Maybe, however, we do have a right to agree (by fiat) that making sense of the world, and above all of democracy is a prime goal of schooling in America.


Ladd suggests that what is needed are positive policy interventions, such as early-childhood and pre-school programs; school-based health clinics and social services; after school programs and summer programs; and paying more attention to inputs such as school quality and school processes.


If charters had stuck to their original selling point—the need for innovation on a small, less-regulated scale before we mandated it on a large scale—there'd be a few grumbles and otherwise just curiosity.


There are no silver bullets in education. There are no magic feathers that enable elephants like Dumbo to fly. It's hard work to improve schools. It takes dedication, resources, and time. And the work is never done, the magic number of 100 percent is always out of reach.


In a world in which the money some folks earn in a day is more than what others hope to earn in a year, a decade, a lifetime, it's hard to calculate likelihoods. Even the word "earn" is problematic.


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