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February 11, 2014

When 'Pretty Good' Schools Aren't Enough

Meier: I believe the cards are so stacked against children in poverty and children of color that "pretty good" or "good enough for my own kids" will not make it for them.

February 06, 2014

Be Excellent at Simple

Pondiscio: I'm often baffled by our insistence on making the perfect the enemy of the good. My Democracy Prep colleague Lindsay Malanga and I often say we should start an organization called the Coalition of Pretty Good Schools.

February 04, 2014

There Is No One Right Way

Meier: If half the effort and money spent on standardizing, aligning, testing, scripting over the last half-century had been spent on this kind of support, encouragement, and opportunity, we'd be in a very different and better place.

January 30, 2014

Making Teachers Guides to the World

Pondiscio: I object less to the principle of accountability than a sloppy, ill-defined, or unfair accountability system that encourages bad practice.

January 28, 2014

Let's Talk More About Teaching

Meier: The difference between schools for the rich and poor was both how and what was taught.

January 23, 2014

If Not College, Then What?

Pondiscio: You don't like "college prep," but how do you feel about "work prep?" About independence prep?

January 21, 2014

Preparing Kids for More Than College

Meier: I personally hate the term "college prep." I want our students to be prepped for the real world, and I hope colleges do, too. On the whole, the thing that best helped us get kids into colleges were the kids themselves. They were unusually well prepared to carry on a conversation with adults in a thoughtful and lively way.

January 14, 2014

The Hidden Curriculum

Meier: What is obvious to me about the schools that work well is that the students and their families have overcome the "us" vs. "them" pattern.

January 09, 2014

What 'System' Works for Both of Us?

Pondiscio: "Innovation," even in small entrepreneurial schools, tends to be an idea more honored in the breach than the observance. Here I think the reform impulse bears a disproportionate amount of blame.

January 07, 2014

On Small School Networks & Democracy

Deborah Meier: But if we could start with the question of what a good school needs and then build a system based on that, it doesn't seem as undoable.

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