Jill Barshay

Right and Wrong Methods for Teaching First Graders Who Struggle With Math

To help young kids who struggle with math, well-intentioned teachers often turn to non-traditional teaching methods. They use music and movement to involve the whole body.  They use hands-on materials such as popsicle sticks to help the students understand tens and hundreds. Or they encourage students to come up with different strategies for solving 7 +… Read more »

What Makes for Happier Teachers, According to International Survey

Teachers who say they get included in school decision-making and collaborate often with other teachers are more likely to say that teaching is a valued profession in their society.  In turn, these same teachers report higher levels of job satisfaction and confidence in their ability to teach and to motivate students, according to a 2013 survey… Read more »

Measuring the Cost of Federal Student Loans to Taxpayers

Cost of Federal Student Loan Programs 2015-2024. Source: CBO May 2014 Soaring student loan debt seems to be the next crisis waiting to explode. Universities keep jacking up their tuition and the U.S. government keeps financing it through a seemingly unlimited supply of student loans. As I’ve written before, student loans exceed $1 trillion and more… Read more »

Controversial Data-Driven Research Behind the California Court’s Decision to Reject Teacher Tenure

Underlying the California court’s decision on June 10, 2014 to reject teacher tenure as unconstitutional is a controversial body of academic research on teacher effectiveness.  The argument that won out was that tenure rules often force school districts to retain their worst teachers. Those ineffective teachers tend to end up at the least desirable schools… Read more »