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June 22, 2010

What I Did in June

Yet I don't see how it is possible to improve education while neglecting everything but basic skills. Even privately managed charter schools are affected negatively by high-stakes testing; to claim ever-rising test scores, they are prompted to avoid low-performing students, thus bypassing the very students that charters were originally intended to serve.

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...

June 10, 2010

From Castles to Factories

Dear Diane, I couldn't resist this piece from the Rev. John Thomas of the Chicago Theological Seminary, entitled "It's Not OK to Hate Teachers." When you travel across the country through numerous county seat towns and cities, it's easy to see what was important to those who established those comm...

June 01, 2010

Deconstructing NAEP Reading Scores for Cities

Dear Deborah, This year the federal testing program (the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP) expanded to include 18 urban districts. The testing of urban districts is known as TUDA (or, Trial Urban District Assessment). TUDA was launched in 2002, in response to a request by the Co...

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 13, 2010

Charters & Their Shallow Community Roots

Dear Diane, That was an amazing and surprising find re. Milwaukee charters. I thought that at the very least they'd get the advantage of being in a more diverse (integrated) setting with more middle-class kids and that being chosen (even by lottery) would produce a kind of halo effect. Why it didn'...

May 11, 2010

A Double Standard on Test Scores

Dear Deborah, Last month, a very important report was released about the voucher program in Milwaukee. It did not receive nearly enough attention, because its findings have major implications for a longstanding debate about the efficacy of vouchers. It was compiled by the School Choice Demonstratio...

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 ...

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The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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