No doubt you have many questions about the pro bono-ists' civil-rights-based challenge to the state's cap on the number of charter schools. As always, I am happy to shed light.
Television scenes of nonviolent demonstrators beaten by police shocked the nation. As the movie Selma details, the March played a critical role in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Colleges close and merge, but that this happened so quickly to a school of such standing was a disturbance of a different dimension. If Sweet Briar was a glimpse of one future for higher education, I got a look at an alternate future in Oakland.
The political debate about charters is not likely to wane anytime soon. But parents can't wait for that to play out. It is past time to end our patchwork system of financing school facilities and make it easier for high-performing charter schools to give more kids a chance to succeed.
Clearly we need to improve the education received by all of "our" children. And unlike the Governor, I actually have two children in NYS public schools.
Democracy, opportunity, and shared responsibility are core, if sometimes contested, and not yet realized, aspirational American values. We need a society in which there is not just more equal opportunity, but more lived equity.
Education will never make progress until we can educate the public to tolerate a little bit of explanation. Otherwise, we'll be eating our pets until the cows come home.
To all of my precious students: My guess is that all of you will wonder why I am making you take these tests. And the answer is simple. I have to. Our state and federal government say that I have to give these tests to you. That you must take them. And I need you to know how very sorry I am about that.
If grade-span testing were to take the place of annual assessments, educators like myself would lose a critical source of data to help us identify the needs of students and make use of every learning moment.
Even as the study of children's response to trauma pointed to the need to focus on the socioemotional needs of students, the test-driven school reform movement drew a line in the sand; the mention of adverse childhood experiences was dismissed as an "excuse." Top-down school reformers imposed an educational version of faith healing on schools.
Parents and students talked about the dramatic changes in curriculum and a flood of test prep in classes and homework. Some spoke about the massive expenditures for technology and testing materials, as hands-on instructional time declined.
My message is to everyone who has and continues to bash teachers by implementing accountability structures that will do nothing to help our students succeed in life and follow their dreams.
So CPAC happened, at which various GOP future candidates try to see if they can win a little conservative love. And that means that Common Core had to be trotted out for ceremonial abuse, like a disgraced former party officer in Communist China.
I believe that the ESEA reauthorization should allow for schools and districts to take a streamlined, positive, student-centered approach to annual assessment then annual testing. In order for this to work, the assessment must be aligned to college and career standards.
We are offended by the situation in which we find ourselves, in which education policy is dictated by billionaires who never taught a day in their lives, while our patiently gained professional expertise is ignored. Thirty days of testing is sufficiently outrageous and -- we believe -- indefensible.
The way I see it, members of Congress have a choice: They can change the Title 1 funding structure and shortchange students who most need that extra support to catch up, or they can invest in students like Jonathan, provide him the resources he needs and ensure that his entire family is better off.