Dear Deborah, Last month, a very important report was released about the voucher program in Milwaukee. It did not receive nearly enough attention, because its findings have major implications for a longstanding debate about the efficacy of vouchers. It was compiled by the School Choice Demonstration Project, which is based at the University of Arkansas, and written primarily by Patrick J. Wolf; the co-principal investigators were Jay Greene, who is known to be a strong supporter of school choice, and John Witte, who has written skeptically about Milwaukee's voucher program. Major funding for the School Choice Demonstration was provided by ...


Dear Diane, It was fun seeing and hearing you in D.C. and hearing ABOUT you everywhere I went the past few weeks—Denver to Maine and in between. I'm very grateful. Of course, I wouldn't be so grateful if it wasn't that we were agreeing so much—although there are still those provocative disagreements. Somewhere along the line—maybe even soon—we could get back to discussing some of our differences about curriculum, maybe even pedagogy! And choice. Meanwhile—having returned home at midnight last night—here are some further thoughts. I was intrigued by the piece by...


Dear Deborah, Your last column was simply terrific! First, I was glad to see your reference to Russ Whitehurst's piece, in which he questioned whether Congress had authorized the Obama administration's Race to the Top. Second, I was heartened by your careful dissection of the phony "consensus" that now captivates elected officials and the media. As it happens, these are issues that I have been discussing for months. When I spoke at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., on March 11, I asked my audience of Washington insiders the very question that Russ Whitehurst now raises: How is ...


Dear Diane, Where are the tea-partiers when I need them? Debate about revising ESEA is truly irrelevant—key changes have been put into place without anyone voting on anything! No single departmental decision has ever been made that so invades what was once considered wholly local powers than the Race to the Top. (Except, of course, going to war without authorization on occasion.) I was reminded of this by a piece FairTest sent me: "Did Congress Authorize Race to the Top?" by Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst in Education Week. It deserves attention, but it's hard to know whether any education...


Dear Deborah, I am just back from travels that started in Boston, moved on to Chicago, then to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This week I will be in Dallas and Denver. Wherever I go, I meet many teachers who say virtually the same thing: They have never been more demoralized in their professional lives. They feel that they are scapegoats for everything that is wrong in American education. Arne Duncan and Barack Obama, even more than Margaret Spellings and George W. Bush, are giving credibility to the idea that 100 percent of students should be proficient, that teachers are ...


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