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Public Education

Lost in Monty Hall: The Risk Within Statistics

Akhila Satish | Posted 07.10.2014 | Science
Akhila Satish

I have argued consistently for scientific literacy. After exploring the statistical side of scientific reporting, I would argue that we need as much education on statistics as we do in raw science. The millions we spend on public-awareness campaigns highlighting risk are meaningless if we do not also invest in educating the public on how to manage and mitigate their risk.

Join National Campaign to Put Focus of Public Education on Student Learning

Dennis Van Roekel | Posted 07.09.2014 | Education
Dennis Van Roekel

The average American student and teacher now spend about 30 percent of the school year preparing for and taking standardized tests. This is time that schools could use to achieve their primary purpose of educating students. Instead, they become nothing more than test factories.

Substitute Teachers Deserve More Respect

Randy Jurado Ertll | Posted 07.08.2014 | Education
Randy Jurado Ertll

The sad reality is that substitute teachers have been getting the short end of the stick for way too long. Most receive only a fraction of what regular teachers get paid. Most have no union representation or a retirement plan.

The Hardest Part of Teaching

Peter Greene | Posted 07.07.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

They never tell you in teacher school, and it's rarely discussed elsewhere. It is never, ever portrayed in movies and tv shows about teaching. Teachers rarely bring it up around non-teachers for fear it will make us look weak or inadequate.

Good Riddance To The Common Core

Diane Ravitch | Posted 07.03.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

Common Core testing will turn out to be the money pit that consumed American education. The sooner it dies, the sooner schools and teachers will be freed of the Giant Federal Accountability Plan hatched in secret and foisted upon our nation's schools.

Nurturing Inequality: A Strategy for Achieving Unequaled Accomplishment for Every Learner

Carlos R. Moreno | Posted 07.01.2014 | Education
Carlos R. Moreno

I believe that schools can make a contribution to reducing overall inequality of opportunity in our society and economy but in what might appear a contrary way: by actually creating inequality in schools.

What Is A Teacher?

Natasha Walizer | Posted 07.01.2014 | Education
Natasha Walizer

A teacher believes there are no bad students, just challenging ones. A teacher will question and teach her students how to question. A teacher's day does not end when the buses pull out.

Common Sense Missing in Debate on American Public Education

Elizabeth Evans | Posted 06.30.2014 | Education
Elizabeth Evans

Change is hard and change is scary. So, it's all the more important that when we're making big changes -- especially to essential public services like education -- we take more care to focus on the goal and bring all the stakeholders together.

Enough Is Enough: Pennsylvania Must Contribute Its Fair Share to Fund Our Schools

Brian Sims | Posted 06.27.2014 | Politics
Brian Sims

For the last several years, we have found ourselves facing an unacceptable lack of state funding for schools. This year we are once again facing the Commonwealth's dereliction of duty in properly funding our public schools.

Quality Public Education + Dialogue = Democracy

Preston Smith | Posted 06.25.2014 | Education
Preston Smith

It doesn't matter if you're a part of a traditional district school or a public charter school. As long as we get the job done for kids and are free and available to all students, we can create the democratic safeguard President Roosevelt talked about.

Disadvantaged Youth Most Affected By Loss of Summer Reading: Recommended Reading List

Quassan Castro | Posted 06.24.2014 | Black Voices
Quassan Castro

Poor children are most vulnerable to decline in reading skills during the summer. Ninety percent of reading achievement loss for disadvantaged youth takes place during the scorching summer months.

Education Reform: A National Delusion

Steve Nelson | Posted 06.19.2014 | Education
Steve Nelson

Every bit of education reform is an excuse to continue the unconscionable neglect of our children. As Pogo wisely noted, "We have met the enemy and he is us." We did this to our children and our schools.

But Aren't California's Tenure Policies Unreasonable? Answering Vergara Questions

Kevin Welner | Posted 06.19.2014 | Education
Kevin Welner

Yes, the Vergara plaintiff team has used lots of civil rights rhetoric, and the court leads its ruling with a quote from Brown v. Board. But if this is about civil rights, it's through a funhouse mirror.

About Those Vergara Naysayers...

Eric Lerum | Posted 06.18.2014 | Education
Eric Lerum

The most interesting thing about Vergara v. California may not be the decision itself, but the reactions to it.

5 Reasons Common Core Isn't Working

Alyssa Lyons | Posted 06.17.2014 | Education
Alyssa Lyons

Standards are great. We need to have benchmarks for students to promote educational success. But standards work even better when educators are able to gauge the needs of students and determine the best measures to assess their performance.

The Vergara Decision May Have a Silver Lining

Kevin Welner | Posted 06.12.2014 | Education
Kevin Welner

The decision gives real teeth to the state's Constitution, and that could be a very good thing. It's those teeth that I find fascinating, since an approach like that used by the Vergara judge could put California courts in a very different role than we have thus far seen in the U.S.

The *Kids* Weren't the Only Big Winners in Vergara v. California Teacher Tenure Ruling

Jennifer Berkshire | Posted 06.12.2014 | Education
Jennifer Berkshire

Students Matter proclaimed early and often that one of the chief goals of Vergara was to position PR firm Griffin Schein, since reborn as We Are Rally, as a leader in the Students Mattering space. So pretty much just like Brown vs. Board of Education if Brown was actually a PR campaign bankrolled by a single wealthy individual.

Vergara Decision Is Latest Attempt To Blame Teachers And Weaken Public Education

Diane Ravitch | Posted 06.11.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

The one thing that does seem certain is that, contrary to the victory claims of hedge fund managers and right-wing editorial writers, no student will gain anything as a result of this decision.

Our Accountability System Is Flunking Its Test

Dennis Van Roekel | Posted 06.10.2014 | Education
Dennis Van Roekel

We have built an entire so-called "accountability system" on test data derived from tests given on one day of the year. It's like applying for a mortgage loan and the bank only asking for a checkbook balance on a given day. If this sounds illogical, it is.

Time for Congress to Investigate Bill Gates' Coup

Diane Ravitch | Posted 06.10.2014 | Politics
Diane Ravitch

The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and -- working closely with the U.S. Department of Education -- impose new and untested academic standards on the nation's public schools is a national scandal. A Congressional investigation is warranted.

"What's in a Name?"

Dan Cardinali | Posted 06.05.2014 | Impact
Dan Cardinali

On the key issue of why a young person would leave school without a diploma, researchers found that 25 different factors were mentioned over and over again, with abuse, homelessness and time in juvenile detention topping the list.

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

Sam Chaltain | Posted 06.03.2014 | 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.

An Educator's Lament: Part I -- Symptoms of Our Educational Demise

Dave Pruett | Posted 06.03.2014 | Education
Dave Pruett

Blaming teachers for education's problems is like blaming doctors for the epidemic of obesity. In both cases the root causes are societal. There's no rush to blame doctors, because, I suspect, doctors are not unionized and until very recently tended to vote Republican.

School Choice Is UnAmerican

Peter Greene | Posted 06.02.2014 | Education
Peter Greene

We all have a stake in public education. We all pay taxes to support public education. And we all get to vote on who will manage the operation of our schools (well, unless we are in occupied territories like Philadelphia or Newark). School choice throws all of that out the window.

Business Group Pledges $500,000 Campaign For Common Core -- Who Will It Really Benefit?

Diane Ravitch | Posted 05.30.2014 | Education
Diane Ravitch

Someday, maybe 12 years from now, they think, all children will be college-ready, even if they live in squalor or have no home, even if they attend overcrowded classes with inexperienced teachers. Are they gullible? Or do they believe the public can be easily deceived?