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Public Education

The Solution to the S.T.E.M. Crisis

Sherry Lansing | Posted 02.10.2014 | Education
Sherry Lansing

The solution to our STEM crisis is both obvious and exciting: Recruit and transition experienced STEM professionals into second careers as math and science teachers.

Thoughts on Closing the Achievement Gap

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 02.07.2014 | Black Voices
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

Despite claiming equality in education for all students, there is a marked difference between the achievements of white, middle-to-high class students and their peers of color and lower socioeconomic status. So what can we do to close the achievement gap in the U.S.?

Sense and Sustainability in Education Reform

Harriet Sanford | Posted 02.02.2014 | Education
Harriet Sanford

It's a question that's daunted educators for decades: Why haven't well-intentioned efforts to improve teaching and learning in our schools had the kind of impact we want and need?

What You Need to Know About the International Test Scores

Diane Ravitch | Posted 02.02.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

The news reports say that the test scores of American students on the latest PISA test are "stagnant," "lagging," and "flat." The myth persists that once our nation led the world on international tests, but we have fallen from that exalted position in recent years. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Why Do We Treat Schools Like Sports Teams?

Diane Ravitch | Posted 01.25.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

It seems to me that we are thinking about children, teachers, and schools the same way we think about sports teams. In every league, there are winners and losers. But what if we thought of schools as if they were akin to families?

Student Success Requires Action, Not Delay

Chris Minnich | Posted 01.25.2014 | Education
Chris Minnich

From coast to coast, in states both red and blue, wide adoption of the academic goals for math and English embodied in the Common Core State Standards is leading to an intense focus on ensuring that all students are successful after high school.

NIMBYists or Patriots? Muncie Citizens Refuse to Fund School Buses

Kimann Schultz | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Kimann Schultz

When does fiscal frugality cross the line and enter into the realm of outright NIMBYism -- NIMBYism that will in time come at far greater cost to us a...

Early Learning: This Is Not a Test

Randi Weingarten | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Randi Weingarten

We often hear about the need to prepare our children for the knowledge economy and for life as accomplished adults and productive citizens. This is a noble priority, but it is no more than empty rhetoric unless we take the tangible steps we know will prepare kids.

Our Educational Leaders Must Get Aggressive With Technology

Vala Afshar | Posted 01.25.2014 | Education
Vala Afshar

Technology and social media continue to dramatically change the way we live and work. Social media in particular can be a great equalizer by enabling ...

Turning a Negative Into a Positive: How Schools Elevate Culture by Emphasizing the Positive

Ama Nyamekye | Posted 01.25.2014 | Los Angeles
Ama Nyamekye

Last week, California educators and families received some exciting news. The state's eighth-grade reading scores showed substantial improvement over the last two years, representing some of the largest gains in the nation. But unfortunately, media coverage focused primarily on overall flat student scores nationwide.

A Teachable Moment: The Failure Of Colorado's Amendment 66

Aaron Harber | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Aaron Harber

In a stunning electoral defeat, Amendment 66 -- representing a much-needed re-writing of the byzantine Colorado Finance Act -- went down in flames despite seeming to have everything on its side.

Education Losers Now Recovering

Richard Whitmire | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Richard Whitmire

ow often does Tennessee get cited nationally for producing great academic gains for its children? Almost never, about the same number of times Washington, D.C., gets touted for its superior academic results.

Ravitch Unraveling: A Gold Standard Abandoned

Eric Lerum | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Eric Lerum

Self-contradiction isn't uncommon for Ravitch; her switching up on NCLB, school choice, and accountability and higher standards are all well documented. Her new views on NAEP illustrate yet again that what's she's most consistent on is advancing her own narrative.

US2020 STEM Mentoring Effort Gathers Momentum

Eric Schwarz | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Eric Schwarz

The call was answered. Last month 52 cities self-organized to compete in a nation-wide competition designed to address one of our nation's great challenges. I am honored today to announce the finalists of the US2020 STEM Mentoring City Competition.

NAEP Nonsense: Don't Believe the Hype

Diane Ravitch | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

There are just as many states using the same misguided strategies who made few or no gains as there were reformy states making big gains. If test-and-punish strategies work, why don't they work everywhere?

Will States Fail the Common Core?

Randi Weingarten | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Randi Weingarten

If the Common Core is sunk--by default or design--it will undercut our ability to give all kids access to what they need to succeed and, of course, will undermine confidence in public education.

Teaching in Chartering: The Freedom to Be Better

Ember Reichgott Junge | Posted 12.30.2013 | Education
Ember Reichgott Junge

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.

Celebrate the Rodney Dangerfields of Public Education

Diann Woodard | Posted 12.29.2013 | Politics
Diann Woodard

October is National Principals Month, a 31-day opportunity to celebrate the year-long work of our nation's principals, a welcome respite -- no matter how short-lived -- from the unrelenting criticism of our efforts by the purveyors of school privatization.

Playing in the Right League

Eric Hanushek | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Eric Hanushek

Every current study of student performance today points to the importance of highly effective teachers and leaders. Strong teachers, by our calculations, can lead us to the top of the world rankings -- and gain us the commensurate economic performance.

5 Reasons the Common Core Is Ruining Childhood

Katie Hurley | Posted 12.25.2013 | Parents
Katie Hurley

The people behind the Common Core might think that they are ensuring college/career readiness, but what they are really ensuring is a generation of anxious robotic children who can memorize answers but don't know how to think.

How Do You Measure Equal Funding for Schools?

Jim Shon | Posted 12.25.2013 | Hawaii
Jim Shon

There are three legs to the public education-funding stool: facilities, teachers, and administrative support. The charter stool system has only one leg!

International Test Scores Predict Nothing

Diane Ravitch | Posted 10.24.2013 | Politics
Diane Ravitch

The international test scores are poor economic barometers. What matters most in the decades ahead is the extent to which we cultivate creativity, ingenuity, curiosity, innovation, and thinking differently.

How About Some Rhee-lated Information From Tax Documents?

Mercedes Schneider | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Mercedes Schneider

Handing millions over to the likes of Michelle Rhee is idiocy. Rhee is nothing more than some Frankenstein creation of bored philanthropy. Be careful, mainstream America. In promoting Rhee, you are confusing cash flow for substance.

Why I Said No to Teach for America, and Why You Should Too

Sandra Korn | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Sandra Korn

TFA is not only sending young, idealistic, and inexperienced college grads into schools in neighborhoods different from where they're from -- it's also working to destroy the American public education system. As a hopeful future teacher, that is not something I could ever conscionably put my name behind.

The Trouble With 21st Century Skills

Jordan Shapiro | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Jordan Shapiro

Unrelated to new technologies, or digital literacy, 21st Century Skills are all about desirable character traits. I'm all for a move away from dependence on standardized test scores, but the focus on "character" is suspect.