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January 05, 2010

The New Era of Greed

Editor's note: Bridging Differences returns today after a two-week holiday break. Dear Deborah, I want to wish you and our readers—and most especially our editors at Education Week!—a happy, healthy New Year. The times are challenging indeed, and all of us should try to be as kind as p...

December 17, 2009

The 'Alternative?' Transparency & Honest Data

Dear Diane, Time to rest up and maybe start 2010 in a more hopeful mood. I just put down an article in The New Yorker by Atul Gawande entitled "Testing, Testing." But it's not about schooling, but medical tests. The author is a doctor at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and grew up in Athens ...

December 15, 2009

The Race to Nowhere

Dear Deborah, I understand why you were taken aback by that article in the "Style" section of The New York Times last week that described how charter schools have become a must-have among hedge-fund managers, billionaires, and other members of the social elite in New York City. The article bothere...

December 10, 2009

What Do Charter Schools Do Better?

Dear Diane, I know you saw this article in last Sunday's New York Times. " 'You get the religion fast.' "Mr. Petry, 38, and Mr. Greenblatt, 52, may spend their days poring over spreadsheets and overseeing trades, but their obsession—one shared with many other hedge funders—is creati...

October 27, 2009

What Does the Best and Wisest Parent Want?

Dear Deborah, Well, I certainly agree with you that all kids should have the quality of education now available only for students in the best schools. Given how much our nation spends on education, this should not be a pipe dream, but we know that it is not happening and has not happened in the pa...

September 09, 2009

The Start of an Interesting and Dangerous School Year

Editor's Note: Bridging Differences returns today from its summer hiatus. The blog will resume its regular Tuesday-Thursday publishing schedule next week. Dear Deborah, School is open, and it is time to talk! What a busy summer for all of us who care about education. I had a good summer, finis...

March 26, 2009

Is Some Rethinking About 'Accountability' Past Due?

Dear Diane, My own evolution, politically, has always been influenced by the realization that I might be in a minority! In fact, maybe some of us are born with that realization (even if shielded from it by a family surrounding in which we have a hard time imagining another reasonable viewpoint). ...

March 24, 2009

Will Public Education Survive the Embrace of Big Money?

Dear Deborah, My guess is that we will have a long time, not months, but years, to discuss national standards and a national curriculum. The question won’t go away. It is one of the items on Secretary Duncan’s “to-do” list. In 1995, I wrote a book on the subject and predicted that we would ...

March 30, 2007

Tough Choices and privatization

Dear Deborah, I think we are in a very strange and disquieting time for public education. "Reforms" are being implemented that will have unforeseen consequences. I was one of the early supporters of charter schools, as a means of establishing more choice within the public system, but as they prolif...

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