Of course, gaining the knowledge and skills to land a good job is important and valuable for the individual and for our society. However, somewhere along the way, we have diminished in many of our students the joy of learning for learning's sake, the ability to think creatively and critically.
Some on the political right see the CCSS as federal intrusion. Some on the political left may see these new standards as infringements on teacher autonomy. But many are just fed up by the botched implementation and lack of resources.
Schools have a lot to learn from business about how to improve performance Bill Gates declared in an op ed in the Wall Street Journal in 2011. He pointed to his own company as a worthy model for public schools.
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?
Since Barack Obama and Arne Duncan are parents as well as government officials, I hope they make time to read the letter and to respond. I signed the online letter; maybe they will also and stop the testing madness mandated by Race to the Top.
Voters are clearly willing to make investments in education; we just have to frame those investments in the right way and make it clear how their community is going to be measurably different if the dollars are spent.
Deceptive and inaccurate right-wing films like Waiting for Superman don't help either, placing teacher unions as the primary explanatory variables of poor student achievement, while hailing charters as the panacea of all things public education.
This dispute in New Jersey between the district and union falls in line with a national trend. Perhaps the most effective resolution is for the Obama administration to require unions to collaborate and remain active stakeholders in the full proposal process.
The biggest difference between education scholar Diane Ravitch's new book, Reign of Error, and former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's book, Radical, is that the first is based on extensive facts, the second heavily on fiction.
America doesn't have a public education crisis. Rather, it has a poverty crisis that manifests itself in the self-perpetuating educational vicious cycle in which most poor children, that is to say, black and Hispanic children, are caught and can't escape.
Unfortunately, the degree to which the policy agenda advanced by Race to the Top has driven educators to take unprecedented actions against their own leaders is not unique in Tennessee. Indeed, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan should have anticipated problems.
How did parents lose the right to educate our own children or, at least, have a meaningful role to play in our school districts? How can we reclaim this right? Enter Diane Ravitch, America's foremost historian and theorist of education policy.
It appears that in Massachusetts, educational reform does not mean vouchers for private schools, closing poorly performing schools, eliminating tenure for teachers, merit pay, and replacing public schools with privately operated charters.
Listen to any conservative talk show host and they'll regularly remind their audience that the Republicans are the party of ideas and that their books consistently top the best-seller charts. But for some undiagnosed reason they've managed to win only two of the past six presidential elections.
Across the nation, our schools are suffering from budget cuts. As more money is allocated to testing and accountability, less money is available for the essential programs and services that all schools should provide. Our priorities are confused.