Arne Duncan's Learning Story

Book Projects, Learning, Voice

Check out the first in our ongoing series with the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss, who will post a different person’s learning story every week between now and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act. Have a story of your own to share? Visit and tell us who helped you use your mind well.

Name the Book Competition — Round 2

Book Projects, Democracy, Learning, Voice

On Thursday, I formally submit the manuscript for the book of learning stories (estimated release date – February 2011) and it still doesn’t have a working title. However, many of you have written to share your feedback, and I think it’s time for an updated list of finalists. Remember — whoever submits the winning entry gets a $50 gift certificate … Read More

Washington Post to Feature a Story a Week for 2010 (and beyond?)

Learning, Voice

Great news! Beginning tomorrow morning, the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss will feature a new learning story each week between now and the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (whenever that is). Fittingly, the series will begin with the learning story of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. But there’s still time to share your own story and have it featured … Read More

John Wooden, Barack Obama & Why Smart People Are Stoopid

Leadership, Learning, Voice

This week’s Frank Rich column may not be about education policy, but it might as well be. Writing about the president’s handling of the BP oil spill, Rich believes Obama’s “most conspicuous flaw is his unshakeable confidence in the collective management brilliance of the best and the brightest he selected for his White House team — “his abiding faith in … Read More

Is It Really All About the Benjamins?

Assessment, Equity, Learning, Teacher Quality

As both a former teacher and a MBA, I’m struck these days by two things: first, the ubiquity of “business thinking” in today’s education reform strategies; and second, the complete absence of the sort of business thinking we actually need to be heeding. Keep reading here . . .

Sir Ken Robinson & Creativity

Learning, Voice

I’m off this morning to spend two days with Sir Ken Robinson and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, which is planning to host a World Creativity Forum this November in Oklahoma City. If you’re unaware of Sir Ken, here’s a video preview, courtesy of a recent TED talk — and his take on why we need to move away from standardized instruction, … Read More

The Book of Learning Stories — Title Search

Democracy, Learning, Voice

I need your help in coming up with the title for the book of learning stories. Whoever submits the winning entry will get a $50 gift card to the bookstore of their choice. Here are the three I have so far: The Learning Book: 50 Powerful Stories of Learning & Teaching — In School & In Life Learning Matters: 50 … Read More

Draft Intro for Book of Learning Stories

Democracy, Learning, Voice

For anyone interested in learning a bit more about what the book will look like . . . ——– This is a book of different people’s stories. Some are about teachers who changed their students’ lives. Some describe the moment when a person first discovered how to ask the right questions, or found what they were most passionate about.  Others … Read More

Final 50 Selected for Book of Learning Stories

Learning, Voice

Nine months ago, the Rethink Learning Now campaign launched a national storytelling initiative by asking people to reflect on their most powerful learning experiences, and/or their most effective teachers. Since then, the campaign has received hundreds of insightful and illustrative submissions from people across the country –from students to social workers to the Secretary of Education himself. And this past … Read More

Education and… National Security

Democracy, First Amendment, Learning, Voice

I see that President Obama listed education as a core aspect of his overall National Security Strategy. It reminds me of a great piece my former boss and mentor Charles Haynes wrote less than three weeks after the September 11 attacks. As Charles wrote: “Over the course of this long struggle, the most effective answer to training camps of hatred … Read More