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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 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...

August 01, 2011

More Save Our Schools Videos!

One of my hopes is that our spirits can be sustained in the tough months ahead by revisiting some of the inspirational words we heard this weekend. In that spirit, I am doing my best to collect videos from the Save Our Schools rally and post them here. Jon Stewart's message of support -- the dog a...

July 31, 2011

Save Our Schools Rocks the Capital!

Wow. What a day. Friday the temperature had hit about 104, but Saturday was breezy and cooler, topping out in the mid-90s. We had a couple of tents behind the stage for all the speakers and performers, and folks started to arrive. We had a little time to fill between the first band and the rally kic...

July 27, 2011

Alfie Kohn: We Have to Take Back Our Schools

Alfie Kohn has been at the forefront of the resistance to test-based reforms for more than a decade. As we approach the Save Our Schools March this Saturday, I asked him to share some thoughts about the challenges we face. When many of us point out the narrowing of the curriculum that has been the...

July 13, 2011

Stephen Krashen: Race to the Top for Tots: Don't Measure the Temperature of the Fire - Put it Out!

Guest post by Stephen Krashen The federal government plans to establish detailed standards and assessments to see if children of poverty are ready for kindergarten and are healthy (The "Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge," termed the "Race to the Top for Tots," by the New Brunswick Patch.) Th...

July 05, 2011

Those who can, Tweet! What Would You #AskObama?

The White House is holding the first ever Twitter Town Hall. Let's make sure he gets plenty of questions from the teachers of America! At 2pm EDT, Wednesday, July 6th, President Obama will participate in the first Twitter town hall at the White House to discuss the economy and jobs with Americans a...

July 02, 2011

Why Pedro Noguera will be Marching to Save Our Schools July 30th

Pedro Noguera has been a leader in education reform for decades. I came to know him during the battle to end apartheid in the 1980s, when we were both students at UC Berkeley. As a parent, he became very involved in the local schools, served on the Berkeley Board of Education, and went on to center ...

June 30, 2011

Secretary Duncan's Data Integrity Warning Misses the Point

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has issued a warning to state-level school leaders telling them: I am writing to urge you to do everything you can to ensure the integrity of the data used to measure student achievement and ensure meaningful educational accountability in your State. As I'm sure ...

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