Tag Archives: 180

This is what it looks like when a community designs its own school

At its best, nothing is more unifying and vital to a community’s civic health than a high-quality neighborhood school. Why, then, do all notions of “school choice” end up being about either charter or private schools?

Enter Oakland SOL, a new dual-immersion middle school in the Flatlands section of Oakland, California — and the city school district’s first new school in more than a decade.

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Categories: Democracy, Equity, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Change, Parenting, Starting a School

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To reimagine learning, we must reimagine the physical space of “school” — but how?

For more than a century, the physical layout of American schools has been as consistent as any feature in American public life. Although the world around us has been in a constant state of flux, we have always been able to depend on a familiar set of symbols in our schools: neat, orderly rows of student desks; teachers delivering lessons to an entire group of children; lockers in the hallways; bell schedules — the list could go on.

But what if those timeworn structures of schooling are actually preventing us from reimagining education for a changing world? What if, in fact, the physical environment is — after parents and peers — the “third teacher” of our sons and daughters?

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Categories: Design & Space, Learning, Organizational Change, Voice

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180: Mississippi Rising

Of our fifty states, I can think of no other whose local history — for better and for worse — captures the essence of the larger American story.

In a sense, we are all Mississippians.

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Categories: Democracy, Equity, Learning, Organizational Change, Voice

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The Age of the Individual is Upon Us

One year, early in my teaching career, I got reprimanded for giving too many “A’s.”

“You can’t give everyone the same grade,” I was instructed. “Give a few A’s and F’s, and a lot of B’s and C’s. Otherwise, everyone will know that your class is either too easy or too hard.”

This was unremarkable advice; indeed, it was as close to the educational Gospel as you could find. It was human nature in action.

And, apparently, it was completely wrong.

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Categories: Assessment, Equity, Learning, Organizational Change, Teacher Quality

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