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May 31, 2016

Building Democracy in Schools: The Larger Strategy

Building democracy in schools is best thought of as a strand of a larger strategy to resist the rising authoritarian dangers of our time. Such a strategy calls for cross-partisan politics, organizing that sees the democratic potential in every kind of community, and a commitment to defending democracy and also deepening democracy.

May 03, 2016

Rethinking Elections and Assessments Can Lead to a Democratic Awakening

Focus on the "structures" of democracy brings to mind the role of elections and assessment in a democratic way of life. How do we think about elections if "we the people" are at the center? How do we avoid another "Southern strategy" like Nixon's, which divided working people by race? How do we assess civic agency?

June 18, 2015

Suburban Districts Shouldn't Hire Detectives to Keep Students Out

Some suburban districts hire detectives and even take families to court, to keep out students, often low income and students of color, from nearby urban districts. I think this is awful. I found many status quo defenders (and I don't see you as one of them) who believe this is perfectly ok.

May 21, 2015

Priorities for a Progressive Education Agenda

Today Deborah Meier and Joe Nathan describe what their priorities for a progressive education agenda.

April 09, 2015

Civil Rights Hero: 'Charters Are an Important Part of the Answer'

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, explained "I'm deeply grateful" to people involved in the charter school movement. "Charters are an important part of the answer" to what American children, especially low income and children of color need. She also stressed the importance of effective district, as well as chartered public schools.

February 11, 2015

3 District Problems Help Explain Charter Growth

I'd like to discuss three documents. The first document is a powerful description of Metro, a terrific innovative district high "school without walls" in Chicago that operated 1970-1991. The second is a 1988 speech by Al Shanker. The third is an article by civil rights legend Dr. Kenneth Clark.

January 29, 2015

Moving Ahead on 3 Dreams

Nathan: Let's begin with Antonia, Jennifer, Khalique and your encouragement to dream.

January 15, 2015

Wise & Woeful School Choice Plans

Nathan: School choice is a powerful tool that needs to be used carefully. I think you and I agree on this.

January 08, 2015

Five Myths of the Charter Public School Movement

Nathan: You refer to some charters as more like a chain. The majority of charters are independent. But, yes, some of them are part of a group. Would you regard Coalition of Essential Schools, or Core Knowledge, or Montessori schools as "chain" schools?

December 18, 2014

Democracy, Schools, and Teachers' Unions

Casey: 'At a time that teachers' unions face existential threats, how do we defend the democratic voice that they provide teachers?'

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