September 2012 Archives

Teachers are fascinating people---especially when they get a chance to express their sincere beliefs about reform and the impact of that reform on their students and themselves. They are honest, insightful, and passionate about what they do. In these times, they are also a little fed up with the toll certain reforms have taken on the joy of teaching. This past Sunday, I watched the two-hour town hall meeting of teachers sponsored by NBC News Education Nation. The moderator, Brian Williams, was masterful in setting up the program to be an opportunity to say anything the audience chose about the ...


Sure there will be tension. Of course, there will be disagreements. One of my favorite quotes, source unknown, is, "Where there is unanimity, someone is not being represented." But, let me assure everyone that when it comes to a shared vision of great public schools for each and every child in America, there is no distance between teachers and their unions and President Barack Obama. This President does not take a good education for granted. Governor Romney is so privileged that he assumes a good education happens because parents just take care of it. President Obama knows firsthand through his ...


We all remember the scene in the movie Network where a character throws open the window, sticks his head out, and yells, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." Last week, about 30,000 educators in Chicago came to a similar breaking point. It was a fascinating week for watchers and listeners. The media pundits immediately went to union bashing as if 90 percent of the membership had not voted to assert their collective and legal right to go on strike. Shame on MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews, and Willie Geist. Loyal viewers, like me, ...


Note: Alan Blankstein, president and founder of the HOPE Foundation, is back as a guest blogger to share some more of his work to transform public schools. Sustainable leadership is characterized by depth of learning and real achievement rather than superficially tested performance; length of impact over the long haul, beyond individual leaders, through effectively managed succession; breadth of influence, where leadership becomes a distributed responsibility; justice in ensuring that leadership actions do no harm to and actively benefit students in other classes and schools; diversity that replaces standardization and alignment with networks and cohesion; resourcefulness that conserves and renews ...


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