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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 17, 2011

Deportations Throw Children into Foster Care

There is an ugly reality that many of us are spared from, but which is omnipresent in the lives of many of our students. Latino journalists last week confronted President Obama with the news that immigration enforcement is breaking up families. A yearlong investigation by the Applied Research Cent...

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 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...

October 14, 2011

In John Merrow's Education Reform Land, Copycats Rule

In his September 28 reflection on Education Nation, John Merrow has provided us with a distillation of the solution being offered to improve learning in our low-achieving schools. Copy KIPP. For those who have not reviewed the methods at KIPP, Merrow describes them for us. KIPP kindergarten teac...

October 02, 2011

Alabama Law Creates Immigration Panic in Schools

Headlines from Alabama tell us that the latest "education reform" there is making sure we know exactly how much the state is spending to educate the children of "illegal" immigrants. According to a new law, parents are required to present documentation when registering their children to attend schoo...

September 22, 2011

Public Schools and Post Offices: What do they have in Common?

Last week, one of Stephen Colbert's guests was a former mail carrier named Phil Rubio, who raised the alarm about the potential demise of a basic government service, the US Post Office. Dr. Rubio explained that the Post Office is a rather strange government/business hybrid, where it is controlled by...

September 20, 2011

John Thompson: Should Schools Grade Students' Moral Character?

Guest post by John Thompson. Part two of two. Last week I read Paul Tough's New York Times Magazine article, "What if the Secret to Success is Failure?," about the approach being taken by the KIPP schools and others, inspired by the work of Martin Seligman. Two big issues came up for me. The first...

September 19, 2011

John Thompson: Does a "No Excuses" Approach Really Work?

Guest post by John Thompson. Part one of two. Last week I read Paul Tough's New York Times Magazine article, "What if the Secret to Success is Failure?," about the approach being taken by the KIPP schools and others, inspired by the work of Martin Seligman. Two big issues came up for me. The firs...

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...

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