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April 03, 2014

Sam Chaltain: Q & A on School, Community and Choice

I wanted to tell a deeply personal story about teachers, students, and our ongoing efforts to craft more equitable communities in order to clarify the state of public schooling as it is -- and begin hinting at what it ought to be.

February 22, 2014

Indiana Choice Parent Questions Vouchers for Church Steeples

This voucher system will not only damage the public schools, it will also damage the religious schools. too. The public policy makers are trying to reduce their bottom line, the church is trying to reduce its bottom line.

February 20, 2014

Indiana Vouchers Will Help Fix Church Steeples

Vouchers approved in the state of Indiana are prompting creative bookkeeping on the part of Catholic school leaders, with a significant boon to the churches that run them.

November 13, 2013

Educators Flunk the School Grading System in Indiana

Even though the A-F bipartisan panel has done an excellent job of wrestling with the difficult question of how to measure student growth against fixed standards, there are still fatal flaws in this system which determines winners and losers among schools, teachers, and students.

October 10, 2013

Social Darwinism Resurrected for the New Gilded Age

The fittest will survive and perhaps have a chance at that ever-shrinking middle class. The rest will flounder, but we have the "ethos of the meritocracy" to rescue us from any pangs of moral conscience.

July 30, 2013

John Thompson: Are Accountability Hawks Chicken When it Comes to Their Charters?

The panelists in the Fordham Institute's "Opt Out or Cop Out" discussion clearly enjoyed their surrealistic discussion of "accountability." They speculated on fanciful scenarios for micromanaging educators that were so disconnected from reality as to recall panelist Charlie Barone's tweet about "Dad...

May 04, 2013

Rebirth: New Orleans -- Documentary Poses a Moral Dilemma

this highlights for me, the moral dimension that Merrow ignores, when, at the end of the film, he proclaims this experiment a success. How can we accept that a third of the schools in New Orleans have been consigned to the status of dumping grounds for the other two thirds? How can we celebrate the creation of a system that allows schools to wall themselves off from students who are the most damaged by poverty and violence - and relegates those students to schools that cannot possibly succeed in this competitive scheme?

April 11, 2013

Tony Monfiletto: A Charter School in No-Man's Land

In his invitation, Anthony pointed out my schools are outside the field of vision of technocrats and policy makers who have bet the farm on high stakes standardized tests and school reformers (charters mostly) who have drunk the Kool-Aid and see the tests as a way to disrupt the overall system. I will add that there are very few people from the education establishment have invited my schools into the fold. They find them threatening to their monopoly status and categorize us with all the CMOs with which they compete. However, I don't think I'm in a "no man's land" or even on a charter school island by myself. My schools are imbedded in the community and they sit at the intersection of hopeful families and employers who are desperate to hire their children regardless of whether they're "accredited" by public or charter schools.

March 02, 2013

Georgia Religious Schools Skirt Constitution to Access Taxpayer Funds

To be clear, what is happening here is that individual taxpayers can direct the funds that are being diverted from the state tax coffers towards their own children's tuition, or that of their friends. Vouchers have proven to be highly unpopular with voters, as they divert scarce funds from public schools and unconstitutionally allow them to pay for religious instruction. This violates the state constitution's prohibition against tax moneys being spent "directly, or indirectly" on religious organizations. This law is an end run around the Constitutions of the State of Georgia, and the United States, and if Earl Ehrhart has his way, this week the state will toss another $30 million into the pot.

February 04, 2013

Opposition to Common Core Grows Across the Political Spectrum

The drive towards Common Core State Standards and standardized assessments to enforce them has been described as an unstoppable train, and teachers are warned that we had better get on board with the process, or risk being run over. But opposition to this juggernaut is emerging from some surprising places, which creates the possibility of some unusual alliances.

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