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August 01, 2017

What Is a Personalized Education, and Why Doesn't Everyone Get One?

When you strip all peer interactions out of learning, you're left with bare facts and theorems and instructions. Or, in competency-based learning, a screen, the next quiz and maybe, if you're lucky, a digital badge.

June 16, 2017

The War on Teachers and the End of Public Education

We have genuinely reached a tipping point, one where we're struggling to get young people to go into teaching as professional career (as opposed to two-year adventure before law school). Our state legislators are openly declaring that teaching is now a short-term technical job, not a career, and thus public school educators don't really need a stable state pension. That's not only a war on individual teachers, but a war on teaching itself.

March 23, 2017

What 'Hillbilly Elegy' Doesn't Say

"Hillbilly Elegy" is impressive personal narrative--plaudits to Vance for his persistence--but hardly illustrative of poor habits and prospects of an entire region of the country. Nor does it illuminate any of the very real problems--crises, per the book's title-- facing working-class families in America today, beginning with the dangerous income gap between the haves and the have-nots that threatens the social order.

February 03, 2017

Why We Shouldn't Ignore Political Speech on Facebook

At the very least, engaging in substantive conversation about current events on a social media platform is good practice in dialogue, honing our values, and determining which sources are accurate. Our students live in this world. Turning away from the red-hot center of American political argument right now feels like abandoning democracy.

January 24, 2017

We Can't Keep Quiet: What the Women's March Means for Teachers

I'm still processing the experience, considering what it means, today and for the next few years. As a teacher, an advocate for public education and for children, how do I reconcile "alternative facts" and fake news with the essential and important truth of millions feeling compelled to gather and organize? How can any of us put our heads down and do as we're told, knowing what we know?

January 12, 2017

Students: You're the Reason I Come to School Every Day

School talk today is generally around rigorous content and 21st-century skills and how we can measure those to make schools accountable. There is, however, a much more powerful, if subtle, set of factors that makes going to school worthwhile for both students and teachers.

December 21, 2016

The Year of the Lie: Fake Ed-News

The actual truth about public schools? Well, as always, it's complicated. And we are not fond of complicated, in America. We'd rather grab onto a catchy meme--Dump Devos!--than explicate the pros and cons of a national curriculum, explore the long-term consequences of privately-managed, publicly-funded schools, or carefully deconstruct overly casual (not causal) use of student achievement data.

December 12, 2016

Terminal Charterism: The View From Michigan

If you want to know what end-stage, terminal charterism looks like--how it impacts the educational ecology, when it is fertilized by policy tweaks, and allowed to flourish--take a look at the reality of Betsy DeVos's accomplishments in Michigan.

December 02, 2016

Teacher Says: Change the World!

We are on the very edge of destroying what makes America truly great. America is a place of free thinking, brainstorming, and giving every child the chance to receive a quality education free of charge.

November 24, 2016

A #SafetyPin Thanksgiving

When does human decency surpass Don't Rock the Boat school leadership? Aren't these extraordinary times? Aren't the lives of children and the fate of public education at stake?

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