Get ready, people . . . our brains are about to change in a major way.
As in, I was on it this morning to talk about Our School. See for yourself — but note that the conversation doesn’t begin until about the 4:00 mark of the first video.
And don’t miss the ways in which my name gets inadvertently BUTCHERED.
This week, the last five traditional neighborhood schools in New Orleans’ Recovery School district were closed – making it the country’s first district made up entirely of charter schools.
That’s a good thing, right?
First he was a private school teacher in New York City. Then, briefly, a public school teacher. After that, Sam Chaltain spent years studying schools across the country trying to determine what qualities were common to the very best.
As I travel around the country this month, participating in public conversations about the promise and peril of school choice, it seems fitting that right as we marked the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, I would end up having lunch with Michael Alves.
I just spent some time learning about a remarkable public school in Burlington, Vermont — the Sustainability Academy — and perhaps the most remarkable thing I heard was the way it turned a potentially catastrophic community event — the closing of a neighborhood school — into a positive success story that has deepened, not diminished, Burlington’s sense of community.
Educators and school reformers — ignore at (y)our peril.
(And crazy to think that this talk was from 2005!)
Now that my new book is out, I’m doing a series of public talks around the country to explore core issues of choice, reform, and community.
My first event was at the legendary DC bookstore, Politics & Prose, and they videotaped the conversation, which featured everything from high-stakes testing to E.D. Hirsch to a quick crowdsourcing of the core characteristics of the ideal graduate.
See for yourself, and let me know if it was helpful.
In the ideal educational future, is there a single design principle that matters most in establishing the optimal learning environment for children?
That seems like a pretty important question to consider. And if you were to go by today’s leading reform strategies, you might conclude that the answer is, variably, greater accountability, better use of data, more strategic use of technology, or more personalization (all good things, by the way). Yet for my money, the design principle that matters most is the one modern reform efforts care about the least – the extent to which schools are creating true laboratories of democratic practice.
That’s a question I try to answer in my new book, Our School: Searching for Community in the Era of Choice. But there are some other questions I try to answer — specifically, the ones Greater Greater Washington’s Natalie Wexler asked me in this Q&A about the book.