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Learning Matters

What Does It Cost to Finance an Urban Learning Center?

Pratham | Posted 11.06.2013 | Impact

2013-09-23-EntChallenge.jpgPratham is doing an excellent job of balancing the available resources among its many ULCs in and around Delhi.

Learning From the Past; Teach Your Children Well

Linda Novick O'Keefe | Posted 06.02.2013 | Impact
Linda Novick O'Keefe

There are many lessons to be learned in moments from our pasts. Teach your children well and remember that food can be your tool.

Two Poems for the Month of Testing

John Merrow | Posted 04.24.2012 | Education
John Merrow

For many public school students and perhaps for teachers as well, April is the cruelest month of the school calendar. April days that are not devoted to 'test prep' are spent on testing itself. And some of what is going on in this crazy month defies the imagination.

A Trifecta Of Sins

John Merrow | Posted 06.05.2012 | Education
John Merrow

In the face of this disheartening news, one has to ask, "who benefits?" I'm stumped. Certainly not children, parents and teachers.

A Tale of Three Teachers

John Merrow | Posted 05.30.2012 | Education
John Merrow

We need to make it more difficult to become a teacher, which we could do by raising standards for admission into training programs and then providing one-year apprenticeships before teachers are given their own classrooms.

Scared Sleepless

John Merrow | Posted 05.29.2012 | Education
John Merrow

"My son can't sleep at night." Why? "Because his teacher told him that he had to do well on the tests this week or she would be fired.." Scaring the sleep out of a child is surely an example of distortion and corruption. So too is firing people based on the snapshot of one day's bubble test score.

Digital Natives, Or Digital Citizens?

John Merrow | Posted 05.28.2012 | Education
John Merrow

Schools today must provide opportunities for young people to create knowledge out of the swirling clouds of information that surround them 24/7. You went to school because that's where the knowledge was stored. That was yesterday.

Going for the Gold

John Merrow | Posted 04.16.2012 | Education
John Merrow

Who have been the primary beneficiaries of "school reform?" Duh, the for-profit companies! While consultants and think tanks have done OK, the real money has been in testing and textbooks and technology and construction.

What Do Teachers Do?

John Merrow | Posted 04.02.2012 | Education
John Merrow

I am still searching for the one right word to describe teachers today. Reviewing the candidates: competitors, policemen, social workers, surrogate parents, counselors, health care providers, nutritionists and ringmasters.

10 Education Pieces From 2011

John Merrow | Posted 03.13.2012 | Education
John Merrow

With 2012 off to a strong start, we wanted to quickly look back on 2011 and showcase some of the production work that my organization, Learning Matters, did last year.

In Education, Back to Basics

John Merrow | Posted 03.12.2012 | Education
John Merrow

Lately I have been lying awake at night thinking about basic skills. To be precise, I am wondering what you -- or I -- would do if we were in charge of getting America "back to basics" in education.

Two New Education Documentaries Coming in 2012

Esther Wojcicki | Posted 02.20.2012 | Education
Esther Wojcicki

One of the best ways to see what is happening in education is with documentaries and videos and one of the best creators of these documentaries is outstanding education reporter John Merrow on Learning Matters.

The 'Alien Structure' of Education, and Other Thoughts

John Merrow | Posted 10.03.2011 | Education
John Merrow

In this age of accountability, testing is punitive. That's the bottom line, and that's what must be addressed, but we can't abandon testing or accountability.

With Testing, Where Do We Go From Here?

John Merrow | Posted 09.18.2011 | Education
John Merrow

Tests drive public education right now. But what should be driving the enterprise are agreed-upon goals that come from the real world. Where do we go from here? That's up to us, isn't it?

What Do We Do With The Cheaters?

John Merrow | Posted 09.11.2011 | Education
John Merrow

Madeleine Albright said a special place in Hell was set aside for successful women who refused to help other women succeed. An even hotter spot should be reserved for those who knowingly cheat children out of a decent education and lie to them about their achievements.

David Brooks, Diane Ravitch and the Education Wars

John Merrow | Posted 09.05.2011 | Education
John Merrow

Our public schools are the equivalent of yesterday's pony express. Just as a faster pony express would not be sufficient to deliver the mail today, the "faster horses" that reformers represent are not in themselves adequate for our 50 million school-age children, nor will they ever be.

Who Is America's Most Influential Educator?

John Merrow | Posted 08.28.2011 | Education
John Merrow

A month or so ago, I speculated about the most influential person in American education, then put forth four nominees -- Wendy Kopp, Big Bird, Arne Duncan and Joel Klein.

A Test Question -- Can You Spell 'Blackmail'?

John Merrow | Posted 08.01.2011 | Education
John Merrow

How long before some savvy students let teachers know that they know what's going on -- and are willing to try their best if the teacher will agree to (fill in your own answer here)?

Lessons for Future Teachers

John Merrow | Posted 07.12.2011 | Education
John Merrow

It's a hard time to be a teacher. But I also think there's never been a better time to become a teacher.

My Parents' Mixed Marriage

John Merrow | Posted 06.14.2011 | Education
John Merrow

If Republican politicians honestly wanted to strengthen America, they would be urging dual language public schools.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's Newest Efforts

John Merrow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
John Merrow

While a staggering 91 percent of African American boys are below grade level in reading in third grade, this is not a racial issue. It's a national crisis: 83 percent of ALL low-income children are behind.

Another Year Without Fred Rogers, When We Need Him the Most

John Merrow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
John Merrow

2011-02-25-Mr.Rogers.jpgWith some members of Congress intent on eliminating federal funding for public radio and television, a friend sent me this remarkable video.

The State Of The (Teachers) Union

John Merrow | Posted 08.16.2012 | Education
John Merrow

The story is not how much the school has improved; it's how. Union rules were in the way, and so teachers took on their union.

Using Video In The Classroom: It's Not Just About Surveillance

John Merrow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
John Merrow

Television and video have an undistinguished track record in public education, as either a babysitter or a security measure. But things have changed in recent years.

From Dropout Nation to Graduation Nation?

John Merrow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Education
John Merrow

We have 15 million high school students, but about one million drop out every year. Today's report from America's Promise indicates that some progress has been made, but not enough.