I noticed that two Harlem schools just a few blocks away—both serving largely poor, black students—served students whose families were often quite different. "Poor" covers a lot of territory. I
Does Bill Gates get to write the national curriculum because he is the richest man in America? We know that his foundation is investing heavily in promoting the Common Core standards. Now his foundation will write a K-12 curriculum that will promote online learning and video gaming. That's good for the tech sector, but is it good for our nation's schools?
We are in a perilous time, and they need a place and a space to safely investigate the world and to care for each other. And, teachers need to use every means they can find to do what they know is right.
Curiously, the corporate reform movement likes to talk about data-driven decisions, but they ignore any data that doesn't support what they want to do. For example, when the Vanderbilt study of merit pay was published, the U.S. Department of Education immediately released nearly $500 million for—what else—more merit-pay programs, and promised that another $500 million would be forthcoming.
As students, we are in school at most a third of our waking hours every year. Given "how" we learn, how best can we bridge school and the other two-thirds "efficiently"?