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October 09, 2011

Jerry Brown Puts the Brakes on Test-Driven Reform

Jerry Brown is perhaps the most powerful leader in our country who actually understands what has happened to our schools as a result of standards-based data-driven reform. In a move that signals exactly what should be done with the moribund No Child Left Behind in Congress, Brown has issued a veto o...

September 14, 2011

The Slekar Family Stands Up and Opts Out

Recently we have heard news of more and more parents taking a stand against standardized testing, acting in what they believe to be the best interests of their children. Two of the leaders of this movement are Tim and Michelle Slekar, of Pennsylvania. I asked them if they would share their perspecti...

September 05, 2011

Interview: Steve Denning offers Radical Ideas for Reframing Education Reform

A couple of days ago I was surprised to find an insightful post in Forbes Magazine, offering us "The Single Best Idea for Reforming Education," by columnist and management expert Steve Denning. I wrote a post describing his idea, and also sent him some questions, because I think he offers some usefu...

September 04, 2011

The Single Best Idea to Come Out of Business in Years

Usually when business magazines like Forbes offer advice on education reform, I prepare to cringe. But this week we got a surprise. Management guru Steve Denning offers us "The Single Best Idea for Reforming Education," and it actually makes a great deal of sense. Denning starts with a critique of...

September 03, 2011

Environmentalists Join Educators in Protesting Obama Policies

The New York Times today reported that many environmentalists are expressing frustration at recent policy decisions by the Obama administration. The story carries some strong echoes of the way educators have felt for the past two years, as Secretary Duncan has extended and intensified the worst aspe...

August 25, 2011

Arne Duncan's Twitter Town Hall: Orwell Would Be Proud

George Orwell might well be proud to see how Arne Duncan has risen to the challenge of using language to disguise government actions. Watching the Twitter Town Hall yesterday was an exercise in frustration. Unfortunately, the Department of Education has released only tweets that digest his responses...

August 20, 2011

Sharp Themes Emerge from #AskArne Questions

A few days ago I posted an invitation for people to share questions they have for Arne Duncan, in preparation for his Twitter Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 24th. The questions that are emerging are a fascinating glimpse into the debate over our schools. I reviewed questions, and found som...

August 17, 2011

President Obama on Shaky Ground with Teachers: Can He Firm Up Support?

President Obama has some very large problems heading into 2012, and one that might surprise those inside the DC beltway is an area that should be a bulwark of support for any Democratic candidate: education. Democratic candidates tend to support public services, and the unions that represent teacher...

August 14, 2011

GOP Candidates Take on the Department of Education

The recent debate among candidates for the Republican nomination for President has raised anew the proper role of the Federal government in our schools. Several candidates, including Herman Cain and Texas governor Rick Perry, have decried the expansion of federal influence. Michelle Bachman has like...

August 09, 2011

Say No to Duncan Dollars: Rookie Reform has Run its Course

Over the past decade I have served as a mentor teacher to more than a dozen beginning teachers in the challenging schools of Oakland. Most of them have been interns, fresh out of college, with just a few weeks of summer training, and a "bag of tricks" that they were given by their only slightly more...

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