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December 01, 2011

Turmoil Seems to be Chief Product of Education "Reform"

When something keeps on appearing as a byproduct of an activity, eventually you might begin to wonder if perhaps the byproduct is actually the objective. The one result that education reform efforts seem to have in common is turmoil in our schools, especially those where there is high poverty. Let...

November 29, 2011

Interview with Diane Ravitch: California's Rejection of NCLB Waivers Sends a Message

California, with more public school students than any other state, has surprised many by declining to apply for waivers to No Child Left Behind. The implications of this decision are far-reaching, and so in the coming weeks I am going to be asking a variety of educational leaders for their thoughts...

November 20, 2011

LA Times backs California's NCLB Defiance

Follow me on Twitter: @anthonycody Today the Los Angeles Times, the largest circulation newspaper in the largest metropolis in the most populous state in the nation, came out in support of the decision by Governor Jerry Brown and Superintendent Tom Torlakson to ignore the Department of Education's ...

November 08, 2011

NCLB Waivers get a Reality Check

The trajectory of our nation's schools from the train wreck of No Child Left Behind to a new and fresh set of calamitous policies has been checked by the ways in which these so-called reforms are playing out across the country. First, what is happening with student achievement? The latest results ...

November 07, 2011

NCLB Waivers are not Worthy Reforms in California

A slightly abbreviated version of this post ran as an op-ed column in yesterday's Sacramento Bee. No Child Left Behind has put the schools of California in a vise. Next year, the vast majority of our schools will be declared "failing" based on our inability to make every child in the state profici...

November 05, 2011

Bill Gates' Big Play: How Much Can Money Buy in Education?

What would happen if one of the wealthiest men in the world decided to remake the institution of public education in America? What if that man believed he understood the secrets to success, and sought to align the nation's schools to his vision and methods? What if he decided to devote all his time ...

November 03, 2011

Occupy Oakland: Striking Questions

I spent yesterday back in Oakland, participating in the Occupy Oakland general strike. Several hundred Oakland teachers were there as well, part of a crowd that swelled to around ten thousand in the afternoon. Below are photos and a video that capture some of the spirit of the day. And some thoughts...

October 26, 2011

The Legacy of NCLB: Can We Force Schools to Improve?

When I was in Washington, DC, last July, I participated in a press conference prior to the Save Our Schools March, which I had helped organize. A gentleman who had asked several critical questions spoke with me afterwards. He tried to help me understand why tough federal mandates were needed to impr...

October 23, 2011

John Thompson: Will Duncan Learn Lessons from Chicago?

Guest post by John Thompson. In 2009, I assumed that President Obama appointed Arne Duncan to split the differences between data-driven and traditional reformers. I sure hoped the President did not think that a non-educator who became the CEO of Chicago schools at the age of 37 would have had the ...

October 22, 2011

The Dialogue Heats Up over Teach For America

A few days ago I posted this: Civil Rights Groups Press for Truly Qualified Teachers. I have hit a nerve, because the piece has gotten a number of comments. Last night some sharp questions arrived from a reader named Mike Hailey. I am interested in highlighting this dialogue, so I am going to post h...

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