There is no perfect curriculum, but I base my preferences on precisely the principles underlying democracy. It's our teacherly obligation to consider what students will "need" to join fully into the life of a democratic community.
Do you think that President Obama just doesn't understand that Race to the Top has encouraged states to double down on high-stakes testing? Maybe he doesn't realize that the strategies of his administration rely totally on test scores.
I'm not regretting having spent 50 years trying to reform American public education, and I think it's more imperative today than ever. But the future doesn't depend on it the way it does on our economic crisis, our political system crisis, and our planetary self-destruction.
But I was inspired above all, because California has courageous, wise, and bold leadership that is prepared to stop the insanity that has undermined education across the nation.
Yes, there have been and will continue to be "turnarounds" that work. But if we see the turnaround as a method of getting "rid" of people—teachers or kids—we'll misuse its potential.