Dear Deborah, I have the advantage of writing you after the election. Unlike you, I was not active in the campaign (full disclosure: I contributed to Hillary Clinton in the primaries). Election night, nonetheless, was thrilling. For the first time, I felt the force of Barack Obama's charisma that night, and it was powerful. His eloquence moved me. And I felt incredibly proud that our nation elected this man. The symbolism is unbelievable. I don't know of any other nation in the world that has elected a person descended from a group that is a relatively small minority with a ...

Editor's note: Due to a busy travel schedule, Deborah Meier composed this entry before Tuesday's presidential election. Dear Diane, I'm on the road and writing you before Election Day (even though this won't be posted until after the big day). But I can't wait until Wednesday to respond since I'll be on my way to the Coalition of Essential Schools' Annual Fall Forum in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. Some thoughts on my recent experiences... Canvassing in Franklin County, Penn., is intriguing. Sitting eating lunch on Sunday with my Obama cap on, a lady came over and whispered to me ...

Dear Deborah, You and I have advocated for different approaches over the years, though they are not contradictory. I have stressed the importance of content in the curriculum (history, literature, the arts, science, foreign languages, etc.), and you have stressed the importance of “habits of mind” (“How do we know what we know? What causes what? How might things have been different? Who cares?”). A dynamite school would do both, I expect. Why would anyone teach history or literature or science without asking the questions you raise? Yet the puzzle that neither of us has figured out is why most ...

Dear Diane, How many of our friends 10 years ago would have imagined that in 2008 you and I could almost be writing each other's columns? At least when it comes to NCLB, and quite a lot of other things—but not all! More or less amen, amen, and amen to every word you wrote on Tuesday. By the time folks see either of these columns we'll have discussed this in public at NYU (Monday) and I'll have moved on to Pennsylvania to try to add a vote here and there to Obama's column, and visiting an old friend (Ruth...

Dear Deborah, As this election nears a close, it is sad to note that very little has been said about education. In a way, that's a good thing, as we really don't want the president deciding what should happen tomorrow in our schools. I assume that more important tasks are at hand, such as the economy and foreign policy. On the other hand, the candidates have been unfortunately silent in letting us know what they plan to do about the abominable No Child Left Behind law. By now, even its defenders understand that the people who must implement the law ...

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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