Tag Archives: james comer

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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Categories: Learning

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It’s the Development, Stupid

Two years ago, my wife and I signed up to receive monthly emails charting our son’s development. When he was still in utero, the emails began with visual markers of his growth – he was the size of a grape at one stage, the size of a kumquat at another. Now, as he toddles his way through the world, the information is more focused on his behavior, reassuring us, for example, that a recent rise in meltdowns actually means that his development is “right on track.”

Across that same period, I’ve been part of a founding group that will, in August 2011, open a new public school here in DC (a school my son will one day attend). And what I’ve learned is that, for reasons I can’t fully understand, most of our country’s pre-schools maintain this evaluative focus on child development – and most middle and high schools abandon it altogether.

Why is this?

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Categories: Assessment, Learning, Organizational Change, Teacher Quality

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