October 2012 Archives

I have been a diligent student of this Presidential election. I have watched all the debates, viewed all the ads in two battleground states, read the barrage of emails from the candidates, and studied the education records and promises of Governor Romney and President Obama. My conclusion is that---no surprise---children, educators, and the public schools have a lot at stake in this election. I have known a lot of politicians in my life, but I have never seen anyone who switches his positions so often as Governor Romney. He exhibits no core values. The astounding and not-so-funny thing is that ...


Marian Kisch, a freelance writer out of Chevy Chase, MD, who writes a monthly column for the HOPE Foundation shares a guest blog today. She tells us about a success story that has used HOPE to help change the schools' culture and tailor school leadership development opportunities to reach the ultimate goal of increasing collaboration and student achievement. T-shirts and banners emblazoned with the motto: Together...Connected for the Kids showcase the kind of change La Grange Independent School District in Texas has undergone over the past two years as it progresses from "good" to "great." The district's administrative team ...


As a teacher of some of the toughest kids in our public schools, I worked hard to identify their assets and to leverage those assets so these kids could be successful students in school and in life. When I see Steve Perry, founder of Capital Preparatory Magnet School and education contributor on CNN, acting tough and pontificating on the education of urban children, I see a person who likes to put down others to enhance his own status. Dr. Perry appears angry and unwilling to listen to any view other than his own. I am never sure if his behavior ...


I took the time to read many of the letters that were written by teachers and parents to President Obama through a campaign organized by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody. While I was not thrilled with the timing of this campaign, I could not ignore the pain expressed by too many teachers and parents, pain resulting from ill-conceived policies at the local and state levels enabled by financial incentives from the U.S. Department of Education as well as waivers from the broken No Child Left Behind law. I believe it is time to declare that basing teacher and principal ...


Alan Blankstein, CEO and Founder of the HOPE Foundation, is back with a guest blog. Today he describes real reform that is sustainable because it focuses on collaboration not confrontation. "Faulty evidence and unwarranted claims." Not the strongest foundation for a major push of government policy, but that's what the National Education Policy Center says about the rationale for significant efforts aimed at school turnarounds in recent years. In a report issued last week, NEPC said federal mandates for school improvement funding that include removing teachers and principals have little basis in research, are largely "an extension of the (No ...


It has been my observation that when Michelle Rhee engages in politics, she comes across as naive at best and, at worst, undermines the candidates she says she supports. I listened to her on talk shows during the Democratic Convention and then read her ensuing op ed pieces. While she positions herself as knowing everything about education and an expert on the political scene, I don't see it that way. I thought I would provide her a few lessons in Politics 101. Who knows? Maybe she can learn something. Lesson One: Learn from your past mistakes. You do remember Adrian ...


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