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May 12, 2011

Here's Why They Don't Listen

Some see the chance to destroy another public stronghold—our schools—as a lifelong dream come true. They are 100 percent convinced that market competition is always the best.

May 03, 2011

The Outrage of the Week

Does Bill Gates get to write the national curriculum because he is the richest man in America? We know that his foundation is investing heavily in promoting the Common Core standards. Now his foundation will write a K-12 curriculum that will promote online learning and video gaming. That's good for the tech sector, but is it good for our nation's schools?

April 26, 2011

Social Norms Beat Market Norms

Curiously, the corporate reform movement likes to talk about data-driven decisions, but they ignore any data that doesn't support what they want to do. For example, when the Vanderbilt study of merit pay was published, the U.S. Department of Education immediately released nearly $500 million for—what else—more merit-pay programs, and promised that another $500 million would be forthcoming.

April 19, 2011

What Did We Learn From the Cathie Black Debacle?

So it made perfect sense, at least to Mayor Bloomberg, that a successful publishing executive could sell his program. After all, she opened and closed many magazines, why not do the same with schools? But it didn't work. She didn't know the language, the issues, the players, or anything about public education.

March 24, 2011

More Villainous Than Hypocrisy

Democracy rests on an agreement that disagreements are inevitable and healthy and that democracy is at its best a way to sort them out with the least harm to the weakest and least of its citizens.

March 22, 2011

An Age of Hypocrisy

While right-wing governors impose cuts on the public schools and lay off thousands of teachers, the corporate reformers are strangely silent, perhaps because the dramatic reductions in the education budget are accompanied by cuts to corporate/business taxes.

March 17, 2011

Something to Fight For

We need something to fight FOR, not just against. The billionaires' reforms take us backward, so what would forward look like?

February 10, 2011

Egypt and NYC

In New York City, there are a thousand schools with a million-plus students, and yet there is no avenue for a democratic voice.

January 18, 2011

The Pitfalls of Putting Economists in Charge Of Education

It is astonishing to realize the extent to which education debates are now framed and dominated by economists, not by educators or sociologists or cognitive psychologists or anyone else who actually spends time in classrooms.

January 13, 2011

When Good Words Become the Enemy

I had such faith in the abstract when I began teaching. And to my delighted surprise even the children I was told were too deprived to play, or had no language for play, etc., took to it without a single lesson.

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