Monthly Archives: March 2012

Are We Putting the (Knowledge) Cart Before the (Emotional) Horse?

What would you say if I told you that all of our efforts to improve public education were insensitive to the actual way people interacted with the world?

Depressing, right? But it’s true. To prove it, watch this short video — just 100 seconds long — and be prepared to describe to yourself what you see:

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How Much Parent Power is Too Much?

Should parents who are unhappy with their local school have the power to replace the entire staff, turn it into a charter school, or shut it down completely – even if just 51% of the school’s families agree? It’s an enticing, polarizing proposal – the so-called “parent trigger.” It’s also now a law in four […]

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Categories: Democracy, Equity, Learning, Organizational Change

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A Different March Madness: The DCPS Lottery

Since last fall, I’ve been working on a new book about a year in the life of the DC public school system(s) — as seen primarily through two schools: one a brand-new charter school, the other a 90-year-old neighborhood school — so I was thrilled to hear that WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi was dedicating a show […]

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Close but no cigar

Once again, David Brooks has written an important column about education. And once again, he offers a vision of modern schooling that is almost perfect — but not quite.

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Vive La France?

Yesterday was one of those days every parent dreads.

My 2.5 year-old son, Leo, had decided to make dinner a histrionic struggle for power. My energy reserves were at historic lows. And my larger visions of effective parenting had lost out to my smaller need to merely give in to Leo’s irrational demands, make it to bedtime – and live to see a new day.

Regularly, as parents, we’re forced to make choices about how we respond to the words and actions of our kids. Ideally, those choices are always guided by a clear frame for determining what our children need to become healthy and happy human beings. But what if we don’t have a clear frame – or, worse still, what if our frame for parenting has us focusing on the wrong recipe for success?

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“They share their stories, and everyone shares their feelings.”

This is what it looks like when schools and teachers intentionally create the space — not instead of but alongside more traditional academic learning — for children to bring their full selves to the world, and to each other, each day.

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When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?

With spring training under way, fantasy baseball owners across the country are hard at work readying their draft boards and preparing to select their championship rosters. As they do, I have a modest proposal to make that will simplify the whole process: Let’s stop getting weighed down by multiple data points, and start looking at […]

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NYC Teacher Data Reports: A Good or a Bad Idea?

This morning, I appeared on CNN to debate whether the recent release of data linking individual NYC public school teachers to the test scores of their students was a good or a bad idea. On Tuesday, cnn.com will run an accompanying article in which I provide a little more context for my opinion, and suggest […]

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