Why is it that even as new populations of low-income African-American and Hispanic students enter higher education in even greater numbers, the new mantra of the elite commentariat is that maybe we need more job training, less Shakespeare and more socket wrenches?
Although (like Cunningham) I have not seen an advance copy of Ravitch's new book, I did read a review that says the second half of the book offers an alternative agenda, and my hunch is that it does go beyond a direct focus on poverty.
We Americans should be more disturbed by our unwillingness to realize the part we are playing in this tragedy, one that has been repeated in the fall of sports heroes like Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Joe Paterno and Lance Armstrong.
If you have no idea what or who you want to be and feel the pressure of the world demanding a clean interpretation of you, resist it and hang on to your complexity and questions. The only way to know what you want to do is to try a lot of things and break expectations.
Is the United States of America a country where guns come before books? Arming teachers represents a major step in advancing our cultural arms escalation. Consider: Teachers aren't "supposed to be" soldiers or law enforcement officers.
How quickly can you open a new public school in Los Angeles? Do everything it takes to get a school open: Find a principal. Hire teachers. Buy supplies. Figure out the curriculum. Recruit parents and students. It often takes years.
I work at a teen educational program where students have full control over their own schedules and have no academic requirements. Years of enforced, rote tasks may increase a person's compliance with an uninspired adult work life, but is that a worthy goal for education?
One of the most important decisions we ever make is what we are going to grow up to be. Astronaut or the Lone Ranger score high when we are in kindergarten, but by high school, many of us are completely clueless as to what we want to do for the rest of our lives.
There's an utter lack of infrastructure in homes and schools that live side-by-side to some of the most sophisticated and tech-fluent corporations and startups -- preventing civic engagement and technological fluency among Silicon Valley's youth.
Last Spring, my very intelligent 13-year-old daughter came home and told me she took this very hard statewide test. "Daddy, I had to skip eight questions. We didn't even learn that stuff. Why would they test that?"
The next time you hear a politician or a talking head or someone who has no knowledge of education insist on a simple answer to a complex issue about our public schools, I have a suggestion. Just say no.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has repeatedly said that college affordability is a priority for this administration. Now it's up to Secretary Duncan and Congress to act before this new plan's high interest rates kick in.
I have spent years blaming others for the failures of our system while encouraging my students to fight back, to take action, to believe in the power of one person to make the changes we need. But I've failed to stand up myself -- until now.
Once the gang has the new school year in their crosshairs and we know what we can do to be most helpful and supportive, everyone's ready to hit the ground running. And then all that's left to do is get all those smelly Sasquatch feet fitted for new back-to-school sneakers!
The new Common Core Standards tests are really being used as weapons against teachers and schools to force them to adopt questionable but expensive curriculum being marketed by test prep companies that seem to have enormous influence over politicians.