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August 18, 2014

Building a Decentralized School System Begins With Teaching, Not Testing

Last week's election in Los Angeles settled—at least for a few months—the question of who is going to be "on the bus" at L.A. Unified. So, as the school district welcomes George McKenna to the horseshoe shaped board table, let's talk about the process of building a new bus. For the last 30 years, at least, reformers have tried to reinvent public schooling in the City of Angels. None has succeeded, and virtually all their plans have been built around the same four elements. But their implementation has tended to get things backward.

July 16, 2014

How to Drive Reform With Instruction Rather Than Testing

The Common Core will work in California if its adoption is driven by instruction rather than testing. Making this happen challenges the state to slow the consequences of testing and to find ways to invest in a modern educational infrastructure.

July 14, 2014

The Nonstory Story of Smarter Balanced Field Tests

Sometimes the lack of news is actually a story. The widely expected train wreck during the California field testing of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams didn't happen. But history suggests that lack of a deep political coalition around the Common Core and its tests could present a problem next spring and beyond.

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