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January 11, 2017

Obama's Legacy for Education Policy

Barack Obama leaves office with a decidedly mixed legacy when it comes to education policy. But he also leaves behind a legacy of integrity and honesty that we're going to miss.

January 04, 2017

Maybe Pensions Aren't the Problem; Maybe We Are

It took awhile--after a year like last year, everyone seems to have been entitled to take some time off to recharge--but here's the second installment of my thoughts on government pension problems.

December 18, 2016

Pennsylvania's Government Pension Crisis (Part One)

We have a full-blown pension crisis on our hands in Pennsylvania, but it's obvious what's happening here because we've seen this movie before: engineer a failure in a public system (or sit idly by while it happens), then blame the system for its failure. If we know the play maybe we can come up with a decent way to defend it.

December 02, 2016

Now Can We Talk About Standards?

I'll say it: creating more opportunities for choice without making any attempt to establish a baseline of quality is not just irresponsible, it's unconscionable. Yet it looks like exactly what we're about to do. Buckle your seatbelts, folks.

November 29, 2016

Public Education Is in Deep Trouble in the Age of Trump

People who dismiss the appointment of Betsy DeVos as just another political appointment of someone to a position without the ability to influence schools had better think again. Those who say we should wait and see and give her a chance to do her job might want to reconsider. The threat here is very real. We've got a lot of work to do if we're going to fight it.

November 16, 2016

Is It Appropriate for Teachers to Discuss Politics in School?

It's not always easy, or comfortable, to have conversations about controversial topics but we have to be willing to do it. We have to create conditions that normalize discussion of politics in public spaces instead of treating politics as a topic to be avoided at all costs. Our schools are not currently well suited to accomplishing this task but they can be reformed if we want them to be.

November 10, 2016

Processing the Triumph of Trump

For many of us the election on Tuesday was devastating--not just personally, but in a much larger way. What can we do to fight the forces that made that outcome possible?

October 18, 2016

The Tyranny of (School) Choice

School choice is all the rage in education right now, but, to me, the only choice we need to make is this one: we need to commit to public education for everybody, not just for those lucky enough to win an enrollment lottery or lucky enough to have parents who live in the right zip code.

June 28, 2016

Neoliberalism and the New Politics of Education

Like a lot of people who like to know what's going on in the world I spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks trying to understand what was going on in the UK, where finally, on Thursday, the British voted to leave the European Union. I'm no expert on British politics but I have to say the vote left me feeling uneasy, especially as I thought about it in the context of education policy.

June 18, 2016

Educating Our Low-Information Politicians About Education Policy

People have been complaining that education hasn't been a more significant topic of conversation in the presidential race. Is this because the people running are ignoring it, or because they don't know what they're talking about?

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