April 2009 Archives

I love kids. It's Friday night and we just finished our dinner party. It was all adults, but one of my fiance's friends brought two high school students he has been family friends with for more than a decade. As an eduholic, I immediately grilled the kids at the dinner table about which school they attend in DC, who their teachers are and how they are doing in class. Some lighthearted conversationalist I am. But because it's Friday night and it's a dinner party at my house, behavior and learning weren't the primary lens I saw them through. I got ...

Thank you, Mr. Duncan, for saying clearly in your Time interview what needed to be said: 1) Lengthen time in school: You point out that many high performing schools have longer school days and Saturday classes, and many students do not have a home environment conducive to afterschool productivity. You highlight that our economic competitors India and China are going to school 25% to 30% more than we are. 2) Charter schools: You espouse choice, rigorous competition for entry, and greater accountability. Importantly, you stress that charter schools should be spared the morass of education bureaucracy. From the United Nations ...

I swear. I am a nice person. I say "please" and "thank you." I recycle. I chew with my mouth closed. And I am respectful to everyone, especially my elders. But apparently when anyone, even someone many decades my senior, yells out to me across the Caribou Coffee Shop that kids in the inner-city can't possibly learn, I have to yell back. Politely. Firmly. Loudly. So everyone in the shop can hear me when I say: "All children can learn. They just need to be taught better and more by their teachers, and better and more by everyone else around ...


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