Secret groups to fix problems in education are not democratic. Nor are they innovative.

Self-analysis is--explicitly--what we hope all teachers will do, and what good teaching "looks like."

We trust policy, but we don't trust teachers.

Wouldn't it be great if there were a guide for legislators to making useful education policy? Here it is.

There is little evidence that actual learning--the useful kind that sticks--can be linked to some kind of Amazing Teacher Fairy Dust.

As a nation, we still have no clue, let alone consensus, about the purpose of public education. Is it building democratic equality? Job training? Credential collecting?

Something important is lost when kids assume that mom will always play backstop to any academic negligence.

When it comes to school mascots, however--and the ongoing lawsuit-based drive to rid high schools of their Native American/Tribal/American Indian mascots and nicknames--I find myself wondering if this battle isn't the elevation of form over substance.

What to do about a city like Detroit? What's the best way to serve the children there, who deserve the same free, first-rate democratic education that children all over this country are receiving?

What are the ultimate outcomes of scrapping publicly funded education in favor of relying on luck, connections and philanthropy?

The opinions expressed in Teacher in a Strange Land are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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