Dear Diane, Do we hope our children leave school placing truth above money? Good ideas over "the Race to the Top"? Or, that they just "follow the money"? Recently, Laura Pappano wrote in The New York Times about a new world of jobs in education: "...new education leadership jobs: running charter schools, directing turnarounds of troubled schools and founding nonprofits with creative answers to education challenges. Such work demands educators who are more M.B.A./policy-wonk than Mr. Chips, which is why universities are unveiling degree programs that pull professors from schools of education, business and public policy... While ...


Editor's note: Bridging Differences returns today after a two-week holiday break. Dear Deborah, I want to wish you and our readers—and most especially our editors at Education Week!—a happy, healthy New Year. The times are challenging indeed, and all of us should try to be as kind as possible to others and do whatever we can to bring about a world where kindness and civility are the norm. As I see it, our mission this year will be to keep a close watch on the "reforms" that are now in vogue. In light of the nearly $5 billion...


Editor's note: Bridging Differences begins a well-deserved holiday break today. Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier will return to their blog on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010. See you in the new year!...


Dear Diane, Time to rest up and maybe start 2010 in a more hopeful mood. I just put down an article in The New Yorker by Atul Gawande entitled "Testing, Testing." But it's not about schooling, but medical tests. The author is a doctor at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and grew up in Athens County, Ohio (his parents were doctors, not farmers). He uses his experience and inquiring mind to think about the advantages of not having a master plan for curing our ills. He describes the history of the government's role in agricultural reforms and suggests that maybe ...


Dear Deborah, I understand why you were taken aback by that article in the "Style" section of The New York Times last week that described how charter schools have become a must-have among hedge-fund managers, billionaires, and other members of the social elite in New York City. The article bothered me, too. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it worries me. Having written the history of the New York City public schools, I was reminded of the origins of free schooling in certain northeastern cities in the early 19th Century, when wealthy men decided that it ...


The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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