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March 27, 2015

Growing Inequality Visible in K-12 Politics

The one-percenters who can make large campaign donations have more money than ever. And, as in all other policy areas these days, they want to call the shots in K-12 education.

March 24, 2015

I Love My Job. Really.

You cannot measure self-esteem, self-worth, or readiness to face the world. You cannot quantify these teachable moments, ever. The more you try to do this, the more you tell me that my professionalism is equated to the scores that a set of my kids have received on a test that has no relevance to their daily life, the more you demean the battle against poverty, adolescence, and apathy that I fight each day.

March 09, 2015

Minecraft Offers Lessons in Building a Strong Learning System

An irresistible computer game and a equally irresistible 7-year-old teach me about how we might link deeper learning and the Common Core.

March 09, 2015

Asia Shifts From Rote Learning to 21st Century Skills

Contrary to the widely held view that Asian education systems heavily emphasize traditional rote learning, this new research paints a picture of commitment among Asian countries and economies to make 21st century skills a significant component of their education systems moving forward.

March 04, 2015

Incumbents Falter in L.A. School Board Races

Even more than we expected, incumbents in Los Angeles school board races failed to capture majorities. Three are headed toward runoffs. Charter supporters are ascendant as big money pours in.

March 02, 2015

L.A. Board Election Critical for District's Future

Angelenos will pick a majority of the board members in the nation's second largest school district on Tuesday. A critical election? I think so.

March 02, 2015

Garden-Variety Teacher Leadership

I worry that teacher leadership is being commodified--that teachers with exceptional talents in instruction, curriculum development, mentoring, analyzing district politics and influencing decision-making will not be seen as leaders unless they have a title or a stipend. I worry even more about how formal teacher leaders are "chosen"--just whose water they're expected to carry.

February 27, 2015

The Four Things You Need to Create a Good School

It's a scenario that's been posited before, many times: If you could start over--no residual assumptions--and build an ideal school from the ground up, what would you keep? What would you discard? Thoughts: There are no silver bullets, but there are no fatal-flaw structures or technologies, either. When you come down to it, schools are mostly about getting the right people together.

February 12, 2015

Can We Do School Improvement Without Tests?

Now that standardized testing has become a flashpoint in the culture wars, policy makers and politicians have begun throwing tests under the bus. But if tests go away, can we still find ways to improve schools? The current California experience may offer some clues.

February 09, 2015

Assessments and Standards Are Not Enough to Lift Learning

California has invested heavily in the Common Core and its associated tests, but it has yet to develop the infrastructure that will support teachers and students.

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