The assertiveness of the Gates Foundation in funding its approved version of education reform takes on head-tilting meaning when one considers the organizations that Gates funds "for general operating support."
Education is about children -- real, living, breathing, complicated, tender, diverse children. There is no model, no assembly line, no template or standard methodology that can serve them well.
As the Vietnamese deputy commissioner said, PISA measures only one dimension: test-taking skills. Whatever value the standardized tests have is overshadowed by the collateral damage they do to the quality of education and to the standardizing of young minds.
There were times when our dreams were big. They can be again. The times demand it. A look back at what values and actions have broadened access to a decent life for all can illuminate a path toward greater equity in the future.
Young people almost always know what is going on in the adult world. So, if you want to know what is working in the classroom or in a school, just ask the students.
The questions we're asking go beyond Urban Prep's specific practices. This is about the ethics and fiscal responsibility of Urban Prep and all charter schools.
As word of charter schools' success spreads, more parents are trying to enroll their children. That's a positive sign, but also a big challenge, because charter schools can't yet meet this growing demand. Across the country, there are about 1 million names on charter school wait lists -- a figure that's grown 186 percent since 2008.
How do we eliminate the bias against black skin which seems to be so inextricably linked to issues of discrimination that have a real impact on the progress of African-Americans? Economic investment, legal reform and improvements in education are certainly needed. But, I also believe that positive multicultural media is part of the solution.
The clear, repeated, detailed, and undeniable limits on the authority of US secretary of education and the absence of any discussion of Title I funding portability are my chief reasons for supporting the Senate ESEA draft. And I think this bill could realistically garner enough votes in Congress to rid us once and for all of NCLB.
What concerns me the most isn't the school, which seems like the people are genuinely trying, but the strategy. These schools are the result of a belief that if we get all of our students to be ready for college and a career, we can end poverty.
Let's say that RSD high schools are graduating a lot more students in recent years than in the past. How is it, then, that so few of these RSD graduates qualify for the state tuition waiver to attend even the state's community colleges?
The Success Network is experimenting with ways to unburden teachers. Yet even with these innovative supports, the job is difficult, and many facets of the model still need improvement for teachers and students alike.
What is it about the American character that makes so many buy into the notion that discipline, conformity, and punishment are as important in our schools as they are in our prisons? Why do we feel the need to be so strict with other people's children in our schools?
The thing voters need to ask themselves is: Who do they believe has the best interests of their child in mind more -- the person who interacts with them every day and is part of their local community, or the corporate CEO 500 miles away who answers to an unelected board and investors?
Through its unholy partnership with high stakes testing, the charter school movement has diverted our attention from the real issues confronting us and discouraged genuine innovation and reform. To paraphrase Einstein, "Charter schools are to experimentation as military music is to music."
President Obama has called charter schools "incubators of innovation" and "laboratories of innovation," and he has done so for several years, despite the fact that, so far, the laboratories have yielded nothing.