Around the Institute

Evaluating a Good Teacher / Global Population Growth / Think “Narrative”

August 12, 2011

Back to School
As cheating scandals continue to plague public school systems around the country, teacher performance is once again under the microscope. Here in DC, this means more talk about the system-wide IMPACT evaluation standards. But we wonder: is an IMPACT-approved teacher necessarily a good teacher? It seems that even one of our favorite educators, Ms. Frizzle of “Magic School Bus” fame, wouldn’t make the cut. Good evaluators know that evaluations shouldn’t be “one-size-fits-all.”

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd, and Seven Billion is…?
This week, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) posted its recent webinar presentation on the 2011 World Population Data Sheet. PRB demographers highlighted some familiar themes: Europe and Japan are aging, the United States is growing (helped by a steady influx of immigrants), and nearly all global population growth is attributable to developing countries. Also, we’re on track to grow by another billion people in 12 years. Yikes!

Once Upon a Time
The New York Times’ “Sunday Review” featured an opinion piece by psychologist Drew Westen about President Obama’s failure to define “the narrative” around the country’s economic future. Now that we’re nearing the next election cycle, expect to hear many “narratives” from both sides of the aisle. In fact, you don’t have to be Faulkner to make a story work for you. Just pay attention to what’s out there, think about how your work plays against the dominant narratives, and tweak your message as opportunities come up.