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July 02, 2011

Why Pedro Noguera will be Marching to Save Our Schools July 30th

Pedro Noguera has been a leader in education reform for decades. I came to know him during the battle to end apartheid in the 1980s, when we were both students at UC Berkeley. As a parent, he became very involved in the local schools, served on the Berkeley Board of Education, and went on to center ...

June 30, 2011

Secretary Duncan's Data Integrity Warning Misses the Point

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has issued a warning to state-level school leaders telling them: I am writing to urge you to do everything you can to ensure the integrity of the data used to measure student achievement and ensure meaningful educational accountability in your State. As I'm sure ...

June 27, 2011

John Thompson: Three Visions of Teaching in the 21st Century

Guest post by John Thompson This is the second of two connected posts. Read the first here. Richard Elmore and Elizabeth City have described three possible futures for public education. I see two of them as nightmares, but Elmore's and City's most hopeful scenario is one of schools that foster "co...

June 25, 2011

John Thompson: School Transformation in the 21st Century: Turtles, Frogs or Butterflies

Guest post by John Thompson In an earlier contribution to the Harvard Futures of School Reform, Richard Elmore described "the dismal, glacial, adult-centered, congenially authoritarian, mindless soup in which our children spend the bulk of their days." I assume he was mostly describing failing sch...

June 22, 2011

A One-Sided Dialogue: Teacher Frustration Leads to Protest

We are just over a month from the Save Our Schools March on Washington, DC, and I have been asked how we got to this place, where we are motivated to protest. So here, with links to relevant posts from this blog, is the story, from my perspective as one frustrated teacher. In September of 2008, I ...

June 18, 2011

John Thompson: Fact Checking the National Council on Teacher Quality

Guest post by John Thompson The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), is a Gates-funded organization dedicated to data-driven, market-oriented "reform." It sees itself as a part of a coalition for "a better orchestrated agenda" for accountability, choice, and using test scores to drive the ev...

June 13, 2011

President Obama, We Were There When You Needed Us

It has been a year and a half since I wrote an open letter to President Obama, and started a project called Teachers' Letters to Obama. Back in December of 2009, I sent a package of 107 letters to the President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (downloadable here). Sadly, there has been no c...

June 12, 2011

Jim Owens: School Is Out: Let Your Education Begin!

Teacher Jim Owens was chosen by the 435 graduating seniors at Gainesville High School to address them and their families, and delivered this speech to an audience of 5,000 on June 5, 2011. Testing. Testing 1,2. Just like school, no? Always testing. Can you hear me in the cheap seats? Look at you!...

June 09, 2011

Is Diane Ravitch Insulting Teachers? Who Speaks for Us?

Last week, in the pages of the New York Times, Diane Ravitch went after the most sacred of cows of the education "reform" movement -- the supposed "miracle schools" that prove the reforms actually work. Columinist Jonathan Alter offered a rebuttal that was carried in a media outlet owned by leadin...

June 07, 2011

Interview: How Does Classroom Stress Affect Learning?

The Wall Street Journal recently carried a report about a study that found that students are often affected by the stress that adults working with them are experiencing. In a time when education "reform" and budget cuts often seem to be making schools more stressful, this seems like a very significa...

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