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August 22, 2011

Bill Gates Inspires a Class Size Experiment in Kansas City

A story broken by Parents Across America, and thus far not even covered by local newspapers, reveals that school administrators in Kansas City, Missouri, are introducing an unprecedented experiment. According to this story, contributed by a Kansas City teacher who has remained anonymous out of fear ...

August 20, 2011

Sharp Themes Emerge from #AskArne Questions

A few days ago I posted an invitation for people to share questions they have for Arne Duncan, in preparation for his Twitter Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 24th. The questions that are emerging are a fascinating glimpse into the debate over our schools. I reviewed questions, and found som...

August 18, 2011

#AskArne Twitter Town Hall Next Wednesday: Share your Questions Here

The Department of Education announced Tuesday that Secretary Arne Duncan will participate in an #AskArne Twitter Town Hall on next Wednesday, August 24, at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Veteran education journalist John Merrow will moderate the town hall that will also be broadcast live on the Department of Educ...

August 17, 2011

President Obama on Shaky Ground with Teachers: Can He Firm Up Support?

President Obama has some very large problems heading into 2012, and one that might surprise those inside the DC beltway is an area that should be a bulwark of support for any Democratic candidate: education. Democratic candidates tend to support public services, and the unions that represent teacher...

August 14, 2011

GOP Candidates Take on the Department of Education

The recent debate among candidates for the Republican nomination for President has raised anew the proper role of the Federal government in our schools. Several candidates, including Herman Cain and Texas governor Rick Perry, have decried the expansion of federal influence. Michelle Bachman has like...

August 13, 2011

John Thompson: What Happens when Magical Thinking is a Condition of Employment?

Guest post by John Thompson. Sometimes it seems like every five foot tall male 8th grader is convinced that he will make it in the NBA. Teachers have to gently explain the need to study in case, by some fluke, a teenager does not become a first round draft choice. The Washington Post's education ...

August 09, 2011

Say No to Duncan Dollars: Rookie Reform has Run its Course

Over the past decade I have served as a mentor teacher to more than a dozen beginning teachers in the challenging schools of Oakland. Most of them have been interns, fresh out of college, with just a few weeks of summer training, and a "bag of tricks" that they were given by their only slightly more...

July 31, 2011

Save Our Schools Rocks the Capital!

Wow. What a day. Friday the temperature had hit about 104, but Saturday was breezy and cooler, topping out in the mid-90s. We had a couple of tents behind the stage for all the speakers and performers, and folks started to arrive. We had a little time to fill between the first band and the rally kic...

July 30, 2011

We are in Washington to Save Our Schools and We Want Answers!

For me, the journey to today's Save Our Schools March started when I wrote an open letter to President Obama raising serious questions about where we are headed with education reform in America. Those questions have still not been answered. Yesterday I had a chance to ask Arne Duncan a question, a...

July 27, 2011

Alfie Kohn: We Have to Take Back Our Schools

Alfie Kohn has been at the forefront of the resistance to test-based reforms for more than a decade. As we approach the Save Our Schools March this Saturday, I asked him to share some thoughts about the challenges we face. When many of us point out the narrowing of the curriculum that has been the...

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