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November 20, 2012

How do You Defeat an Army of Determined Educators? You Don't!

These schools are struggling - they are hamstrung by the relentless pressure to raise test scores, and the budget cuts that close libraries and cut essential student services. But we need a campaign to highlight the efforts being made every day by our determined army of educators. We are on the real front lines, in schools like Highland Academy in Oakland and the democratically controlled schools in Chicago, and a thousand other schools in communities across the country. The "reformers" have decided that we are the obstacles to their grand vision - the transformation of our schools using the miracle of the marketplace and the heavy club of high stakes tests. And we are, because we have an entirely different vision. We envision schools that are well-supported and connected to their communities. We envision schools where student learning is displayed and celebrated in all sorts of ways, not just through high stakes tests.

October 30, 2012

Powerful Coalition Opposes NCLB Waivers in New Jersey

A remarkable coalition of individuals and organizations, many of them with deep roots in the African American and Latino communities, is calling upon the Department of Education to abandon plans to implement new policies associated with NCLB waivers in the state of New Jersey. In the past, some le...

September 19, 2012

Andre Dunbar's Journey for Justice

Guest post by Andre Dunbar. My name is Andre Dunbar. I am a senior at William L. Sayre High School in Philadelphia, and I am a student organizer with the Philadelphia Student Union. The Philadelphia Student Union is fighting back against school closures and the transformation plans we are seeing ...

May 01, 2012

Teacher Research Transforms a School in Oakland

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Teachers in what was once one of the lowest performing elementary schools in Oakland have transformed their school through a combination of teacher research and innovative instructional strategies. Teacher action research has a long history in the Oakland scho...

April 15, 2012

Get Rid of Teachers or Encourage them To Stay -- What is Best for our Schools?

Guest post by Mark Simon. After over a decade of "corporate reform" strategies in many places, we have a chance to compare the results of two drastically different approaches to improving public schools. In some places, such as Washington, DC, we have seen teacher turnover skyrocket, in line with ...

March 31, 2012

Department of Education Responds with More Information about Turnarounds

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody On Tuesday, I posted a blog titled "Spinning the Numbers on Turnarounds: School Improvement Grant Controversy Brews." In it I questioned the very limited information Secretary Duncan had released the previous week, when he claimed positive results for the progra...

March 30, 2012

Ellen Holmes: NEA's Priority Schools Focus on Teacher Expertise, Parent and Community Involvement

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This week I have been looking at the issue of Turnarounds and the Department of Education's School Improvement Grants, drawing from a conference I attended sponsored by the Education Writers Association. One of the speakers there was a former teacher named Ellen ...

March 29, 2012

Flipping the Script on Turnarounds: Why not Retain Teachers instead of Reject Them?

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody At the Education Writers Association conference on School Improvement last Saturday, I was a bit of a contrarian. Many speakers suggested we need to "break the culture" at failing schools. A number suggested that the reason federal policies were not working was ...

March 27, 2012

Spinning the Numbers on Turnarounds: School Improvement Grant Controversy Brews

Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody It has been said that "numbers tell the tale." But at the Education Writers Association forum on School Improvement Grants in Chicago Saturday, I saw the same numbers being used to tell some very different stories -- raising serious questions about efforts to i...

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