Tag Archives: charter schools

Are Charter Schools Helping Or Hurting Public Education?

I’d characterize this one as a pretty reasoned conversation about the issue — which is surprising, since it comes from Democracy Now, which is pretty clearly in one camp and not the other. I attribute that to Steve Barr bringing some nuance to the conversation. Still, listen to both sides, and judge for yourselves . […]

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In New York, A Tale of Two Cities (and Two Selves)

At the New Teacher Center conference a few years ago, I watched a master teacher model a great way to introduce students to new material. She projected a single image onto the screen in our conference room — it was Liberty Leading the People — and asked us a single question, over and over again: “What do you see?” Any observation (“I see a strong woman”) would prompt a second question from the instructor (“What’s your evidence?”). It was fun, and illuminating, and after ten minutes, based on nothing more than our own close observations, we were ready to study the French Revolution.

I was reminded of that workshop recently, when I saw someone on Twitter share the following picture:

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DC’s Plan to Assess Early Childhood Programs: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

In case you missed it, the Public Charter Schools Board of DC has proposed a common framework for assessing the quality of all preschool and lower elementary programs. The original proposal sparked arguments for and against the plan; led to a petition campaign of protest; and anchored a lively hourlong discussion on public radio. Lots of people wrote the board to share their own ideas and feedback, and, earlier this week, the Board unanimously approved a revised policy.

What did the PCSB get right, and where is its plan still lacking?

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The Good, the Bad & The Maybe on Charter Schools

Three recent articles seem to capture the promise and the peril of the charter movement all at once. First, there was my piece exploring the evolving case law that challenges the notion that public charters are indeed, under the law, public schools. Then there was the news from a recent study suggesting that charters are […]

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High Stakes Tests For 3-Year-Olds?

If you’re a parent of a young charter school student in DC – or just someone who cares about early education – you need to know what’s happening here in the nation’s capital, and fast.

In less than a week, all charter schools that serve young children will start being held accountable to their students’ test scores on reading and math.

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This is Your Brain on Test Scores

There are two seemingly unrelated columns in today’s Opinion page of the New York Times that provide a crisp summary of where we stand in our current thinking about school reform — and where we need to go.

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Sunday Morning Quarterback

Earlier this week the DC Public Charter School Board released its latest rankings of every charter school operating in the nation’s capital. Some schools earned higher or lower scores than last year — each school is rated either Tier 1, 2 or 3 — but the majority did not change. No surprise there: these things take time, not to mention the fact that our system for evaluating whether a school is high- or low-performing remains imperfect at best.

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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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Categories: Assessment, Democracy, Equity, Leadership, Learning, Teacher Quality

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The (Keynesian) Economics of School Choice

In the halls of Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, a debate is raging over which set of economic proposals to pursue in order to rebuild the national economy. At the same time, K-12 education reformers are engaged in their own frantic search for the right recipe(s) that can unlock the full power of teaching and learning. But rarely do we acknowledge that one individual stands, improbably, at the center of both debates – John Maynard Keynes.

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Is School Renovation The Change We Seek?

OK, I realize I’m late to the game – I was in China last week when President Obama first outlined his jobs proposal to a joint session of Congress. But I’m back now, and I just read it, and as I look at it I’m wondering if anyone else has made a simple observation about his idea to renovate America’s crumbling public school buildings:

Is this really the change we seek?

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