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July 14, 2011

Diane Ravitch on Edelman's Astroturf Enterprise

Yesterday I shared some reactions to a video making the rounds, in which Jonah Edelman describes the way his non-profit organization, Stand For Children, maneuvered to get legislation enacted in the state of Illinois. This seems to represent the sort of money-fueled policy that education historian D...

July 13, 2011

Stephen Krashen: Race to the Top for Tots: Don't Measure the Temperature of the Fire - Put it Out!

Guest post by Stephen Krashen The federal government plans to establish detailed standards and assessments to see if children of poverty are ready for kindergarten and are healthy (The "Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge," termed the "Race to the Top for Tots," by the New Brunswick Patch.) Th...

July 06, 2011

The Brooks/Ravitch Dialogue Expands

A week ago New York Times columnist David Brooks launched a broadside against Diane Ravitch. This was rather reminiscent of the recent attack by Jonathan Alter. These pieces generally lack substance, but seem designed to reassure those inside the policymaking circle that their assumptions are safe, ...

July 05, 2011

Those who can, Tweet! What Would You #AskObama?

The White House is holding the first ever Twitter Town Hall. Let's make sure he gets plenty of questions from the teachers of America! At 2pm EDT, Wednesday, July 6th, President Obama will participate in the first Twitter town hall at the White House to discuss the economy and jobs with Americans a...

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 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...

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