Science Language for All

Oogenesis? Heterozygous? Science vocabulary can be difficult for students, especially English language learners. A science teacher describes how she reorients science classrooms to make vocabulary accessible.

“Do You Have Batman Shoulders?”

A math teacher uses Barbies and action figures to teach proportional reasoning and other skills — and to help students think about society’s expectations of our shapes and sizes.

The Constant Testing of Black Brilliance

An educator reflects on how the education system has continually tested her Blackness from grade school through professional development, and argues that we need more Black spaces to nurture brilliance.

Ignoring Diversity, Undermining Equity

NCTQ, which claims to “provide an alternative national voice to existing teacher organizations and to build the case for a comprehensive reform agenda that would challenge the current structure and regulation of the profession,” was created by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in 2000 and incorporated in 2001 as a policy response to a perception that colleges of education were not adequately preparing teachers. According to education historian and NCTQ critic Diane Ravitch, the conservative members of the Thomas B. Fordham foundation perceived teacher training as problematic due to an overemphasis on social justice and a lack of focus on basic academic skills and abilities. Thus, NCTQ was originally founded as an entity through which to encourage alternative certification and circumvent colleges of education. Indeed, early on, NCTQ was closely connected to ABCTE (American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence), which created a series of tests that potential teachers could pass in order to bypass teacher education programs altogether by paying $1,995.00.