Instead of focusing on the high performing, front-row kids and neglecting the lost, skid-row kids in the back of the room, teachers can turn their classrooms into fertile ground that nurtures all students.
Three simple solutions anyone can understand: cut costs by reducing redundant administration, increase our tax base, and re-amortize our debt. You might wonder why our political leaders don't even mention these solutions.
When teachers embrace students as individuals and recognize their personal strengths and needs, young people in poverty can develop the kind of confidence needed to propel them beyond their circumstances.
Teachers, parents, and administrators are raising their voices louder, and in solidarity, as unrealistic demands for students are being handed down from education policy makers and corporate reformers.
Their means may not be military, but across this great land, insurgent extremists are at work attacking public institutions and undermining the citizenry's confidence in the same. Our public schools are on the front lines.
A common public misperception is that tenure perpetuates mediocrity by permitting lifetime appointments for lackluster professors. In practice, the reverse is true: Tenure contributes to hiring the best and brightest.
Exposés about corruption, self-interest and corporate and philanthropic influence on public education policy are not enough. Pointing out the absence of evidence to support current policies is not enough. We need to reclaim the initiative as advocates for alternate strategies for improvement.
Ever since Beowulf, poetry has been critical to the development of the English language. We are now seeing a form of literary expression disappear without any discussion of whether it has a role to play in modern education.
A child's life often hinges on the level and depth of education he/she receives. We must clear out the noise and bring advocates from both sides into the same room. We cannot continue to ignore the plight of our children, and we cannot continue to attack one another.
I am disgusted with the way children are talked about in this context. Our language defiles the beautiful children in our collective care and demeans millions of parents who struggle every day to do their best in an increasingly hostile environment.
Chartering is one pathway that allows this "freedom to be better" for entrepreneurial teachers. Perhaps if chartering had been available for my college classmate years ago, she would still be engaged in changing lives of young learners.
Relying on worksheets, instead of educators, to teach basic skills is standard practice in all too many schools. The approach often leads to a disjointed and atomistic approach to learning, where students acquire skills but quickly forget them.