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February 24, 2015

Homework, Oh Homework...

What do you get when you put unreasonable expectations on teachers and parents to make sure kids do things that adults they've never met really, really think they ought to do? You get homework. Even in first grade.

February 19, 2015

Oklahoma Is Not OK

Out in Oklahoma, a state representative wants to repeal and replace AP US history. Here we go again.

February 08, 2015

Are We Ready to Have a Real Conversation About K-12 Grading?

Looking at all the ways my kids are being graded has me thinking: is there anything we can do about it? We could start by slowing down to think about the nature of intelligence, what graded assessment tells us about it, and what it would take to think about it differently.

February 03, 2015

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Look at Another Report Card: Here Comes One From Pre-K

Just when you thought you'd seen it all: along comes a report card for a four-year-old. And it's probably even more ridiculous than you thought it would be.

January 20, 2015

Does Differentiation Work? Is That Even the Right Question?

James R. Delisle stirred a hornet's nest recently when he proclaimed, right here in the pages of Ed Week, that differentiated instruction doesn't work. I think he's focused on the wrong thing.

January 15, 2015

'It's Like They're Building the Airplane While It's in the Air'

We've made so many changes to our education system just in the past 15 years that it's hard to keep up with all of them. Worse, we've done it with a sense of impatience and misplaced urgency that would make an impulsive teenager blush. What if we just stopped making changes for awhile and spent some time reflecting on how we got here?

January 12, 2015

This Is What Local Control Looks Like

The fight over common core is often framed as a fight over the limits of federal power—and an expressed desire to protect "local control" of public schools. But what does local control really mean? And is it actually more democratic?

January 05, 2015

Tests Are the Drug

Have you ever wondered if our national obsession with tests was so extreme that it's actually unhealthy—psychologically as well as physically? I think we may have a substance abuse problem on our hands, and the substance we're abusing is test data. Maybe it's time for an intervention.

December 23, 2014

The Contrarian's Guide to Holiday Conversation

The holiday season is upon us. Are you ready to discuss contentious educational issues with your friends and family?

December 19, 2014

In Hot Pursuit of Deeper Learning

Some schools are experimenting with the idea that we might actually know more about what students learned in school if we gave them performance assessments instead of standardized tests. Not only is this a good idea, but it might actually get us closer to finding out what we hoped to find out by giving standardized tests in the first place.

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