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School Reform

The Public View of Public Schools: Are the Nation's Policymakers Listening?

Thomas J. Gentzel | Posted 08.28.2014 | Education
Thomas J. Gentzel

This year's PDK/Gallup poll elicited Americans' opinions on a wide array of education topics, including Common Core State Standards, student standardized testing, international comparisons, school choice, and school governance issues.

The New Orleans Experiment in School Reform: Lessons Learned

Scott Cowen | Posted 08.25.2014 | Education
Scott Cowen

In New Orleans after Katrina, there was general agreement that the old way had to go, to be replaced with a new approach. Nine years later, the voice of the public continues to be crucial.

A Teacher's Plea to President Obama

John Thompson | Posted 08.25.2014 | Education
John Thompson

I became a teacher after Supply Side economics and the Reagan era banking collapse devastated our neighborhood. Three hundred houses were abandoned an...

Putting the Oxygen Back into Improving Education

Patricia McGuire | Posted 08.24.2014 | Education
Patricia McGuire

In the time remaining for his administration, Secretary Duncan can still make his place in history by rebalancing the educational reform initiatives in favor of providing more constructive supports for teachers.

Education Reform Run Amuck

Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight Jr. | Posted 08.12.2014 | Education
Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight Jr.

Since the 1983 publication of "A Nation At Risk," we have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in our public schools to little effect. I believe the key reason for our continuing failure is an outsized emphasis on grand strategy instead of the people on the firing line.

Summer, Once a Time for Reflection, Now the Time for Radical Redesign

Sam Chaltain | Posted 07.28.2014 | Education
Sam Chaltain

Although the phrase hasn't entered mainstream conversation, "competency education" is on the mind of lots of educators and policymakers.

On the Importance of Mirrors for Students (and Teachers)

Gregory Michie | Posted 07.22.2014 | Education
Gregory Michie

To say that a teacher's race is of no importance -- especially in schools where most of the kids are black or Latino -- is to pretend that education in the U.S. exists in a post-racial dreamworld.

Why Can't Big Data Take a Bow, and Then Contribute to the Collaborative Commons?

John Thompson | Posted 07.14.2014 | Impact
John Thompson

Whenever I read about, or witness, the opportunities created by Big Data, I grow perplexed. Why won't its corporate advocates share its potential with public schools? Why do reformers not respond to opportunities created by technology by seeking schools that nurture creativity, problem-solving and cooperation?

Want Better Schools? Hire Better Principals

Emily Richmond | Posted 08.24.2014 | Education
Emily Richmond

We are in an era of unprecedented school reform efforts, with states and districts revamping and revising campus instructional programs and policies on a routine basis. It's up to the principal to help teachers and students navigate unfamiliar waters.

More Time for Educating: Technology and Teaching Efficiency

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 08.19.2014 | Education
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

The hours an educator spends in active teaching pursuits are just a small piece of the overall workload puzzle. Between developing lesson plans, repor...

One Thing Is Certain: Duncan Must Be Dumped

John Thompson | Posted 08.12.2014 | Education
John Thompson

I want teachers and unions to work with the Gates Foundation on a moratorium, as they engage with states and the federal government to mitigate the extreme damage done by high-stakes testing. But, Duncan became one notch too brazen when he endorsed Vergara.

Can Research Identify a School That's Working?

Peter Greene | Posted 08.07.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

The most fundamental part of local control is the community definition of what a working school looks like.

New Orleans Is Now an All-Charter City -- Is That a Good Thing?

Sam Chaltain | Posted 08.03.2014 | Education
Sam Chaltain

How choice feels depends on where you live, and how high (or low) the levels of trust, transparency, and cross-sector collaboration are in those communities. Period.

Why Would Learning Be the Goal of 21st Century Schools?

John Thompson | Posted 07.25.2014 | Education
John Thompson

The real villain, I believe, is not standards-based reform but the way it was high-jacked by test-driven accountability hawks.

Ready, Set, Resist: New Jersey Families Defend Public Education

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg | Posted 07.27.2014 | Education
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg

Despite efforts to silence and outspend dissent, in city after city, in town after town, New Jersey students, parents and teachers are fighting for their public schools.

Who Are Our Third Graders Who Are Being Held Back?

John Thompson | Posted 07.13.2014 | Education
John Thompson

In the high-dollar Oklahoma City suburbs, where students go home to $500,000 houses, all but 5 percent may have passed. In Democratic House Minority Leader Scott Inman's district and in Oklahoma City, where children go home to units where the rent is $500, the failure rate was nearly 30 percent.

Rethink. Reinvent. Revolutionize: Reflections on Singapore's Leadership with 21st Century School Reformation

Carol J. Carter | Posted 06.25.2014 | Education
Carol J. Carter

If Singapore could transform itself in one generation from a modest seafaring conduit to a city which leads the world in education, finance, architecture, clean water, and a host of other criteria, the U.S. can rise up and become a global educational powerhouse once again.

3 Reasons to Be Proud for Supporters of Education Equality

Dan Cardinali | Posted 06.08.2014 | Education
Dan Cardinali

On March 27, policymakers, teachers, philanthropists and Integrated Student Supports providers rolled up their sleeves, pulled up their chairs, and sat down at the table -- both literally and figuratively. And with that, ISS officially became a part of the national conversation.

What If We Had a Test and Nobody Took It?

John Thompson | Posted 06.06.2014 | Education
John Thompson

In a rational world, the public school test prep season wouldn't heat up during the winter and the first of April wouldn't signify the beginning of th...

In New York's Fight Over Charter Schools, a Tale of Two Cities (and Two Selves)

Sam Chaltain | Posted 05.14.2014 | Education
Sam Chaltain

Indeed, the center of the fight in NYC seems to be about what will happen when the considerable wealth and influence of a capitalist economy begins to remake the institution that was founded to be the ultimate safeguard of our democratic society.

Coming Together to Become Our Brothers' Keepers

John Thompson | Posted 05.05.2014 | Education
John Thompson

I believe the real Barack Obama is the one who sat cross-legged with students at Washington DC's Powell Elementary School. As the Washington Post's Em...

P-16 and P-20 Initiatives: Critical for Education Reform

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 05.03.2014 | Education
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

If the goal of P-12 education is to prepare students for success in the adult world that follows, there seems to be a bit of a disconnect when a high ...

The Making of an Excellent School: Not So Easy, Not So Fast

Vicki Cobb | Posted 04.13.2014 | Education
Vicki Cobb

I did not understand how something as benignly written as the Common Core State Standards could be hi-jacked by political and corporate powers to create schools that are now submersed in mind-numbing test prep and fear in the name of "accountability."

Poverty, Politics, Racism and School Reform

Cami Anderson | Posted 04.07.2014 | Education
Cami Anderson

Newark's inconvenient truth: Our poorest neighborhoods, disproportionately African American, contain some of the lowest-performing public schools in the country and have for a long time.

Rebranding Common Core

John Thompson | Posted 04.05.2014 | Education
John Thompson

The reform public relations spin machine has struggled recently as more families reject top-down micromanaging of their children's schools. Common Core standards were originally sold as a corrective to the rote instruction encouraged by NCLB. Now Common Core is promising "tests worth teaching to."