Dear Diane, The absurdities you describe are on the mark and ought to kill the idea of paying teachers based on their students' test scores. But we both know the idea won't die that easily. Even the most renowned of testing experts argue that we're nowhere near being able to produce tests that can do the job of pay-by-score that folks want. I do wonder at times what "they" think they are doing? The trouble is that when I start down that path I see conspiracies everywhere—for example, that these schemes justify hiring inexperienced and low-paid teachers—who can ...


Dear Deborah, What a lovely tribute to Ted Sizer! I did not know Ted nearly as well as you did, but I admired him very much. He was very much the gentleman, and truly a gentle man. I had many disagreements with Jerry Bracey over the years; he was not gentle at all. Nonetheless, it is sad that these two men will no longer be among us, as they were both completely independent, a quality that is in short supply these days. Which brings us back to the Obama agenda for education. Most educators are dubious about this agenda, but ...


Dear Diane, I have been feeling sad during the past month. First came awareness that the health of an old colleague of mine has moved into its final stages. When she joined us at CPE 32 years ago, she was the first person my age to be my colleague. It was nice not to be a mother or mentor to someone. I learned so much from her. It's like losing a part of my own history. Then came word of Gerald Bracey's sudden death. I was startled because his sharp-witted, clever, and yet erudite contribution to our work has been ...


Dear Deborah, Well, I certainly agree with you that all kids should have the quality of education now available only for students in the best schools. Given how much our nation spends on education, this should not be a pipe dream, but we know that it is not happening and has not happened in the past. We both recall that John Dewey wrote that what the best and wisest parent wants for his own child is what the community should want for all its children. That's a good starting point. What does the best and wisest parent want for his ...


Dear Diane, We've got to stop agreeing so much! I can't wait to read your new book so I can go into "attack mode" again. I always wonder, however, whether our disagreements are "fundamental" or based on our very different entries into the world of schooling. I think it's a bit of both. Your view that progressive education ideas became dominant at any time defied what I witnessed in schools I subbed in, sent my kids to, etc. (Even as it may well have swept the elite schools of education.) Your belief that there can be a curriculum that all ...


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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