the article by Peg Tyre that started it (about a turn-around in writing instruction at one school), as well as Cindy O’Donnell-Allen’s response. And if that’s not enough, Josh Boldt asks “Should We Teach the Five-Paragraph Essay?” at Education Week. Read all three and come to your own conclusions.
September 10, 2012
We're often told that education was better in the good old days. Jamie Volmer effectively refutes the idea that there were ever any good old days in his essay "Notesia" (which deserves to be shared with parents, politicians, and anyone else you can think of).
June 7, 2012
The Library of Congress is to announce Thursday that the next poet laureate is Natasha Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of three collections and a professor of creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. Ms. Trethewey, 46, was born in Gulfport, Miss., and is the first Southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren, the original laureate, and the first African-American since Rita Dove in 1993.
Read more here, or see one of her poems here.
May 29, 2012
The trailer for the upcoming Great Gatsby movie, directed by Baz Luhrmann, was released this week. You can watch it here. (It's set to open on Christmas day.)
May 22, 2012
The U.S. Department of Education has unveiled a new grant competition focusing on districts that have ideas about how to personalize education. You can read about it here. (Even if you're not interested in the grant competition, read the second half of the article. Are such changes smart or are they doomed to fail?)
May 2, 2012
The New Mexico PED announced yesterday that they are accepting applications for the New Mexico Teacher Evaluation Advisory Council. There's more information here.
April 27, 2012
The has been lots of talk among writing teachers this week about a new study that purports to show that some software programs can evaluate student essays as well as a human grader. However, Les Perelman, director of Writing Across the Curriculum at MIT, remains skeptical. You can read about it here.
April 18, 2012
PBS NewsHour host Ray Suarez will be in New Mexico this evening to host an education town hall focusing on the high school graduation rate. Over 200 New Mexico teachers will attend. The town hall will air on a special edition of New Mexico In Focus on April 27.
April 9, 2012
As part of the American Library Association's annual State of America's Libraries Report, their Office for Intellectual Freedom has released their list of the ten most frequently challenged books and authors in 2011:
* ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
* The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
* The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
* My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
* The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
* Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
* Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
* What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
* Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
* To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Speaking of To Kill a Mockingbird, if you missed the recent excellent PBS American Masters documentary, "Harper Lee: Hey Boo," you can watch it here.
March 28, 2012
The great American poet Adrienne Rich died today at the age of 82. You can read about her at poets.org.
In addition to being a poet, Rich was also a gifted essayist. The brief but powerful "Claiming an Education" is among her best.
March 14, 2012
The Public Education Department has launched a new Common Core web site. There's a great deal of information on it, including links to resources and information about the timeline for implementation. You can find it here.
NMCTE is a professional organization for New Mexico teachers of language arts at all grade levels, K-College, and an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English.
From the President
Welcome to the online home of the New Mexico Council of Teachers of English. If you teach language arts in New Mexico, you’ve come to the right place. Although our members teach different grade levels, at different kinds of schools, and in different communities, we have in common a respect for our students and a belief in their potential, an appreciation of how valuable our colleagues are to us, and a commitment to thoughtful teaching.
Since we’re language arts teachers, we love reading and writing, but we also recognize that language arts includes more than print literacy, especially in the 21st century. If you’re new to NMCTE, please look around the site and see what we have to offer. And if you’re a member, welcome back.
Lisa Harris, President
Moriarty High School