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March 27, 2015

Why New Orleans Matters

Welcome to the new blog, Urban Education: Lessons from New Orleans. The premise for the blog is simple: The school reforms put in place in New Orleans after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina--nearly 10 years ago--represent one of the most important events in U.S. K-12 education policy in the last century.

March 24, 2015

Is It Time to Abolish the School Board?

Maybe it's sour grapes, or maybe it's a great idea: I just can't stop thinking about the possibilities that would open up if we just abolished the local school board.

March 24, 2015

Why Are Schools Closed, and What Should Happen Next?

This week Deborah Meier and Joe Nathan discuss what when a school should be closed, and what should happen along with that decision.

March 19, 2015

Is It Ever Appropriate to Close a School?

When we see the coming and going of schools as just the market at work, we're in trouble.

March 19, 2015

Why Is Achievement Rising in Some Countries, Going Down in Others?

Australian education expert Geoff Masters looks at the reforms that have boosted student performance in the world's rapidly improving education systems and finds that they do not use market-based strategies, but instead focus on developing strong teachers and school leaders throughout the entire school system.

March 16, 2015

What Does Successful Learning Look Like?

How do educators define success in their spaces and then how do they ensure that is has been achieved for every child?

March 11, 2015

What Does the Research Say About Value-Added Models and Teacher Evaluation?

My last post of VAMs raised some questions about the credibility of the information I cited—and whether it was enough to support the conclusions I drew. So here's some research for everyone to consider, and a point to think about too: even if the research did confirm the effectiveness of VAMs, they would still be bad policy. Period.

March 11, 2015

What If Learning Were All About the Unanswerable?

What if we erased all of the confining questions that terminate in a dead end? Let's open education up to possibility and a world of what if. What questions do you wish to explore?

March 07, 2015

Does the Teacher Matter or Not?

It's taken as an article of faith among proponents of value-added teaching evaluation that teachers are the single most important variable determining student success in school. But what if the statisticians inadvertently used their own research to undermine the central premise of their argument?

March 04, 2015

What If Education Honored Students' Individuality ...

Instead of trying to treat kids the exact same way. As standardized testing became the norm, an unfortunate byproduct was the loss of student individuality. If we strive to normalize the way we teach and assess kids, we lose an inherent component that makes learning unique and interesting. The fun i...

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