Dear Diane, A quick note—undoubtedly it won't end up being so quick—re. your words last month about my anarchistic, "do your own thing" thing views re. curriculum. It's a puzzle, I know, but no—that's not quite what I'm saying. Like colleges, most private schools design their own course of study—with schools providing more or less space for teachers to decide how and where they fit in. At Fieldston, teachers had favorite topics and approaches and thus "curriculum" differed over the years. CPESS—my old high school—had a 6-year (grades 7-12) curriculum that we...

Dear Diane, I'm home at last. I survived our three-week jaunt with great pleasure. Shanghai to Hangshou, to Guilin, to Xi'An to Beijing—combining "business" with pleasure with my son Nicholas Meier (also an educator) and my colleague Eleanor Duckworth of Harvard. The hardest part was the leg from San Francisco to Boston, which took nearly 15 hours and required flying first to LA! It was all amazing. I feel as though I have seen the future and it leaves me both troubled and curious. I spent time with wonderful, kind, gracious and interesting people. Including people from a wide...

Bridging Differences was on a brief hiatus while Deborah Meier traveled in China. Today, the blog returns with a new post from Diane Ravitch. Dear Deb, I hope you had a wonderful trip to China and that you are not too wiped out. I have been there a few times, first in 1987, most recently in 1998. I hear it has changed quite a lot since then. Lots of things happening in your absence, none to gladden your heart. The Center for Education Policy released a report on NCLB, concluding that it was overall having a positive effect on achievement. ...

The Bridging Differences blog resumes today! Diane Ravitch's first post-break entry will be published shortly....

Editor's note: While Deborah Meier travels in China, Diane Ravitch shares some quick thoughts and recommendations from her summer reading list. The Bridging Differences dialogue will return soon. With Deborah safely in China, I can now turn to my summer reading. I am trying to start a new book, so I am reading quite a lot of books about the business model in education and also books about American business. The classic in this genre is Raymond Callahan's "Education and the Cult of Efficiency," which I will re-read. I am currently reading Larry Cuban's "The Blackboard and the Bottom Line: ...

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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