Change is a natural part of life. Educators, of all people, should be able to see the need for change before others do. But you have to have a plan to make lasting change, and too many educational leaders don't seem to understand that.

Should people who fund charter schools also be funding research studies on charter school effectiveness? If that seems like a conflict of interest to you, you're not alone.

School choice is all the rage in education right now, but, to me, the only choice we need to make is this one: we need to commit to public education for everybody, not just for those lucky enough to win an enrollment lottery or lucky enough to have parents who live in the right zip code.

One of the most persistent, and frustrating, myths in education is the myth of the fatcat teacher stealing precious school dollars to sock away in her gold-plated pension fund. Don't believe it. You might be the victim of a hoax.

The teacher shortage alarm has been sounded again. I would argue, though, that we don't just have a shortage of teachers on our hands; we have a shortage of well-paid teachers, and if we took steps to address it we might find the larger issue easier to tackle.

The most effective, and inspiring, leaders are more than managers; they're risk-takers, people who understand what needs to be done before others even know what the problem is. They're not afraid to make mistakes. How many people like that are running our schools?

We should make it easier for kids to go to school and get something out of it, even if it means making a few sacrifices on our part. As it stands the choices we make now too often do the opposite. We can do better than that.

There is an old argument about teaching and teacher pay making the rounds, masquerading as a powerful new insight. The argument is that improving the working conditions of teachers is more important than raising teacher pay. Come on now.

I'm not reflexively opposed to the idea of changing the traditional school calendar, and I'm not married to the idea that summer vacation, in particular, must be protected at all costs. What are some other alternatives?

It's that time of year, finally: school's out, for most of us, and we can start thinking about how to use the time wisely. I wish everybody had the same opportunities I have.


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