Category Archives: Leadership

Has Oprah come to embody what’s wrong with modern American culture?

I’ve decided that if I were to pick one person who embodies the ersatz character of contemporary American cultural life, that person would be Oprah Winfrey.

Let me explain.

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Summer, once the time for reflection, now the time for radical redesign

Tanesha Dixon vividly remembers the first summer she spent as a teacher – as part of a service program in Uganda, just before her senior year at Notre Dame.

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New Orleans is an all-charter city. Is that a good thing?

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?

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Planet of the Technocrats

There’s a great book out by Harvard’s Michael Sandel on the moral limits of markets. But Sandel’s book also contains a lot of interesting information about incentives, and the ways our use of them has both grown and revised the traditional economic thinking that began with Adam Smith’s original 1776 notion of an “invisible hand.”

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What Happened in DC in 2008 – & Does it Still Matter in 2013?

If a prominent urban school leader told you he couldn’t recall being informed that half his city’s schools may have allowed the gross mistreatment of students to occur, would you believe him? And even if you did, would you still want him in charge of your children?

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The Wisdom of Crowds, Untapped

The decision by DC Council Education Committee Chairman David Catania to hire an outside law firm to craft school reform legislation is an awful one, worthy of serious public rebuke – and for two interrelated reasons.

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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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What’s the Big Idea?

It’s a good question. And Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Josh Starr is asking it as part of his new podcast series, which honored me as its first guest. You can hear the conversation here, but one thing I want to point out: the show is co-hosted by a major urban superintendent and the head […]

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OK, Obama Won. Now What?

It’s official. Barack Hussein Obama has been re-elected.

Now what?

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Who We Are, And Who We Aspire to Be

It has been four years — when the promise of an Obama presidency was still just a promise — since I have felt as inspired as I felt tonight, watching Michelle Obama, as First Lady, remind us of who we are on our best days. Back then I produced a short video that tried to […]

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