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March 29, 2011

Thoughts on the Failure of Merit Pay

Merit pay has been tried again and again since the 1920s. Sometimes scores go up, sometimes they don't, but the programs never seem to make much difference and eventually disappear.

March 24, 2011

More Villainous Than Hypocrisy

Democracy rests on an agreement that disagreements are inevitable and healthy and that democracy is at its best a way to sort them out with the least harm to the weakest and least of its citizens.

March 22, 2011

An Age of Hypocrisy

While right-wing governors impose cuts on the public schools and lay off thousands of teachers, the corporate reformers are strangely silent, perhaps because the dramatic reductions in the education budget are accompanied by cuts to corporate/business taxes.

March 15, 2011

Lessons From Wisconsin

If Gov. Walker succeeds, there will be no organized voice to oppose his "reform" plans. He can raise the income cap on vouchers, letting everyone leave the public schools if they choose.

March 10, 2011

What Are the Winners Thinking?

I fear we're back, public-policy-wise, to the year I was born, 1931, when most of what we know as the American dream was still to come.

March 08, 2011

Signs of Hope?

There really is a bipartisan consensus on education reform. It happens to be the Republican agenda of the past 30 years.

March 03, 2011

Solidarity With Strangers

When 5-year-old Darryl insisted his rock was a living thing, which is not factually correct, should I have demanded he comply with scientific consensus? Or take a vote? Or could we listen carefully and learn from him how he defines "living" vs. "nonliving", and see where that takes us?

March 01, 2011

A Moment of National Insanity

I'm beginning to think we are living in a moment of national insanity. On the one hand, we hear pious exhortations about education reform, endlessly uttered by our leaders in high political office, corporate suites, foundations, and the media. President Obama says we have to "out-educate" the rest of the world to "win the future."

February 24, 2011

On the Ground in Wisconsin

Bob Peterson (of Rethinking Schools) came to talk about; when he finished, we all rose to applaud him and within 15 minutes we cancelled the day's remaining sessions, climbed into whatever vehicles we could find, and headed off to Madison—a two- to three-hour trip.

February 22, 2011

I Stand With the Teachers of Wisconsin

If there is no organized force to advocate for public education in the state capitols of this nation, our children and our schools will suffer. That's the bottom line.

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