Monthly Archives: January 2013

Has Testing Reached A Tipping Point?

It wasn’t that long ago that suggesting America’s schools had become test-obsessed was a lonely endeavor. Although organizations like FairTest and campaigns like Time Out From Testinghave been decrying the flawed logic behind high-stakes tests for years, the reality is that for the past decade, many of us kept our complaints reserved for the privacy of the parking lot

People vented. Policymakers nodded. And absent any real noise, the tests continued.

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Categories: Assessment, Learning

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A Different Story About Public Education

I know we’re already one month into 2013, but think back to last year for a second: What were the most talked about education stories of 2012? I’m guessing your list looks something like this – Common Core. The Chicago Teacher Strike. Newtown. And what worries me is that no matter what other stories you […]

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Categories: Democracy, Learning

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This is what student determination looks like

What would it take to ensure that every student feels similarly empowered to make themselves seen and heard? (And with special thanks to the people at Storycorps–and in honor of people like Ron McNair, on the 27th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy.)

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Categories: Learning

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“Standardization” is not a dirty word

The reviews are in — in 2013, inequality is out, and equality is in.

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Categories: Democracy, Equity

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This is what an American revolutionary looks like

Imagine if all schools were structured to inspire similar self-transformation?

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Categories: Democracy, Leadership

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Open House Do’s and Don’ts

It’s that time of year again: when parents across the country — but particularly parents in major American cities — prepare to schedule a flurry of open houses in a frantic search for the best school for their child.

It happened to me a year ago; between January and March I visited more than 20 schools in search of the best place for my 3-year-old. Even though I’ve been working in schools my whole adult life, it was a daunting, disorienting experience. I can only imagine what it feels like for parents who haven’t stepped foot in a school since their own high school graduation.

To help ease the anxiety of my fellow parents, here are a few essential rules of the road: three questions to ask, and three things to look for.

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Categories: Parenting

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