Roger Ebert, the Daily Illini, and Me

I saw the Roger Ebert homage movie, Life Itself, and came away thinking about both Roger and the Daily Illini, the student newspaper that formed our rite of passage into adulthood.

How to Drive Reform With Instruction Rather Than Testing

The Common Core will work in California if its adoption is driven by instruction rather than testing. Making this happen challenges the state to slow the consequences of testing and to find ways to invest in a modern educational infrastructure.

The Nonstory Story of Smarter Balanced Field Tests

Sometimes the lack of news is actually a story. The widely expected train wreck during the California field testing of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams didn't happen. But history suggests that lack of a deep political coalition around the Common Core and its tests could present a problem next spring and beyond.

Grounding Vergara in the Realities of Teaching in California

Reality in California is different from that posited by Vergara plaintiffs. Most teachers in California don't get tenure after two years, and the system of evaluation they are subjected to does not differentiate between effective and ineffective teachers, write guest bloggers Julia Koppich and Daniel Humphery.

New State Accountability Plan Is Only One Among Many

California's new accountability plan proves to be complex, and it is only one of many that district's need to complete.

Poll Shows Support for Vergara Restrictions

A public opinion poll released Thursday shows that a large majority of Californians supports the restrictions on tenure and due process that were the subject of the recent Vergara decision.

A Little 'Lateral Thinking' Will Answer the Teacher Quality/Accountability Question

The problems raised in the Vergara lawsuit could be solved if we would think about them differently, argues guest blogger Ted Kolderie. It is clear that the source of the problem is the boss/worker arrangement itself rather than the way the teachers behave in it, he argues.

Billion Dollar Pledge to Bring Sophisticated Geo-Maps to Classrooms

In a stunning, but little recognized gift, Esri, the makers of geographic information systems software, have given $1-Billion in free access and mentoring to public schools. Guest Blogger Charlie Fitzpatrick writes about its use as a powerful learning tool.

Even in Winning, Vergara Is Still a Loser

Remember the analogy test you had to take to get into college. Well, here's one: Vergara is to education reform as pancake makeup is to beauty. Makeup covers up the pockmarks and makes the surface look better. But it doesn't do anything about the body's systemic problems that caused the blemishes.

In Vergara Aftermath, Opportunity and Danger

The Vergara decision brings opportunity but probably no action, writes Peter Schrag, and comes at a time of great danger for teacher unions, writes Stephanie Simon.

The opinions expressed in On California are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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