Last Monday, President Obama went off script at a town hall meeting, and in response to a question from student Luis Zelaya, offered us a vision for education. In 338 words, he made it clear that current Department of Education policy is way out of line with what he knows is best for his own daughters, and for students across the nation. After I expressed this view in my blog Monday night, Justin Hamilton, a press secretary for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, wrote to me and I then sent him four questions. On Friday he answered three of them, ...


A week ago I posted a blog pointing out that President Obama's remarks at a town hall meeting seemed to undermine Department of Education policies. I received a request for a correction to my post from Justin Hamilton, Press Secretary to Secretary Duncan. He agreed to answer some questions for me. Friday I posted his responses to my first three questions. Today, he has answered the fourth. My question: President Obama also said: So what I want to do is--one thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching to the test. Because then you're not ...


Last Monday, President Obama went off script at a town hall meeting, and in response to a question from student Luis Zelaya, offered us a vision for education. In 338 words, he made it clear that current Department of Education policy is way out of line with what he knows is best for his own daughters, and for students across the nation. After I expressed this view in my blog Monday night, Justin Hamilton, a press secretary for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, wrote to me and requested that I correct my post, providing me with his official interpretation of ...


The journalist Michael Kinsley once said "a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth." A week ago, President Obama opened his mouth in an unscripted town hall, and the truth accidentally fell out. By now, you have read his words. You can view the event here. President Obama was responding as a father, and reflecting on how he sees his own daughters, Sasha and Malia, experience tests at their exclusive private school. This is an excellent model for the way student learning should be assessed. Just to be clear, the whole point of my post Monday night was ...


On Monday night I posted a blog pointing out that President Obama's remarks at a town hall meeting seemed to undermine Department of Education policies. I received a request for a correction to my post from Justin Hamilton, Press Secretary to Secretary Duncan. He agreed to answer some questions for me, which I posted earlier today. Note that in my questions, I included President Obama's remarks. Mr. Hamilton has removed those quotes in his reply. From Justin Hamilton: Before I answer your questions, I want to say that President Obama and Secretary Duncan believe that assessing student achievement and their ...


The four questions the Department of Education promises to answer soon (here are answers to the first three) On Monday I wrote a post contrasting President Obama's insightful thoughts about standardized tests to policies that are being pursued by his own Department of Education. Justin Hamilton, a press operative for the Department of Education believes I have misinterpreted President Obama's remarks, and on Wednesday he sent me an email requesting that I correct my post. He offered me the following "clarifications": While President Obama and Secretary Duncan are open to how we can best assess student progress in subject areas ...


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.


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