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January 11, 2011

'Huckleberry Finn' and 'The Wire'

But I am even more offended by the prospect that Mark Twain's classic work will be expurgated, rewritten by someone who wants to shield readers from the book's original language. How did we become such delicate creatures that we cannot dare to read a word that might discomfit us?

November 18, 2010

A Loud 'Yes, We Can!' From San Francisco

Once again, a small elite has come to a "consensus" long before there has been any national debate. In the interests of our commitment to schools that foster democracy, how can we do a better job of including "the people" in the conversation?

November 04, 2010

The Trouble With National Standards

We're all entitled to "our opinions," but schooling should take us beyond "mere" opinions into tentative conclusions that once again are held with care. Will this approach lead to dilemmas? Yes, yes, yes.

October 28, 2010

Prescient Words on Testing and Schools

Deborah Meier writes: "But I'm amazed to read those prescient words of 1983 which were, I argued, that your book was a recipe for the wrong reforms: "more tests, more homework, longer school hours, mandated state requirements, stiffer standards for promotion, stricter discipline codes, merit pay, and sometimes, tuition tax credits."

September 07, 2010

Welcome Back to School "Reform"

Diane Ravitch predicts another difficult year of test-based "reform" for the nation's schools.

May 07, 2010

What All Kids Need

Dear Diane, It was fun seeing and hearing you in D.C. and hearing ABOUT you everywhere I went the past few weeks—Denver to Maine and in between. I'm very grateful. Of course, I wouldn't be so grateful if it wasn't that we were agreeing so much—although there are still those provocative ...

April 15, 2010

Schools: Too Big To Fail

Dear Diane, I wish you were going to be with us this Saturday as we celebrate the work we have accomplished over the past half-century and figure out how to counter the latest onslaught. Our friend teacherken quotes Les Leopold's question in his recent blog. "Why Are 25 Hedge Fund Managers Worth 6...

March 18, 2010

Leaving Little Space for Serious Questions

Dear Diane, Newsweek alas is not the only source of misinformation, although its article was especially outrageous. The New York Times in contrast used less inflammatory language in support of NCLB/RTTT under President Bush and now President Obama. In a mere 500 or so words, the Times managed to us...

February 11, 2010

A Climate of False Crisis

Dear Diane, Leisure is an essential ingredient for a successful working democracy. We need time to think and unbundle some of the contradictions by which we live. If "elitism" is wrong for charters, why is it okay for public schools? Why do we presume that poor kids need a more rigid and authoritar...

November 30, 2009

The Irreplaceable Ted Sizer

Note: This column was scheduled to appear on Nov. 25, but was not published until Nov. 30 due to an editing error. Dear Diane, I went up to Boston last weekend for the memorial service/celebration of Ted Sizer's life at Harvard's Memorial Church. Rituals can be wonderful things when we are facing ...

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