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May 18, 2010

Schools 4 $Sale: Inquire at U.S. DOE

Dear Deborah, You and I are old enough to remember heated debates about what democracy in education means. Some argued that it had to do with the governance of education, with the ability of the public to participate in decisions affecting their children. Some maintained that it had to do with the ...

May 13, 2010

Charters & Their Shallow Community Roots

Dear Diane, That was an amazing and surprising find re. Milwaukee charters. I thought that at the very least they'd get the advantage of being in a more diverse (integrated) setting with more middle-class kids and that being chosen (even by lottery) would produce a kind of halo effect. Why it didn'...

May 04, 2010

The Reason for the Phony Consensus About School 'Reform'

Dear Deborah, Your last column was simply terrific! First, I was glad to see your reference to Russ Whitehurst's piece, in which he questioned whether Congress had authorized the Obama administration's Race to the Top. Second, I was heartened by your careful dissection of the phony "consensus" that...

April 29, 2010

When Did This 'Consensus' Form?

Dear Diane, Where are the tea-partiers when I need them? Debate about revising ESEA is truly irrelevant—key changes have been put into place without anyone voting on anything! No single departmental decision has ever been made that so invades what was once considered wholly local powers than ...

April 15, 2010

Schools: Too Big To Fail

Dear Diane, I wish you were going to be with us this Saturday as we celebrate the work we have accomplished over the past half-century and figure out how to counter the latest onslaught. Our friend teacherken quotes Les Leopold's question in his recent blog. "Why Are 25 Hedge Fund Managers Worth 6...

April 08, 2010

Until We Take Democracy Seriously...

Dear Diane, Here's an essential question: When trying to get at the truth of things, what role do data play? Most of the time our "habits" take over before we can exercise any form of reflective judgment (which is why John Dewey focused on "habits of mind" as the goal of good schools). Habits are s...

March 16, 2010

The Shame of Newsweek

Dear Deborah, Did you see Newsweek last week? What a stunning and uninformed attack on teachers and teachers' unions. The cover of the magazine told the story: The Key to Saving American Education, by Evan Thomas and Pat Wingert. It was printed on a classroom blackboard. In the background, on the s...

March 11, 2010

A Shot in the Arm for Teachers

Dear Diane, I'm back from a trip to Indiana and Ohio. You've brought the teachers and administrators I met great joy and hope. They asked me to say thanks. The level of fear out there in the field is enormous. Of course, many of your critics will be delighted to hear this. They see security as the ...

March 09, 2010

What I Did Not Recant or Abandon

Dear Deborah, This has been an amazing week. The book came out on March 2 and immediately was the best-selling education policy book on Amazon.com. Its wonderful reception is due not to any unusual talent or insight of my own, but to the fact that what I am saying resonates with teachers, administr...

February 18, 2010

The Most Shameful Response to an Apparent Crisis

Dear Diane, Will this period mostly be known for the extraordinarily high levels of everyday corruption and the buying and selling of democracy? We're growing accustomed to it. We jail folks for smoking pot, while corporations (full-scale citizens, according to the Supreme Court) can't be jailed fo...

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