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June 15, 2010

The Great Accountability Hoax

Dear Deborah, The evidence continues to accumulate that our "accountability" policies are a great fraud and hoax, but our elected officials and policymakers remain completely oblivious to the harm caused by the policies they mandate. Over the past several years, efforts to "hold teachers accountab...

May 27, 2010

Good Schooling Is Built on Respect

Dear Diane, I saw some wonderful little schools in California last week and return feeling more optimistic about the survival of the kind of schooling I treasure. But I also spoke to many beleaguered educators who, as you noted, are feeling the brunt of the "de-formers" and the media barrage agains...

May 25, 2010

Just Say No to the Race to the Top

Dear Deborah, As I have traveled the country, from Boston to Los Angeles and points in between, I have met thousands of teachers who work in our nation's public schools. The overwhelming mood is one of demoralization, and, in some cases, despair. They thought that President Obama would break free f...

May 20, 2010

Change the Conversation on Teaching

Dear Diane, Reading The New York Times Magazine pieces on medicine is always intriguing. Education and medicine are often compared—in ways that remind me how little our frame for considering teaching is realistic. The other night I heard several very good "educators" on C-SPAN answering quest...

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 29, 2010

When Did This 'Consensus' Form?

Dear Diane, Where are the tea-partiers when I need them? Debate about revising ESEA is truly irrelevant—key changes have been put into place without anyone voting on anything! No single departmental decision has ever been made that so invades what was once considered wholly local powers than ...

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 22, 2010

Imagine Standards for the Common Good

Dear Diane, Last Saturday's event—"Remapping Progressive Education"—was great. Someone remarked as I went into the auditorium to start the first session that they felt they had died and gone to heaven—seeing all their old colleagues from so many years ago. But there were far more ...

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 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...

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