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Eric Tipler
Eric Tipler taught high school in Washington, DC, and Fairfax County, Virginia. He’s currently a student at Yale Divinity School, where he focuses on community-building and social justice.

Entries by Eric Tipler

Beyond the Creative Class

(13) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 4:28 PM

Like many Obama supporters, I was totally won over by the jobs speech he gave three weeks ago. The message, the tone -- fantastic. My only real criticism was that he gave the speech in 2011, not 2009.

But in the past few weeks I've been surprised by...

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Schools or Teachers: Which are More Important?

(3) Comments | Posted October 4, 2010 | 2:21 AM

If you want to understand the last ten years of education reform in America, imagine a pendulum.

At one extreme, labeled "schools," lie all the reform ideas focused on turning bad schools around. The pendulum swung to this extreme during George W. Bush's first term, when No Child...

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Getting rid of D's is great, if...

(7) Comments | Posted August 10, 2010 | 9:22 PM

When I began teaching high school in Washington, DC, I was shocked by how many of my bright, talented students were satisfied with C's, D's, even the occasional F. I'd grown up in a family where an A- on my report card merited a stern talking-to, and B's were simply...

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Childhood Obesity Is a Social Justice Issue, Too

(9) Comments | Posted March 30, 2010 | 2:49 AM

My teaching career began in a suburban high school where the lunchroom was a happy place. Posters advertising fruits, vegetables, and exercise covered the walls, and every day the kids could choose from a hot meal or the salad bar. The line for the salad bar was often longer than...

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Fire Teachers and Replace Jefferson with Aquinas? A Bizarre Week in Education

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2010 | 10:15 AM

It's notoriously risky to predict history, but I'd wager that last week will count among the most tumultuous in education for 2010. Not, however, for the reasons one might expect.

The action started last Monday, when Newsweek hit the stands with a cover story on education reform. Its...

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Obama to Overhaul NCLB

(2) Comments | Posted February 1, 2010 | 1:33 AM

According to the front page of today's New York Times, the Obama administration is planning to overhaul No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Thank goodness!

While the specifics aren't in yet -- Team Obama likes to float its ideas before officially announcing them -- we now...

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A Tree Grows in Jo'burg

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 7:30 AM

Can a high school change a continent?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with a man who says "Yes it can!" Fred Swaniker is the co-founder of the African Leadership Academy, a new boarding school in Johannesburg, South Africa. His school's audacious goal: transform Africa.


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The Wall Street Journal on Education: Lies, Myths, and Yellow Journalism

(12) Comments | Posted November 20, 2009 | 9:45 AM

Earlier this month the Ford Foundation made an exciting announcement: they're giving away $100 million to improve secondary education in urban schools.

This is fantastic news to anyone who cares about education, the American Dream, and the future of America's economy. Which is why I was so shocked by...

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Do the Right Thing: NCLB and High Standards

(2) Comments | Posted November 3, 2009 | 8:55 AM

Last week the US Department of Education confirmed what teachers have known for years: the Bush era No Child Left Behind reforms made it harder for educators to do the right thing.

How so? According to a new study, nearly a third of states lowered their academic standards...

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Right Now: A National Conversation (this week!)

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2009 | 1:20 PM

Back when I was teaching in DC, one way my teacher friends and I blew off steam was to find a bar, meet up after school, and talk shop. Usually we'd talk about our students - kids are fascinating! - but occasionally the conversation shifted to the big questions: What's...

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Grading DC's Teachers: Michelle Rhee and IMPACT

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2009 | 11:31 AM

Last week Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the Washington, DC Public Schools, quietly rolled out IMPACT, a new $4 million system that will be used to evaluate the district's teachers.

The story didn't receive much media coverage outside of DC, which surprised me. IMPACT, along with the...

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What Makes a Good Teacher?

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2009 | 11:36 AM

This fall, for the first time in a decade, I'm sitting on the other side of education's fourth wall. Yup, I'm a student again, and instead of giving lectures and planning activities, I'm taking notes and participating in discussion sections. It's a lot of work, but it's also quite fun...

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What Will Duncan Do?

(3) Comments | Posted September 10, 2009 | 11:25 AM

Arne Duncan, our new Secretary of Education, knows how to shake things up. Back in May he barnstormed the country, telling state officials that unless they got on board with his new Race to the Top (RTT) reform plan, they weren't going to see any of the $4.3 billion...

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