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February 10, 2009

Why Are People So Gullible About Miracle Cures in Education?

Dear Deborah, Teacher-bashing has become the motif of the day. It is usually cloaked in some high-minded rhetoric that pretends to praise teachers. Say the bashers: We need great teachers; great teachers can solve all our problems; great teachers can close the achievement gap; if you don't have gr...

January 15, 2009

Time to Enlarge the Public's Imagination

Dear Diane, Fair enough. The “idea” might even be good (downplaying college education and going straight for occupational education at 18), but getting from here to there is a puzzle to me, too, even if it were the right idea. Under far more egalitarian circumstances I can see how we might re-o...

January 08, 2009

Murray et al

Dear Diane, Happy New Year! I spent last Saturday going through years of “stuff” I’ve collected—letters, essays, reports, notes, etc. that will be going to the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana. Eighty percent of it is school stuff. Several colleagues came over to help put t...

January 06, 2009

Colleges & Remedial Education

Editor's Note: Bridging Differences resumes today. Dear Deborah, Happy New Year to you and to our readers. 2009 is shaping up to be an important year for American education. We will soon have a new Secretary of Education, a new voice in charge of the nation's bully pulpit. There will be much for u...

December 16, 2008

Who Are the Real Reformers?

Dear Deborah, Now we know that President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Arne Duncan as his secretary of education. This must be a relief to Linda Darling-Hammond, who heads Obama's transition team for education policy, because now the attacks on her can cease. I have been shocked by the editorial o...

December 11, 2008

Why Are We Careless About the Experience of Teachers?

Dear Diane, Columnists who write about education can display amazing chutzpah. How about this headline in the Boston Globe: “How Obama can fix education”? Of course, it’s also the editors of our “finest” newspapers who are to blame for this view of education as an appliance. Or David ...

November 25, 2008

Good Intentions, Ignorant Elites, and Scoundrels

Dear Deborah, We live in a dangerous and dark time for schools. In many districts, the gears of power are controlled by non-educators who don't have a clue. They madly embrace testing and data and data-driven instruction because they have not a single idea about how kids learn and how teachers tea...

November 06, 2008

Schools Are a Place to Learn to Reason

Editor's note: Due to a busy travel schedule, Deborah Meier composed this entry before Tuesday's presidential election. Dear Diane, I'm on the road and writing you before Election Day (even though this won't be posted until after the big day). But I can't wait until Wednesday to respond since I'll...

November 04, 2008

Descending Into the Pits of Rote Learning

Dear Deborah, You and I have advocated for different approaches over the years, though they are not contradictory. I have stressed the importance of content in the curriculum (history, literature, the arts, science, foreign languages, etc.), and you have stressed the importance of “habits of mind...

October 30, 2008

Keeping Company With Kids, Not Lecturing at Them

Dear Diane, How many of our friends 10 years ago would have imagined that in 2008 you and I could almost be writing each other's columns? At least when it comes to NCLB, and quite a lot of other things—but not all! More or less amen, amen, and amen to every word you wrote on Tuesday. By the...

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