March 2011 Archives

President Obama, I loved the way you described the role of assessment. It should be occasional, not punitive, and used to help diagnose where students need help. Is there a way we could get your Department of Education's policies to align with your personal vision?

In February I shared a conversation between a veteran teacher, David Greene, and his mentee, a former Teach For America intern named John Bilby. Today, we have a continuation of that dialogue, once again focused on how we ought to prepare teachers to work in our schools. John: Here we are again. This time, I want to steer the conversation towards teacher training. I was inspired by a petition recently put forward by Joe Rogers, Jr., to Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach For America. Joe Rogers wants Wendy Kopp to instate a pre-service year of training for TFA ...

the school reform movement is populated by self-promoting snake oil salesmen, and our elected officials are buying their tonic by the truckload.

in these unprecedented times we need our unions for a much bigger task. We need our unions to help save the institution of public education in America.

The impending budget cuts are going to devastate schools that have been the one safe refuge for many of these children.

For most of these kids, and please don't forget they are kids, it's a rather painful way to get into grad school. The road is hard. It is filled with potholes the size of canyons. Why would they choose that path instead of a smoother one?

Finally, we are getting the respect we deserve. But after seeing the deal close up last night, I am not sure it is much of a bargain after all.

As part of building for this summer's Save Our Schools March in Washington, DC, we are creating some video segments to build awareness.

Just as our children should stand with the victims of the schoolyard bully, parents and teachers at schools that escape the "failing" label should stand with those left behind, those fat kids with big ears, the schools with the vast majority of their children living in poverty.

We will not drive improvement by intensifying the climate of fear that already plagues these schools. These schools already spend far too much time focused on test preparation, sacrificing the aspects of school most likely to engage and enliven their students.

Let's follow Moore's example of acting and organizing. Let the politicians see our strength

Education reform is not a partisan issue. Teachers have to stand up to Democrats and Republicans alike. And we will not be holding fundraisers or walking precincts for candidates of either party that pursue these destructive policies.

The American Dream stays strong in the hearts of the protesters chanting across our country, like a tree that falls in the forest with no one around. How much louder the chanting would be, if only everyone knew the tree was ever so close to home.

She proved to me that in any one year, any one teacher could make a difference to any one student. The great ones do it for so many more. What will we do now to make more great ones like Rita Stafford Dunn?

The best thing you could do for schools would be to launch a campaign aimed at getting wealthy corporations and individuals to pay their fair share of taxes, so that the public schools, which rely on tax dollars, are not primarily funded by the middle class, which is hurting so badly now.


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