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January 09, 2014

What 'System' Works for Both of Us?

Pondiscio: "Innovation," even in small entrepreneurial schools, tends to be an idea more honored in the breach than the observance. Here I think the reform impulse bears a disproportionate amount of blame.

November 12, 2013

Ed Reform Needs a Nixon-to-China Moment

One of the unfortunate effects of our polarized education climate is that it makes enemies of people who might be able to add value to each other's work.

June 20, 2013

Schools & What We Mean by Being 'Successful'

Many find it hard now to imagine being "just" lifelong classroom teachers or even principals for decades. Those "justs" are my heroes.

May 15, 2012

Privatizing Public Education in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has had state control of its public schools for a full decade. Now the leaders of the city think that public education is the problem.

March 22, 2012

On Foreign Relations & Precious Gems

Denver: If you go out that-a-way, visit the Jefferson County Open School. Begun in 1970, it's a precious gem.

February 28, 2012

How to Demoralize Teachers

The principal of an outstanding elementary school in Brooklyn wrote me to say that the release of the ratings made her "absolutely sick." One of her teachers was rated for a year when she was away on child-care leave.

January 12, 2012

Two Golden Opportunities Lost in the 1990s?

Like No Child Left Behind, the Soviet state set goals for everyone to meet—or else. Since they were unmeetable goals, it produced a culture of lies and cover-ups and a climate of fear. Does that sound familiar?

December 06, 2011

Do You Believe in Miracles?

There are no silver bullets in education. There are no magic feathers that enable elephants like Dumbo to fly. It's hard work to improve schools. It takes dedication, resources, and time. And the work is never done, the magic number of 100 percent is always out of reach.

November 03, 2011

The One Best Way ... Not

It will take longer and more complicated "sit-ins" to impact on the inequalities now rampant in our country. It will take creative thinking and an attitude toward each other's compromises that is sufficiently tolerant to allow for many routes to recapturing democracy.

June 30, 2011

When We End Up Defending, Not Proposing

Isn't it amazing that at just the moment in history that the private sector has demonstrated a combination of appalling ignorance and incompetence—to the detriment of billions of ordinary people—they've managed to use their monstrous profits to shift the argument to the sins of the public sector?

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