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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 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."

September 07, 2010

Welcome Back to School "Reform"

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

June 22, 2010

What I Did in June

Yet I don't see how it is possible to improve education while neglecting everything but basic skills. Even privately managed charter schools are affected negatively by high-stakes testing; to claim ever-rising test scores, they are prompted to avoid low-performing students, thus bypassing the very students that charters were originally intended to serve.

May 04, 2010

The Reason for the Phony Consensus About School 'Reform'

Dear Deborah, Your last column was simply terrific! First, I was glad to see your reference to Russ Whitehurst's piece, in which he questioned whether Congress had authorized the Obama administration's Race to the Top. Second, I was heartened by your careful dissection of the phony "consensus" that...

April 27, 2010

Should Student Scores Be Used To Evaluate Teachers?

Dear Deborah, I am just back from travels that started in Boston, moved on to Chicago, then to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This week I will be in Dallas and Denver. Wherever I go, I meet many teachers who say virtually the same thing: They have never been more demoralized in their professional ...

April 20, 2010

The Lesson of Florida

Dear Deborah, As I write this, I am concluding a week of book-touring, and what a week it has been! I started in Chicago, where I spoke at DePaul University, the University of Illinois, Catalyst, and the National School Boards Association. At NSBA, I was in a concurrent session, but well over 1,00...

April 13, 2010

Meager Gains on NAEP Reading Assessments

Dear Deborah, In my book I argue that No Child Left Behind was a failed strategy. We both know the reasons why. It narrowed the curriculum; it introduced a culture of testing and test prepping into the nation's schools; it represented an unprecedented extension of federal control into the nation's...

March 23, 2010

Try Again, Secretary Duncan, It's Not Too Late

Dear Deborah, The big event of early March was the release of President Obama's plan to revise No Child Left Behind. Although NCLB continues to have its defenders, the Obama administration rightly views it as a "toxic" brand. Perhaps if the Obama team had given more thought to why it became toxic, ...

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...

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