Should your zip code determine your access to the American dream? Or is the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee to provide “equal protection” a principle we have silently agreed to uphold in theory – but not in practice? I’m starting to wonder after reading about Tanya McDowell, the Connecticut mother facing felony charges for lying on her five-year-old son’s registration forms so … Read More
NYC Learners — Go On a School Innovation Tour!
Those of you living in the NYC area have a cool opportunity worth taking advantage of this coming April. IDEA, aka the Institute for Democratic Education in America, is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all young people can engaged meaningfully with their education and gain the tools to build a just, democratic, and sustainable world. … Read More
Education Nation & Finland
I’m playing catch up with all the programming NBC is producing this week as part of its Education Nation series, but I want to highly recommend one of those videos, an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Finland’s Minister of Education, Pasi Sahlberg.
See for yourself on the video below, but here are a few highlights worth underscoring:
The Science of School Renewal
There’s a revolution underway in the scientific community, and it’s changing the way we understand both the structure and the inner workings of the universe. These insights have far-reaching implications for all of us – and none of them are being heeded by the leading voices of our current efforts of transform America’s antediluvian public education system.
This is a serious problem. Here are three examples of what I mean:
Should She Stay or Should She Go? Michelle Rhee and the Upcoming DC Election
It’s almost election season in DC, which means I need to decide once and for all if Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee – and, by extension, Mayor Adrian Fenty – deserve another four years at the helm.
Here are the arguments as I see them:
A Sinking Ship?
During a week in which both Education Secretary Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama will publicly defend their education reform priorities – in response to severe criticism from the country’s leading civil rights organizations – I’m trying to figure out how a set of ideas that was so close to mobilizing a quiet revolution in public education has instead led the soldiers of that revolution to passionately (and loudly) take up arms against each other.
All I can come up with is they’ve gotten some lousy advice. And I think I see where they’ve gone wrong.
How to Build a School System That Nurtures Creativity
In case you missed it, there’s an important new piece in Newsweek about the declining capacity of Americans to think creatively — and what we can do about it. This is, of course, the primary issue that has driven Sir Ken Robinson’s work (if you’re among the few who haven’t yet seen his hilarious and insightful 2006 TED talk on … Read More
What Gandhi Would Think of "The Lottery"
I just saw “The Lottery” – a documentary film about public education in general, and the charter school movement in particular – and I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. The film is beautiful, and deeply moving, It is impossible not to fall in love with the four children (and their families) whose bittersweet paths we follow in … Read More
Is It Really All About the Benjamins?
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 . . .
Less Standardization, More Flexibility
Great piece by the New York Times‘ Bob Herbert two days ago, in which he writes the following: “When you look at the variety of public schools that have worked well in the U.S. — in cities big and small, and in suburban and rural areas — you wonder why anyone thought it was a good idea to throw a … Read More
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