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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.

February 17, 2011

Dignity and Respect in the Classroom

Being treated with dignity is, I suspect, part of our natural aspiration as humans. And while it can be crushed, it can also be restored. My experience in schools that placed faculty, family, and student dignity above all else was reassuring.

February 10, 2011

Egypt and NYC

In New York City, there are a thousand schools with a million-plus students, and yet there is no avenue for a democratic voice.

November 11, 2010

When There is No One to 'Look in the Eye'

"In short, what concerns us, Diane, is not new, but part of some ancient issues that reappear over and over. Ted Sizer used to say that he wanted his own kids in schools where he could look the decisionmakers in the eye and personally expect an answer, other than "I had to do it. THEY made me." "

October 28, 2010

Prescient Words on Testing and Schools

Deborah Meier writes: "But I'm amazed to read those prescient words of 1983 which were, I argued, that your book was a recipe for the wrong reforms: "more tests, more homework, longer school hours, mandated state requirements, stiffer standards for promotion, stricter discipline codes, merit pay, and sometimes, tuition tax credits."

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