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Education Reform | | Ecology of Education
Tag Archives: Education Reform
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Flip the (Teacher Tenure) Question

Frank Bruni’s recent piece, “The Trouble with Tenure,” is yet another example of an uninformed and un-nuanced op-ed on education reform in the New York Times. This one even has the audacity of claiming to add a positive note to the ongoing discourse. Unfortunately, it only further muddles the debate rather than shed enlightenment. After […]

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@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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A REAL Paradigm Shift in Education

I envy Thomas Paine’s way with language. I’ve been searching for years for words that would have the impact of those he penned in his 1776 pamphlet, “The Crisis.” Admittedly, “These are the times that try men’s souls,” and the words that followed, weren’t a howling success. Only about a third of the colonists agreed with Paine’s call for […]

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Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies

Seeing the forest despite the trees. Our nation’s educational focus continues to zero in on “achievement” as defined by test scores in specific academic areas and the resulting gaps therein. This hyper focus exacerbates our nearly systematic blind eye related to learning for living and cultivating life long learners. As a result, policies that increase […]

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The Effective Teacher

There are several dimensions taken together in varying levels of degree that embody the effective teacher. Since teachers range from preschool through post secondary levels, and are unique people, no two teachers will have the same combination nor will all of them be present in every excellent teacher. There are also qualities that effective teachers […]

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Race and the Missing Ed Reform Agenda

When we talk about education reform and fail to mention race, we leave the opportunity to face a central piece of the racial achievement gap at the door. And that is not putting students first.

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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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What is Education For?

This essay was originally delivered as a commencement address to the graduating class of 1990 at Arkansas College and can now be found in David Orr’s book, Hope is Imperative (Island Press, 2010).  If today is a typical day on planet Earth, we will lose 116 square miles of rainforest, or about an acre a second. […]

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Education’s Davids and Goliaths

Fairtest, Parents Across America, Save Our Schools, United Opt-Out National, and regional groups such as Fund Education Now, are fighting to stop the corporate takeover of public education. It’s a David-Goliath match. They’re up against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the biggest philanthropic foundations in the world, most of […]

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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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What standardized tests should assess

If you fly, thank Myron Tribus for helping make your flight safer. He played a major role in the development of the equipment that keeps airliner wings free of ice. Myron was a captain in the Army Air Force during World War II. Later, he was a gas turbine design engineer for General Electric, dean of […]

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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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