Teachers are often told that if we were employed in "the real world" then we'd have to adapt to competition and performance incentives. As it turns out, in the real world, the workplace sometimes adapts to the worker.
It's difficult to argue against the concept of educational choices - but practices involving competition and profit-seeking will not advance the goal of building a strong and equitable public education system.
I find myself wrestling with an idea that's mildly unsettling for my practice: maybe we teachers worry too much about knowledge.
For years, I've been skeptical about federal policy relating to school improvement grants requiring the use of certain school turnaround models. Recently, I visited a high school that has me checking my assumptions after seeing the success of their turnaround effort.
California has a chance to show how a state can dodge the supposedly silver bullets of weaker education reform efforts, and move towards meaningful structural changes that benefit students and schools.
We say students should graduate from high school "college and career ready" - but what does it look like when a school really commits to student learning that lives up to that ideal?
One path to education innovation may be the reinvent-the-wheel approach. Because the wheel can be reinvented.
But then we see the typical Duncan flaw in the policy; testing data included where they don't belong, and the threat of reduced funding as a potential consequence for low scores.
This new network pulls people into dialogue, and will offer suggestions and resources that acknowledge the complex and diverse settings in which changing approaches to discipline need to develop.
Teachers and schools are always in the midst of change; if they appear to resist change, it's probably related to the changes they're already navigating.