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December 01, 2009

Why Business Leaders Should Not Be in the Driver's Seat

Dear Deborah, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for in this wonderful country. I am forever thankful that my mother came to this country after World War I (from Bessarabia), and that my paternal grandparents came to this country in the mid-19th Century (from Poland). ...

October 27, 2009

What Does the Best and Wisest Parent Want?

Dear Deborah, Well, I certainly agree with you that all kids should have the quality of education now available only for students in the best schools. Given how much our nation spends on education, this should not be a pipe dream, but we know that it is not happening and has not happened in the pa...

October 20, 2009

Does Merit Pay Make Sense?

Dear Deborah, It is a good idea to explore the separate elements of the federal education agenda, one by one. Merit pay, the first issue you raise, now stands high among the priorities of the Obama administration as it did for the Bush administration and as it has for the Republican Party and busin...

October 15, 2009

Is What's Good for CEOs Good for Teachers?

Dear Diane, Let's explore, one by one, the separate elements of the federal education agenda, Diane. Are they based on reason and evidence or ignorance and irrationality? (I could have asked myself the same thing about our differences regarding the trade-offs and risks involved in a national curric...

July 09, 2009

Summer Reading & Other Thoughts

Editor's Note: After this week, Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch begin their annual summer break. Their blog will return in September. Dear Diane, I’m still amazed at how fast the new educational establishment plans to “revolutionize” our schools. I acknowledge that your support for national ...

July 02, 2009

The Emperor Wears No Clothes

Dear Diane, I don’t even trust myself to write standards (of the sort that can be specs for tests) for one school, one district, one state—much less the whole nation! I’m bound to have a better idea a week later. And, given those who are considered the experts these days on matters of sc...

June 04, 2009

Test Results Are Not a Good Stand-In for Achievement

Dear Diane, You are right. We agree on the civil rights movement’s history. Schools were never the primary focus—but one of many interconnected ones. The connection between schooling and the economy interests me—but for different reasons than the usual PR-linkage (you’ll make mor...

April 30, 2009

Test Scores and Reinforcing the Wrong Connections

Dear Diane, The good news is that most of the American people haven’t lost their common sense. And, above all, those closest to “the action”—parents, teachers, kids, and their families, plus a majority of those who work closely with schools or are “students” of schooling—haven...

April 16, 2009

A Thought That Might Help Explain Public Denial

Dear Diane, Ah yes, miracle promises are dangerous. In the bad old “decentralization” days, we were told local “corruption” ran rampant—thus the need to centralize. Your account of the Al Sharpton/Joel Klein deal, not to mention all the no-bid contracts under Klein, the high-paid con...

March 26, 2009

Is Some Rethinking About 'Accountability' Past Due?

Dear Diane, My own evolution, politically, has always been influenced by the realization that I might be in a minority! In fact, maybe some of us are born with that realization (even if shielded from it by a family surrounding in which we have a hard time imagining another reasonable viewpoint). ...

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