John Elfrank-Dana is a social studies teacher, Carnegie Scholar and United Federation of Teachers chapter leader at Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan.
A teacher who trains other teachers on using new media in the classroom says he's concerned the confluence of the Common Core learning standards and a new system for evaluating teachers will widen the digital divide, in effect guaranteeing rudimentary use of new media to drill students on upcoming tests.
In an opinion post, a teacher writes: "With the new Common Core standards, I don’t see the fundamental shift in education that I had hoped for and expected from the impact of new media. Indeed, there’s nothing inherent in the Common Core that requires teaching to shift away from traditional teacher-dominated lessons."
A teacher and union leader at Murry Bergtraum High School says breaking down community schools and replacing them with small boutique schools has left Bergtraum with too many students who are there by default. "The results were a changed academic and social demographic," he writes -- and the school's consequential designation by a tabloid as "Worst High School in NY." But he has a proposal to turn things around.