teacher

Harold Bloom in 1990
Jim Wilson / The New York Times

Harold Bloom, the eminent critic and Yale professor whose seminal “The Anxiety of Influence” and melancholy regard for literature’s old masters made him a popular author and standard-bearer of Western civilization amid modern trends, died Monday at age 89. Bloom’s wife, Jeanne, said that he had been in failing health, although he continued to write books and was teaching as recently as last week.

Bloom wrote more than 20 books and prided himself on making scholarly topics accessible to the general reader. But, he saw his career as a very simple and honorable one.

Professor Bloom was a frequent guest on this program. He would write me short complimentary notes asking if we could talk about his latest project or just about life in general. In truth, in a 45-minute conversation, I may only get 2-3 questions in. But, listening to him hold forth was always a pleasure.

Although he frequently bemoaned the decline of literary standards, he was as well placed as a contemporary critic could hope to be. He appeared on best-seller lists with such works as “The Western Canon” and “The Book of J,” and was a National Book Award finalist and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Harold Bloom spoke with us in 2015.

In late summer 1940, as war spread across Europe and as the nation pulled itself out of the Great Depression, an anti-communist hysteria convulsed New York City. Targeting the city’s municipal colleges and public schools, the New York state legislature’s Rapp-Coudert investigation dragged hundreds of suspects before public and private tribunals to root out a perceived communist conspiracy to hijack the city’s teachers unions, subvert public education, and indoctrinate the nation’s youth.

Drawing on the vast archive of Rapp-Coudert records, Union College History Professor Andrew Feffer looks to provide the first full history of this witch-hunt, which lasted from August 1940 to March 1942.

He does so in the new book: "Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism." Andrew Feffer is Professor of History and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Film Studies at Union College.

Joe Feldman has worked in education at the local and national levels for over 20 years in both charter and district school contexts, as a teacher, principal, and district administrator. He began his career as a high school English and American History teacher in Atlanta Public Schools and was the founding principal of a charter high school in Washington, DC. He has been the Director of Charter Schools for New York City Department of Education, the Director of K-12 Instruction in Union City, California, and was a Fellow to the Chief of Staff for U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. Joe is currently CEO of Crescendo Education Group, a consulting organization that partners with school and districts to help teachers use improved and more equitable grading and assessment practices.

In his book, "Grading for Equity," Feldman takes a look at inconsistent grading practices and the ways they can inadvertently perpetuate the achievement and opportunity gaps among our students.

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well. 

In Screenagers, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

There will be a screening at the Maple Avenue Middle School at 7PM in Saratoga on 11/30.

We are joined by Delaney Ruston and Gina Karp, who currently teaches high school humanities (and previously taught grades 1-8) at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs.

In 2014, after a brief orientation course and a few fingerprinting sessions, Nicholson Baker became an on-call substitute teacher in a Maine public school district. He awoke to the dispatcher’s five-forty a.m. phone call and headed to one of several nearby schools; when he got there, he did his best to follow lesson plans and help his students get something done.

Substitute teachers hold a unique position in the education community—both insiders and outsiders. Baker, one of our country’s preeminent literary writers, observes students at their most hilarious and their most heartbreaking, and he gives readers a front-row seat to hot-button issues such as standardized curriculum, technology in the classroom, and medicating kids.

Nicholson Baker is the author of ten novels and five works of nonfiction, including The Anthologist, The Mezzanine, and Human Smoke. His new book is: Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids.

  In his new memoir, educator Paul Cummins shares his journey from privileged kid and ivory-tower scholar to hands-on progressive educator, working to achieve social justice through education for all youth: from children of celebrities to foster and incarcerated youth and those facing sometimes unimaginable circumstantial hurdles to education and accomplishment.

Paul Cummins’ new book is Confessions of a Headmaster. Cummins is an educator and founder, CEO, and President of Coalition for Engaged Education. He has founded and co-founded numerous schools including Crossroads School, New Roads School, Camino Nuevo Charter School, and New Village Charter School, as well as P.S. Arts, an NPO providing arts classes to children in Title I schools.

  Perhaps no profession is so constantly discussed, regulated, and maligned by non-practitioners as teaching. The voices of the teachers themselves are conspicuously missing.

Defying this trend, teacher and writer Garret Keizer takes us to school in his book, Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher, an arresting account of his return to the same rural Vermont high school where he taught fourteen years ago.

6/11/14 Panel

Jun 11, 2014

    

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
Eric Cantor Primary Defeat
Teacher's Tenure
School Shooting
Clinton Book Tour
Classified Photos

    David Menasche lived for his work as a high school English teacher. When a six-year battle with brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and—most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching, he was devastated by the thought that he would no longer have the chance to impact his students’ lives each day.

A Saratoga Springs middle school teacher, acquitted of charges associated with allegedly making inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old female student, has been terminated by the school district. 

At a special meeting of the Saratoga Springs Board of Education held Monday evening, members of the public were allowed to comment on the recommended termination of middle school mathematics teacher Joseph Bruno.

  **Audio to come**

  According to our next guest: public education is in a crisis. Rafe Esquith believes new teachers are quickly turning to alternative career paths and seasoned teachers are burning out after years of dedicated work. He says this comes from increasing pressure from policy-makers and administrators, budget cuts to already underfunded programs, unreliable teacher evaluations, mandated testing, and a myriad of other burdens.

Rafe Esquith, one of America’s most celebrated educators provides an antidote to the problem with his new book: Real Talk for Real Teachers, which he says cuts through the distractions and helps educators focus on what is truly important: TEACHING.

Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for more than twenty-five years. He is the only teacher to have been awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts.

The Massachusetts House has approved a measure calling on school districts to implement a new teacher evaluation system and place performance ahead of seniority in deciding future layoffs.  WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

The legislation, which has already been approved by the Senate, resulted from a compromise struck between the Massachusetts Teachers Association and an advocacy group called Stand for Children that had proposed a statewide ballot question.

The organization has said it would be willing to drop the ballot initiative if the bill becomes law.

Governor Cuomo says he no longer thinks settling the issue of making teacher evaluations public “urgent,” and will allow the legislature to leave later this week without an agreement on the matter.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…  

Cuomo, speaking on former Governor David Paterson’s radio show on WOR, says the legislature will end its session for the summer without acting on a plan on how to make public teacher evaluations public, saying that the evaluations do not have to be completed by schools until January, anyway.