Shaking off the post-tryptophan torpor

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OK, so it's the Monday after Thanksgiving, and you're feeling a little turkey-fajitaed out. Not quite ready to jump fully into work, but hungry to do something a little more productive than indulge in Cyber-Monday shopping.

Why not catch up on some reading?

Everyone should be reading Michael Goldstein's blog, Starting an Ed School, all the time. His clear, punchy prose is addictive. He's been particularly good this month, with entries on neuro-mythology, why we need more studies that show us what doesn't work, and what Nate Silver's triumph means for education. (Goldstein is on NCTQ's Advisory Board).

Stephen Sawchuk's Teacher Beat is probably already on everyone's required reading list, but just in case: Last week, he took a careful look at a study done on New Mexico's tiered licensing system. Turns out that teachers in the top tier, who also get paid more, don't actually get greater learning gains than those in the other tiers, perhaps because no "robust" measures of student achievement were used to determine which teachers should move up.

And today Sawchuk published a good article on what some teacher prep programs are doing to try to improve student teaching.

For dessert, check out this important story on Secretary Duncan's "full monty" moment (the cherry on top is Duncan's response).

--Arthur McKee