Tag Archives: CNN

Making Schools Safer in the Wake of Sandy Hook

As policymakers prepare to find the best way to respond to the tragedy in Newtown, educators and parents across the country are left to wonder – what can we do to make our schools safe?

The lessons of Sandy Hook Elementary School can help us answer that question in two ways – one that is uncomfortable, and one that is essential.

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When it comes to a longer school day, something’s gotta give

Now that five states are planning to add 300 hours of class time in an effort to close the achievement gap and re-imagine the school day, I can only come to one conclusion: Something’s got to give. Continue reading . . .

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The curious paradox of “Won’t Back Down”

Won’t Back Down, the new Hollywood film about two mothers determined to take over their children’s failing inner city school, represents everything that’s wrong with the present way we talk about school reform – and everything we need to talk about more in the future. Continue reading . . .

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The Politics of Education – Dueling Budgets

This weekend, I was on CNN to speak about President Obama’s and Representative Ryan’s dueling budget proposals, and asked to comment on which of the two lighted the surer path to true education reform. See for yourself:

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Why You Should See “Bully” – and What We Should All Do in Response

Bully, the new film that opens today in theaters across the country, begins with the image of a heavy-diapered toddler named Tyler, happily staggering across the wet grass in front of his family’s Oklahoma home. Moments later, we learn of Tyler’s painful path in the adolescent years that followed – years that were marked by […]

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How Much Parent Power is Too Much?

Should parents who are unhappy with their local school have the power to replace the entire staff, turn it into a charter school, or shut it down completely – even if just 51% of the school’s families agree? It’s an enticing, polarizing proposal – the so-called “parent trigger.” It’s also now a law in four […]

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When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?

With spring training under way, fantasy baseball owners across the country are hard at work readying their draft boards and preparing to select their championship rosters. As they do, I have a modest proposal to make that will simplify the whole process: Let’s stop getting weighed down by multiple data points, and start looking at […]

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NYC Teacher Data Reports: A Good or a Bad Idea?

This morning, I appeared on CNN to debate whether the recent release of data linking individual NYC public school teachers to the test scores of their students was a good or a bad idea. On Tuesday, cnn.com will run an accompanying article in which I provide a little more context for my opinion, and suggest […]

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Other People’s Children

Last week, CNN reported on recent events in Garfield Heights, Ohio, where austerity measures have led local school officials to shorten the schoolday to five hours, get rid of subjects like art, music, and PE — and send kids home before lunch. What didn’t come out during the piece was that these drastic decisions were fueled in part by the community’s refusal, over a 20 year period, to pass a levy that would help support the schools. Like many places across the country, Garfield Heights’ residents were getting older, its younger people were moving away, and those that remained didn’t see sufficient value in a measure that would be used to support the education of other people’s children.

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Is it time to redesign the report card?

This week, parents and guardians of schoolchildren across the country will receive their first report card of the 2011-2012 school year. For some, the occasion will provide welcome confirmation of a young person’s superior effort. Others will open their mail to find an uncomfortable wake up call. Yet for too many families, the report cards […]

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