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October 21, 2010

Why 'Convenient' Lies Won't Set Us Free

Wealth brings privileges. To pretend otherwise and insist that the "gaps" between the wealthy and the poor aren't important is not just a benign mistake; it's a dangerous one. When we allow the target to shift to "lazy" teachers and power-hungry unions, we should feel guilty, Mr. Guggenheim.

October 19, 2010

A Manifesto by the Powerful

The superintendents' manifesto does not come from the powerless. It was written by men and women who are in charge of major school systems and who certainly have far more power than parents, teachers, principals, or ordinary citizens.

October 05, 2010

The Problems With Value-Added Assessment *

Diane Ravitch is furious at the unfair and dangerous treatment she feels teachers and public education are receiving; value-added assessment, she says, is a misguided and damaging means of judging teacher performance.

September 30, 2010

The Truth Has Taken a Beating: Now What?

The scare tactics that followed A Nation at Risk have led to a false and damaging narrative about American schools and what needs to be done to improve them, Deborah Meier writes.

September 23, 2010

White Knights and False Villains in Education

We need schools in which adults are treated like adults by those "above" them in the hierarchy--which has hardly ever been the condition of public schools, especially those serving poor communities.

September 21, 2010

Why Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty Lost

Diane Ravitch says last week's election results underscore voter unhappiness with the autocratic approach to school "reform."

May 18, 2010

Schools 4 $Sale: Inquire at U.S. DOE

Dear Deborah, You and I are old enough to remember heated debates about what democracy in education means. Some argued that it had to do with the governance of education, with the ability of the public to participate in decisions affecting their children. Some maintained that it had to do with the ...

April 08, 2010

Until We Take Democracy Seriously...

Dear Diane, Here's an essential question: When trying to get at the truth of things, what role do data play? Most of the time our "habits" take over before we can exercise any form of reflective judgment (which is why John Dewey focused on "habits of mind" as the goal of good schools). Habits are s...

March 16, 2010

The Shame of Newsweek

Dear Deborah, Did you see Newsweek last week? What a stunning and uninformed attack on teachers and teachers' unions. The cover of the magazine told the story: The Key to Saving American Education, by Evan Thomas and Pat Wingert. It was printed on a classroom blackboard. In the background, on the s...

February 23, 2010

The Problem With Charters

Dear Deborah, Last week, I warned that the explosive growth of charter schools would lead to financial and political scandals, as greedy entrepreneurs and unprincipled speculators discover the riches ripe for the picking. A reader challenged me, and I offer as the latest (but not the only) evidence...

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