We want to make our schools safety the administration's priority, but that's not enough. In order to make a better future for the students who come after us, we must make voices be a permanent part of decision-making at the school and not just have administration take action upon what we request. To accomplish this, we need to teach administration to communicate more effectively with students so we can make our own decisions about our safety and our learning. They must inform students when things happen and honestly inform us which tests are voluntary tests so students can choose what ...


Economists and politicians have long assumed that there are really only two sectors for governing things and "adding value" -- the state and the market. Markets are seen as the vehicle for economic progress while the state deals with governance and everything else. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that there is another sector - the commons - that is at least as important to our lives and well being. The commons consists of those many resources that we share - the atmosphere, water, public spaces, the Internet, scientific knowledge, cultural works, and much more - as well as the ...


So we acted. We talked to other seniors and got them to wear black and taught them about how they didn't have to take the test. We told them that this wasn't a service learning opportunity, and that the NAEP scores might be used against schools like ours. We talked through texting and social media. On the day of the test, we were called out of class to attend the test. Some of my classmates refused to come. We went to the location and we told the test proctor that we didn't want to take the test and asked if ...


Today we are launching a new organization, the Network for Public Education. This group will serve to connect all those who are passionate about our schools - students, parents, teachers and OTHER citizens. We will share information an research on vital issues that concern the future of public education. We hope to inspire one another as we work together and learn together about how to resist the attacks on public education.


Paul Thomas asks a provocative question this week. Are the poor too free? Are our schools providing students with tools and skills to foster their independence? Or teaching them to be compliant cogs in a machine whose levers of control they will never touch? Thomas describes the paternalism that has become central to modern education, as well as efforts to "reform" it even further.


Addressing the Save Texas Schools rally in Austin on Feb. 23, Superintendent John Kuhn nailed the essence of test-driven "reform." "Some people have forgotten that good teachers actually exist. They spend so much time and effort weeding out the bad ones that they've forgotten to take care of the good ones. This bitter accountability pesticide is over-spraying the weeds and wilting the entire garden." He later rebutted a key argument of market-driven "reform," reminding us that "They say 100,000 kids are on a waiting list for charter schools. Let me tell you about another waiting list. There are 5 ...


Confirmation hearings for acting secretary of education Hanna Skandera in New Mexico took a decided turn towards the sensational yesterday, as testimony revealed details of the inner workings of what is looking more like a political machine advancing the combined interests of education "reformers" and the companies whose interests they are often found to serve. Skandera has been strongly supported by New Mexico's Republican governor Susana Martinez, but these revelations could throw a monkey wrench into the process.


To be clear, what is happening here is that individual taxpayers can direct the funds that are being diverted from the state tax coffers towards their own children's tuition, or that of their friends. Vouchers have proven to be highly unpopular with voters, as they divert scarce funds from public schools and unconstitutionally allow them to pay for religious instruction. This violates the state constitution's prohibition against tax moneys being spent "directly, or indirectly" on religious organizations. This law is an end run around the Constitutions of the State of Georgia, and the United States, and if Earl Ehrhart has ...


This campaign is going to be fascinating to watch, because it shows the raw power of the wealthy supporters of corporate education reform, and their ability to bring that power to bear on a local school board race. The issues at stake are central to the direction of education reform. Will charter schools continue to expand at the expense of traditional public schools? Will teacher evaluations give more weight to test scores? Will seniority and due process protections be eliminated? The big question hanging over all of this is who will a locally elected school board represent? The interests of ...


The contemporary "reform" movement is based on the principle, however, that educators cannot be granted the autonomy of deciding whether they commit to building trusting relationships with students or whether "In Data We Trust." The immense body of social science that describes the emotional dynamics of schooling that was to be flushed down the toilet. Test-driven "reformers" demanded that we teach primarily to the narrow part of "the Head" that processes Big Data.


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