Advocating for a slow and steady growth of schools of choice is not nearly as satisfying as advocating for huge sweeping changes that might turn the whole school system around. But, slow, decentralized, and steady is the vision that I think has the best chance, over the long term, of creating schools and systems that meet student needs at scale.
If we actually take the time to understand people who think differently than we do, and don't just lump them hastily into a pile with all of the other people with whom we disagree, we would do a better job advancing the causes we care about.
I'll be taking a break this May to work on my new book, but in the meantime, I think we've once again assembled a stellar slate of great guest-bloggers.
It's worth keeping in mind the underlying rationale for educational entrepreneurship— that American education is in need of transformative improvement, and that it's easier to promote that kind of change by launching new ventures than by wrestling with the conventions of established systems.
In Shakespeare's Macbeth, when reporting that Cawdor died with honor, Malcolm observes, "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it." It's too bad that Mr. Duncan didn't figure this out regarding his own departure from public office.
Last week, the California appellate court overturned Judge Rolf Treu's decision in Vergara v. California. I know I'm supposed to be outraged about the reversal, as plenty of people are. But I'm not.
We're not even two months into King's tenure, and his Department seems intent to go on trampling the law in order to do whatever the Secretary and his team happen to think is the "right" thing to require of the nation's states, systems, and schools.
The possibility that knowledgeable, informed, and reasonable people might actually disagree on these things is simply not part of the AERA worldview—primarily, I suspect, because it's not part of the ed school worldview.
On Tuesday, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) released its inaugural Federal Policy Survey. It provides the kind of practical advice from seasoned professionals that administrators and policymakers sorely need, but on a lot of the more explicit "federal policy" recommendations, I found the responses far less compelling.
I've never really been able to get on board the high standards train. It's not that I'm opposed to "high standards"—it just usually plays out like the 7-Minute Abs scene in There's Something About Mary.