Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody I have been in conversations with the Gates Foundation for the past two months. In my early exchanges with representatives of the Gates Foundation it felt as if we were barely scratching the surface of the many issues that I thought should be explored. I thought that this dialogue might serve to delve into the issues more deeply. Yesterday the Gates Foundation responded to my last post, focused on the problems associated with a market-driven approach to education reform. I want to revisit the ten posts in this exchange, and have chosen excerpts from ...


Guest post by Celena Rodriguez. As a student in CPS, I would like to share the student perspective on the ongoing Chicago strike. Some may say I don't fully understand why CPS teachers are on strike but actually, I do. I may not understand everything to its fullest extent but I do know that our teachers are fighting for a good cause. They want us to succeed, but how can we do that when we attend a school "like Gage Park High School"? At Gage Park, there are brilliant teachers there who dedicate and devote all of their time to ...


Guest post by Irvin Scott and Stacey Childress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This post can also be read and commented on at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog. This is the last post in a series of five sets of posts, and responds to this post from last week: What Happens when Profits Drive Reform? . Irvin Scott: The interaction on this blog began with a spoken agreement and wish between us and Mr. Cody during a conversation this summer: to truly engage with those who have different views from our own. To listen to one other, potentially ...


Guest post by Katie Osgood. There is jubilation on the streets of Chicago. The excitement is tempered with humility. No one wants a strike. Chicago teachers are very aware that this strike is difficult on parents, on students, and on the teachers themselves. But for the first time in decades, Chicago's teachers are standing up. They are saying "no more" to the countless waves of harmful, poorly-planned, and unproven education reforms. There is freedom in drawing a line in the sand. For too long now, teachers have known that they were participating in something cruel. Giving test after standardized test, ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody The strike by Chicago teachers is reminding all of us of the reason we have unions, and the reason why they are so feared and hated by those who are in command. The ability of these 29,000 teachers to act as one, to withhold their labor, gives them a power far mightier than the sum of their parts. So long as they stay unified, and have the support of parents in their community and others across the nation, they will prevail. Unions don't just exist to handle grievances and negotiate contracts. Unions are ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This is the last exchange in this formal dialogue with the Gates Foundation. The tension uncovered by this dialogue reveals a disconnect between the work of the Gates Foundation and many of us who have spent our lives working in schools. Nonetheless, this represents an opportunity to move beyond the impasse. Similar to the polarization that has occurred in the national political scene, the battle lines over education reform have become so hardened that it seems as if we cannot even agree on a common understanding of reality. Therefore bridging our differences requires us ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This week, our exchange is focused on these questions: What is the purpose of K-12 education? How do we think about college and career readiness? How do the Common Core Standards fit in? This post is a response to one posted yesterday, authored by Irvin Scott of the Gates Foundation. This post can also be viewed and commented upon at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog. Irvin Scott of the Gates Foundation has given us some vivid images of the students he taught, and sincerely described the fervent desire that motivates every teacher - ...


Guest post by Irvin Scott. In this fourth of five exchanges with the Gates Foundation, we take on some of the biggest questions of all: What is the purpose of a K-12 education? How do we think about college and career readiness? How do the Common Core Standards fit in? This post can also be viewed and commented on at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog. My response will be posted tomorrow. I can still see Tyrese* in my classroom, Room 202. I can see where he sat during my Composition class. He did not come every day, but when ...


Guest post by Chris Williams of the Gates Foundation. This guest post is a response to Anthony Cody's post of a week ago, Can Schools Defeat Poverty by Ignoring It? This is the third topic in a series of five exchanges exploring critical issues in education reform. This post can also be viewed and commented upon at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog. In his latest post in the "Dialogue with the Gates Foundation" series, Anthony Cody addresses the question, "What is the role of education reform in relation to the problem of family poverty? What is the best way ...


Guest post by Gerald Coles. In the debate over charter schools, KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) schools are hailed by charter advocates as illustrative of what these alternatives to public schools can produce. With KIPP, poverty need not impede academic success. Enroll students from economically impoverished backgrounds in a "no excuses" school like KIPP and their chances of attaining academic success would soar markedly. There, neither hunger, poor health, relentless stress, lack of access to the material sustenance and cultural experiences available to students from more affluent homes, nor other adverse effects of poverty are impediments to learning and the ...


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