Ilana Garon

Writer | Educator


This blog chronicled my opinions on various hot-button education issues, as well as random day-to-day adventures with students. Most of these posts are from when I wrote for Education Week Teacher in 2012-2014. I may begin blogging again in the future.

An (incomplete) selection of my past blog posts can be found below.

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On Being a Teacher and a Runner

This past Sunday, I did something I’ve never done before: I ran a marathon. New York City’s, to be exact. I completed it in 4:14.57, which wasn’t quite as fast as I wanted, but still a pretty good time.

My students were very interested in the marathon, and asked me lots of questions about it in the days leading up, such as, “Are you going to win?”

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Too Many Tests, Too Little Time: CCSS, RTTT, and Test Corporations

As long as Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top are in place, state departments of education are a veritable cash machine to which test-making corporations like Pearson have all-too-easy access.

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Lessons in Deception: A Decade After Implementation, NCLB ‘Safety Net’ Yields Fraud and Misuse

Schools labeled as “under-performing” were required by NCLB to set aside a portion of their federal funding to support outside tutoring services for economically disadvantaged students. However, with little to no oversight in how these federal monies were spent, tutoring companies at best failed to help students, and at worst committed outright fraud.

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Blurred Lines: Are Plagiarizing Students Dishonest, Confused, or Both?

In this blog I write about a combination of policy issues and classroom issues, and this week’s post is going to be the latter. In the last few days, there were several major issues with academic dishonest in my 10th grade classes. The first was last week, when students somehow got hold of a quiz I was planning on giving before I actually gave it (I’m still trying to figure out how this happened), wrote answers on it (not all of which were correct), and copies of it around the grade; the second was when, on a thematic essay I assigned, several students plagiarized from SparkNotes and other various sites on the internet from which one can procure a pre-written paper; the third was today, when I was giving make-ups for the sabotaged quiz, and turned around to find a student (whom I had just isolated in a corner, precisely to avoid this outcome!) asking for answers from another student who had already taken the test.

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Want to Improve Students’ Educational Outcomes? Start with Their Parents.

On Tuesday, results of a study called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies were released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), bringing to light not altogether surprising information: American adults–not just kids–lag behind their global peers in math, reading, and problem-skills. The study findings “reinforced just how large the gap is between the nation’s high- and low-skilled workers and how hard it is to move ahead when your parents haven’t.” Adults with college-educated parents were far more likely to have gone to college themselves, and to have higher skills and better wages as a result. Unfortunately, these results belie the prevalence of the iconic first-generation college student, who defeats all odds and lifts him or herself to a better station than that of the previous generation.

Read original post on Education Week