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November 29, 2011

Should Schools Be Run for Profit?

I have no problem with businesses making a profit when they offer value for goods and services. But there is something about this for-profit education industry that feels unseemly.

November 22, 2011

The Problem With Charters

But, under current circumstances, the evidence suggests that local control, weighted in favor of those who actually have a personal stake in the enterprise (students, parents, teachers) is the best we can do.

November 17, 2011

What Do We Mean by 'Public'?

Most of the new charters are not accountable to any public but their own privately chosen board (and a very distant appointed oversight committee). None of its constituents—parents, students, or staff—are by law part of that board nor have any choice but speaking with their feet. Not their voices.

November 15, 2011

Billionaires for Education Reform

Today, the question of democracy looms large as we see increasing efforts to privatize the control of public schools. There is an even more worrisome and allied trend, and that is the growing influence of money in education politics at the state and local levels.

October 18, 2011

If You Believe in Miracles, Don't Read This

But as long as public officials insist on making test scores the measure of teacher quality and school success, then their claims should be closely scrutinized using the metrics that they themselves have made the coin of the realm. Many of the schools that politicians hail as successes have records no different from other schools that the politicians are closing.

October 04, 2011

The Trouble With the Parent Trigger

The Parent Trigger should be recognized for what it is: A stealth assault on public education.

September 29, 2011

Forward to the Past

The big idea of the Reformers Ltd. is that we learn best if we feel scared and if we are quickly rewarded or punished. It keeps us on our toes, along with chants and drum beats and ticking clocks.

June 30, 2011

When We End Up Defending, Not Proposing

Isn't it amazing that at just the moment in history that the private sector has demonstrated a combination of appalling ignorance and incompetence—to the detriment of billions of ordinary people—they've managed to use their monstrous profits to shift the argument to the sins of the public sector?

June 07, 2011

An Interesting Few Days

There are certainly schools that have made genuine gains in test scores and graduation rates, and they deserve recognition and commendations because their success defeats the odds. But the odds remain decidedly against children who grow up in poverty, without adequate healthcare, housing, nutrition, and support.

May 12, 2011

Here's Why They Don't Listen

Some see the chance to destroy another public stronghold—our schools—as a lifelong dream come true. They are 100 percent convinced that market competition is always the best.

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