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Tag Archives: Edreform

@NYTimes’s Journalistic “Issue” vs. Journalistic “Integrity”

The NYTimes recently published a piece on teacher evaluation. I submitted the following comment (which they did not post) to the online forum: I searched through NYTimes’ archive of medical / law / finance / congressional / military reform articles looking for pieces that fail to quote a doctor / lawyer / banker / policy-maker / […]

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Matt Damon’s Save Our Schools Speech

Below is the speech Matt Damon gave at the Save Our Schools March on July 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. I had incredible teachers. And as I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my […]

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At the Intersection of Youth and the Future

Painting a picture that was both harrowing and hopeful, Van Jones titillated the gathering of educators on the final morning of ASCD’s 2013 Annual Conference with both the peril and promise of tomorrow. In short, despite the copious challenges we find ourselves in today, we can look to the generation currently in our schools to […]

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Quick Rant: Early Childhood, Poverty, and PBS

Let’s just be clear for a second: Millions of children living below the poverty line have NO access to quality early childcare to nurture their minds. They enter school already well behind their more affluent peers. That deficit is minimized (not solved, just lessened) by the quality programming on PBS, the flagship of which is […]

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What we talk about when we talk about gaps

We debate testing, tenure, and “great teachers” ad nauseum. We one up each other over who is putting students more first than anyone else. We parse choice, accountability, and common core until we can barely stand one another. We do this, not because we are gluttons for punishment, but because we know learning matters, and […]

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A Message to My Teacher Friends at the Start of a New School Year

The start of a new school year is normally an exciting time. Teachers are busy decorating their classrooms, preparing their lessons, reconnecting with colleagues, imagining what they are going to say that first day when they meet their students. But this year, teachers will have many other things on their minds. We live in a […]

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Engage (the Teachers as Transformative Collaborators)

Over the course of my 11 years in the classroom I lost a lot of sleep. Over students. Over parents. Over grading papers and lesson plans. During my last years, and even now as I leave the classroom to embark on something new, I’ve been up nights pondering the brand of educator professionalization being heralded […]

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Four questions about education in Finland

Q: What is the purpose of public education? Public education guarantees every child good basic education and equal opportunities to further learning. Public education also equalizes the differences that income inequalities and other socioeconomic characteristics create to different learners. In brief, public education is basic human right and basic service to all children and their […]

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Disparate Impact Gone Awry: Civil Rights Law & the Demonizaton of the Teachers

One of the unexamined dimensions of the history of the School Reform Movement is the role that Civil Rights law played in shaping its guiding assumptions and strategies. I was reminded of this the other day when reading an unpublished manuscript by an Oklahoma City based teacher named John Thompson, who pointed out that civil […]

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4 Problems with Parent Trigger Bill

Saying nothing of the fact that business interests, such as the Chamber of Commerce, love this bill (which always gives me pause in education policy) there are some inherent problems with the “Parent Trigger” bill (SB 1718) about to go to vote on the floor of the FL Senate this week. I laid many of […]

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A New Model: Schools As Ecosystems

The following post is by  Mark Anderson and William Johnson, and was originally posted on Gotham Schools.  What makes a great teacher? To a lot of people, the answer seems simple enough: a great teacher is one whose students achieve. For the most part these days, student success is measured with test scores. Logically then, a great teacher is […]

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Education Reform: An Order of Magnitude Improvement

Imagine the present corporately promoted education reform effort as a truck, its tires nearly flat from the weight of the many unexamined assumptions it carries. On board: An assumption that punishment and rewards effectively motivate; that machines can measure the quality of human thought; that learning is hard, unpleasant work; that what the young need […]

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How Bill Gates can be an education hero

A couple of days ago I watched and read the transcript of Fareed Zakaria’s CNN primetime special, “Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education.” Zakaria talks to Bill Gates, whose five-billion-plus investment in schools has bought him a seat at the head table of education reformers. If I’d gotten any response from my previous attempts to correspond with […]

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On a road to nowhere

The popularity of international student assessments, especially the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), allows us to compare national education systems in ways that were not possible before. These comparisons are made by looking at the national averages of 15-year-old students’ standardised test scores in reading, mathematics and science. Many countries are increasingly obsessed by […]

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Occupy Wall Street: The Education Edition (Part 1)

I am very happy to say that I spent my weekend occupying Wall Street.  During this time, I had the amazing opportunity to speak with people who  are not only angry, but hopeful. They are individuals who protest our  country’s economic policies not out of hatred, but out of love for our  country. They see […]

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Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps: Is it Enough?

The legacy ingrained in the collective history of our country is one of individual agency. In order to succeed in the U.S. you must “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” and succeed despite any odds set against you. We tend to view education as an equalizer, a means of succeeding in spite of circumstance. We’ve […]

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Wisdom: A Missing Focus

You’ve likely heard the chatter. Educational reform seems to be to be the obsession of the moment in Educaburgh. Testing’s good! Testing’s bad! Take this acronym and call us in the morning! Here comes our superhero! No, it’s just a guy with an eraser that can change standardized test answers in a single swipe. Join […]

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How to Support Teachers

Below is an infographic illustrating what teachers feel is most important toward improving instruction. (Click on the image for a closer look.) Its data is telling to be sure. At a minimum it can serve to illustrate the gap between merit pay proponents and educators themselves. Perhaps we should look at this graph and wonder: […]

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Race to Self Destruction: A History Lesson for Education Reformers

Race to the Top, Obama Administration’s $4.35 billion education initiative, has been touted many times by the President and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as “the most meaningful education reform in a generation”. It is also been proposed as the blueprint for the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently bearing the […]

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