December 2015 Archives

David Sherrin often pushes me and our staff at Harvest Collegiate High School to connect what we are doing to the larger world and the issues facing it. He did so beautifully in an email to our staff two weeks ago and I asked him if--in the holiday spirit and in the spirit of challenging educators to think deeply and broadly about our practice--he would allow me to republish it here. I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.

There is no denying the testing mess, and recent efforts to reduce our dependence on testing have renewed conversations about what it means to assess in ways that serve learners as much as they serve educators and the systems they work in.

I want to work towards a public school system that is genuinely and democratically responsive. One in which every young person in that community truly belongs within our system, one that would be outraged at "got to go lists" and attempts to coerce or mislead members of their community.Charter schools are not to be blamed for the fact that we do not currently have such a system, but those of us who are "partisans for democracy" ought to be concerned by them.

We should not ignore the drop in NAEP scores, nor should we use it to suggest that our educational sky is falling. We should be more like the New York Mets's management team.


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