Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch will be back in September, though, rested and ready to blog about their differences—and similarities—once again.
June 2011 Archives
Isn't it amazing that at just the moment in history that the private sector has demonstrated a combination of appalling ignorance and incompetence—to the detriment of billions of ordinary people—they've managed to use their monstrous profits to shift the argument to the sins of the public sector?
Now is a time to speak and act. Now is a time to think about how we will one day be judged. Not by test scores, not by data, but by the consequences of our actions.
Dear Diane, Yes, yes to your declaration of "where we stand" on Tuesday. I can quibble with a word here and there—a "can't" vs. a "shouldn't," and an overly enthusiastic endorsement of the schools of yesterday which so appalled me when I started teaching in 1962. It's wise to remember past achievements, but the pre-war schools of America also played a role in the sorrier part of our national history. I'm a revolutionary in spirit—this cannot continue! But I'm a "reformist" in practice since it is, in fact, the fastest way to get to where I want to ...
I will be marching with the Save Our Schools coalition of teachers and parents on July 30 in Washington, D.C. I know you will be, too. I hope we are joined by many thousands of concerned citizens who want to save our schools from the bad ideas and bad policies now harming them.
We can't overcome the past until we make radical changes in the way too many Americans are forced to live, as well as in our ways of using school.
Referring to No Child Left Behind, now in effect for nine years, the committee held that there were some school-level effects, "but the measured effects to date tend to be concentrated in elementary grade mathematics, and the effects are small compared to the improvements the nation hopes to achieve."
The odds are that he believes every word he writes; another reminder of how much what we take for granted depends on our particular experiences. Maybe these guys DO constantly run into teachers who are fans of Michel Rhee, as they claim.
There are certainly schools that have made genuine gains in test scores and graduation rates, and they deserve recognition and commendations because their success defeats the odds. But the odds remain decidedly against children who grow up in poverty, without adequate healthcare, housing, nutrition, and support.
Staying close and observing closely has advantages. But staying close also has disadvantages: one isn't as prepared as one should be for the larger political context.