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May 05, 2011

'Fact-lets' of Education

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

May 03, 2011

The Outrage of the Week

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?

April 07, 2011

People vs. Dollars

Lobbyist by lobbyist, the unions certainly couldn't match their opponents, even if we added in the many good citizen advocacy groups. But they had one advantage over the others: the relatively high loyalty of their members. Numbers of people vs. numbers of dollars.

March 22, 2011

An Age of Hypocrisy

While right-wing governors impose cuts on the public schools and lay off thousands of teachers, the corporate reformers are strangely silent, perhaps because the dramatic reductions in the education budget are accompanied by cuts to corporate/business taxes.

February 01, 2011

The President's Speech

The status quo today is not good. For 10 years we have pursued the heavy-handed mandates of No Child Left Behind, with meager results.

December 21, 2010

What I Learned in 2010

I was talking about the present dangerous effort to distort the purposes of education, to hand vast numbers of public schools over to private corporations, and to treat children as data points to satisfy misguided politicians, policy-makers, and economists.

December 07, 2010

We Need Public Schools and Democratic Governance

We must continue to have schools that are the center of their communities, where children are students, not products, and parents are citizens, not customers.

November 23, 2010

12th Grade NAEP Scores Are Meaningless

the SAT, the ACT, the end-of-course exams, the AP exams, and graduation exams, the NAEP tests don't matter. And seniors know it. They doodle on their test papers, or they select answers with a pattern, like all B, or all C, or ABCD/ABCD.

November 09, 2010

What I Learned in New Orleans

My favorite line from that day occurred when Jackson said he had recently visited some very high-performing nations. At each stop, he asked authorities: "What do you do about bad teachers?" They consistently replied: "We help them."

November 02, 2010

Did We Bridge Our Differences?

Diane Ravitch writes: "Somehow our old disputes about whole language, bilingual education, and the new new math pale in comparison to the coordinated assault by powerful forces on the very foundations of public education."

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