Dear Diane, I know you saw this article in last Sunday's New York Times. " 'You get the religion fast.' "Mr. Petry, 38, and Mr. Greenblatt, 52, may spend their days poring over spreadsheets and overseeing trades, but their obsession—one shared with many other hedge funders—is creating charter schools, the tax-funded, independently run schools that they see as an entrepreneurial answer to the nation's education woes. Charters have attracted benefactors from many fields. But it is impossible to ignore that in New York, hedge funds are at the movement's epicenter. " "These guys get it," said Eva S. Moskowitz,...


Dear Deborah, We promised to keep a close watch on what is happening at the federal level, and now it begins to get interesting. And a bit scary, if you care about the future of public education. The U.S. Department of Education announced its plan to spend at least $3.5 billion to push local officials around the country to close failing schools and reopen them with new teachers and principals. At this time of fiscal crisis and budget cuts, districts are desperate for federal dollars. To qualify for these dollars, districts must do one of four things: 1) ...


Dear Diane, A powerful statement which ought to be sent to everyone in a position to influence policy and legislation! Thanks. I just read a letter from Steve Jubb, an Oakland-based colleague of mine: "For my part, I agree with Kenneth Bernstein's blog post some days ago. We have inherited a form of education that is sedimentary in nature. It has a 19th century structure, overlaid by 20th century aspirations about equality and opportunity, with the expectation that it should produce 21st century outcomes. It has been remarkably successful for the chaos of its design, but I believe it no ...


Dear Deborah, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for in this wonderful country. I am forever thankful that my mother came to this country after World War I (from Bessarabia), and that my paternal grandparents came to this country in the mid-19th Century (from Poland). When I visit Houston or Savannah, where each grew up, I am reminded of how lucky they were to escape the fate that awaited the family members who remained behind in Europe. One of the institutions that made this country a great haven for immigrants was its public ...


Note: This column was scheduled to appear on Nov. 25, but was not published until Nov. 30 due to an editing error. Dear Diane, I went up to Boston last weekend for the memorial service/celebration of Ted Sizer's life at Harvard's Memorial Church. Rituals can be wonderful things when we are facing the death of someone as important to us as Ted has been. Our shared respect for Ted is perhaps one of the reasons we embarked upon this blog. Ted has been a "bridge" between two often fiercely opposing camps that we have both been part of. He ...


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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