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June 28, 2012

Is Trust a Reasonable Default Position?

The "push out" rate at charter schools—not to mention the already too high rate at regular public schools—is a frightening example of how we push and pull at the same time without much thought.

June 21, 2012

Letter From Cape Town

The children in these townships attend government-funded and -operated schools. That is, they seem to have four walls and a roof, and very little else. No books—except textbooks of a sort for older children and workbooks for young ones. When I think of all the books we regularly toss out in New York City schools it gives me chills.

June 19, 2012

Should Students Wear a Galvanic Skin Response Bracelet?

The most intriguing topic of the past week was discovering that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been subsidizing research into something called "galvanic skin response monitors." This research is intended to develop a bracelet that may be worn regularly by students and teachers to gauge their physiological reactions to what is happening in the classroom.

June 14, 2012

Lessons From Chinese Classrooms

What both countries seem to be engaged in is how to move closer to the other, without losing the strengths of each. And, of course, their "purposes" are not wholly in synch. Both want to strengthen their economies, but the Chinese state schools are not trying also to produce feisty and critical citizens for a democracy.

June 07, 2012

Travels in Education

She made clear that it wasn't for me to think. But even more serious, I had missed the whole point: "Hadn't I read the curriculum guide?"

May 17, 2012

The Danger of Mindlessness

We have three very serious flaws to deal with. One is that the skill involved in doing well on reading and math tests do not constitute something worthy of the name "academic achievement." Such a claim dumbs down "academia" in ways that do serious damage.

May 10, 2012

The Left Wing of the Possible

our nation's most pressing educational problem remains the opportunity gap between the children of the haves and those of the have-nots; this gap has grown with the mounting social inequality of the last 40 years.

May 03, 2012

How To Counter the Counter-Revolution?

You and I should be devoting more energy to considering what our "utopian" solutions might be, as well as the next steps for getting there. What's the direction, the criteria, the underlying precepts that should drive our vision of the future of schooling for educating the next generation?

April 26, 2012

Pineapples, Police, and Trust in Schools

There's always a lot of blame, from the media, from citizens on the street, and now from their own bosses. The numbers are never enough to satisfy. And sometimes all available choices lead to a public dressing down, or a threat of dismissal.

April 17, 2012

I Don't Understand Michelle Rhee

Does she really think that students will learn more if their teachers live in fear? How can she feel good about leading a campaign to turn public education into a for-profit enterprise and reduce teaching to a job, not a profession.

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