It’s not even Noon, and nine-year-old Harvey is already back on the floor. His three tablemates, their efforts at independent reading on hold, watch and wait for Ms. Serber to arrive and restore order. Harvey’s pear-shaped body writhes on the floor, animated by neither malice nor mischief. He chews absent-mindedly on his silver necklace and gazes at the ceiling until … Read More
How Many Sacred Cows Does It Take to Sustain A Movement?
How do we transform the quality of teaching and learning in America? Like a lot of people, I’ve been wrestling with that riddle for the bulk of my career. And this month, three separate events are making me wonder in a new way about how to bring about such a shift – and sustain such a movement. The first two … Read More
The Three Most Important Questions in Education
It’s graduation season again – yet nobody seems to be celebrating. On college campuses, graduates are entering an economy in which the stable career paths of yesteryear are disappearing – and the specialized job opportunities of tomorrow have yet to appear. And in communities across the country, parents and young people are left wondering what exactly those past four years … Read More
Don't Believe the Hype (About College)
It’s not what you think. I’m a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin (and two graduate schools). I loved college. And it’s undeniable that the United States boasts some of the best universities in the world. I’m also someone who flunked out my freshman year with a 0.6 GPA. In fact, I’d say it wasn’t until I flunked out … Read More
What’s Your Declaration of Education?
Those pesky EduCon folks are at it again. Earlier this year, I wrote about a small, networked, eclectic tribe of educators who attended a conference at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, and who, with great energy and determination, pledged their shared commitment to bring about a different type of public school system by agreeing to the following core values: Our … Read More
What If Learning — Not Fighting — Were the Focus?
As accusations fly back and forth over the reported DC cheating scandal – the latest in a series of battles between America’s two dominant Edu-Tribes – I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we stopped spending so much time focusing on what is broken or who is to blame, and started focusing instead on how people learn, and … Read More
What's the Deal with Smaller Classrooms?
There’s an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post by Eva Moskowitz, the successful edu-preneur of the Success Charter Network in New York City, about the overall value of having smaller or larger classrooms. And, true to type, it’s a piece with numerous useful insights about the bottom-line business of crafting successful schools — and precious little about the foundational human element … Read More
What Joel Klein Doesn't Understand About Teaching — and What We Should Do Instead
In case you missed it, former NYC Schools Chief Joel Klein had an Op-Ed in this weekend’s Washington Post in which he, rightly, urges us to do what it takes to establish a true long-term teaching profession. His recipe for doing so, however, reveals the extent to which he has misdiagnosed both the problem and its potential solutions. Klein begins … 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
Let's End the Battle of the Edu-Tribes
There’s a revolution underway – and no, I don’t mean in Egypt or Tunisia.
I mean the growing, hopeful, tech-savvy, solution-oriented tribe of educators who attended last weekend’s EduCon 2.3 in Philadelphia, an annual event that bills itself as “both a conversation and a conference, ” and a place where people come together, “both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools.”