Deborah Meier: But if we could start with the question of what a good school needs and then build a system based on that, it doesn't seem as undoable.


Poverty. Equity. Testing, and how standardized assessment plays into both. These are themes that dominated Bridging Differences in 2013. Looking back at the blog this year revealed that the most-read posts in 2013 were written by numerous writers (Eric Hanushek, Alfie Kohn, Michael Petrilli, Elliott Witney, and, of course, Deborah Meier) on different aspects of the achievement and experience gap between rich and poor students.


Meier: None of us should blame our kids, our teachers, their parents, or public schools for their "failure" to outperform the rich on, of all things, tests which we know are, by design, sensitive to class and race.


Robert Pondiscio: If being progressive means concern with how children are educated, not the outcome of that education, then what does it mean to be progressive?


Deborah Meier: How a mandated national curriculum or privatization promotes accountability or equality is a mystery to both Diane and myself.


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