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July 13, 2014

Questioning Education Reformers' Motives: The Big Taboo

When Lyndsey Layton interviewed Bill Gates a few months ago, she violated one of the major taboos of the education reform discourse.

April 24, 2014

What Will It Take to Educate the Gates Foundation?

Bill Gates has made it clear that this was an experiment from the start. What he did not seem to allow for in his scenario was the possibility that his experiment would not succeed.

December 01, 2013

Does Standardization Serve Students? Or is Common Core a Dead End?

Preparation for college and career has begun to feel more and more like "preparation to make yourself useful to future corporate employers."

October 10, 2013

Social Darwinism Resurrected for the New Gilded Age

The fittest will survive and perhaps have a chance at that ever-shrinking middle class. The rest will flounder, but we have the "ethos of the meritocracy" to rescue us from any pangs of moral conscience.

September 16, 2013

Chicago Teacher: Inhumane Working Conditions are Inhumane Learning Conditions

At my large elementary school on Chicago's southwest side, the mercury on the thermometer soars to a scorching 90 degrees. Sweat drips down the students' little round faces,

May 29, 2013

Michelle Newsum: Tracking Our Way to Wider Achievement Gaps

Under the fear created by NCLB/RTTT, large scale ability group tracking has made its way back into schools. Because tracking is commonly considered odious, and the research does not support it, no one calls it that. It is now given cuter or more palatable names like 'Walk to Read' or 'Intervention Time' even 'Flexible Grouping.' (Although some schools have flexible grouping and intervention time that takes place in classrooms and is quite lovely.)

March 28, 2013

John Thompson: Garland and Carr Remind Us of the Perils of Segregation

At the end of their balanced histories, Carr and Garland voice concerns about our increasingly segregated schools, and the willingness of policy wonks to impose their theories on poor children of color. Garland concludes that "desegregation should have been a two-way street." She is frustrated that desegregation was dismantled without "salvaging its undeniable benefits." Contemporary reformers have ignored its lessons. They also focus on "tearing out dysfunction and blight, instead of finding existing strengths and building on what people value." Garland, explains, "Once again, ... those in power are treating black schools as they did black neighborhoods during urban renewal - with an imperious sense of what is good for the community, regardless of what the people there want."

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