It's a rare thing to meet a public school stakeholder who honestly believes politicians and corporate-funded lobbying groups should have more say over education than educators do. Yet that's exactly what's happening.
I worry much more about a different, less acknowledged way in which school prayer has reinserted itself into our national conversation about education. I am talking about the supposed birth of our dear saviors, the charter schools.
Research shows that time may be the most essential resource of the education system. However, it is important to recognize that merely increasing the amount of time students are in school is not a panacea for improving student performance.
We need to make sure that students from all parts of the city have the right to participate in this important alternative, which is one of the only real paths to college, particularly for disadvantaged students, that's left in the City of Los Angeles.
Education reformers today can point to pockets of success and hopeful trends, but they have yet to produce a dramatic district turnaround -- that singular, watershed moment when the public sees and finally believes it can be done.
We are unique in pursuing so much testing, punitive measures against schools and teachers, and the creation of so many independent charter schools. At the same time, we are ignoring financial inequality among schools and school districts.
According to CUNY college tests, only 1.1 percent of the New Height Academy's graduates were actually prepared to do college level work without remediation. This is for a charter school that received a grade of "A" from New York City Department of Education assessors.
Fostering a nation of creative thinkers will serve the U.S. well in an increasingly global and technological economy. After all, one of the most successful and profitable companies in the world is Apple.
It's obviously a good thing to consider all forms of evidence when providing performance feedback to employees. But teaching is not like golf, you can't reduce it to a single score for one contributor.
Eliminating "tenure" may be politically popular, but eroding due process and the 'just cause' standard creates an environment where even good teachers can be fired just 'cause it serves some other interest.
The German model is akin to the vision Obama articulated in his speech: high-end manufacturing that we export to the world. It's a good vision. High-end manufacturing should be a core part of our economy.
Social media has become a mobilizing force in bringing together students, educators, and parents who are frustrated with the data-driven, standardized, one-size-fits all learning taking place in publicly-funded schools today.