The Expanding Learning and Afterschool Project is a 50-state initiative that gives educators easy and direct access to research and promising practices that can help them use time beyond the conventional school day most effectively for learning.
Over the years, I have visited hundreds of schools serving poor communities and have long concluded that regardless of how challenging a school is, extraordinary principals and teachers can utterly transcend such challenges and create a powerful and successful learning environment.
If the school reformers truly believe that teachers are the key to the success of children --- and I agree, they certainly are one of the keys --- then the reformers must reconsider the mindless application of the deadly algorithm.
Our field has been under bipartisan attack for a while now, as our feminized profession (76% female) has joined the ranks of all the other "bad" women throughout history accused of threatening society's well-being.
What is happening is that the teaching profession will become the least desirable for any bright, capable and idealistic student which will result in the further intellectual impoverishment of public schools.
We want the end of punitive high stakes testing that labels children, teachers and schools as failures. We do not want our tax dollars going to the pockets of testing and data companies. We refuse to allow our community-based public school be labeled as "failing."
The conversation about school reform in Washington is replete with big ideas -- glossy proposals for "accountability," putting the "students first," fixing "broken" schools, all in hopes of making America "competitive" again. Yet our schools are poorer than ever.
We should make equal educational opportunity a federal civil right for all students. This should include the right to a challenging curriculum, well-trained and effective teachers, and the funding to provide these essentials.
The real benefit of technology will be in the development of new learning progressions -- pathways that combine adaptive learning, social learning, and project-based learning -- that are engaging, efficient, and effective.
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.
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.