Tag Archives: Wisconsin

As Fifty States Reimagine Education Policy, Four Are Ready to Offer Guidance

What makes a mind come alive?

How can one community impact every child?

What do schools need to be changing from, and to?

And how can states set the conditions for lasting change?

In theory, these questions have always mattered. In reality, they are about to matter a lot more now that the United States Congress is poised to reauthorize its central education policy for the first time in thirteen years – and usher in an era of state authority on everything from school accountability to teacher education policies.

Now that the balance of power is shifting back towards the states, what should they do with it?

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

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Require kids to stay in school? Not so fast…

Anytime you hear government officials mandating new behaviors to a broad swath of the population, that mandate is likely to run afoul of the First Amendment. And so it is with President Obama’s announcement last night that all states must “require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.”

Although Mr. Obama made other pronouncements about education — see Dana Goldstein’s good summary analysis in The Nation — the stay-in-school mandate was the one that caught my ear, since enforcing it would run afoul of both the United States Supreme Court and our historic commitment to religious liberty.

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Categories: Democracy, Equity, First Amendment

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In What Way Justice?

What does it mean to be an American the day after Georgia may have just murdered an innocent man?

Read the first words of the preamble to our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice.”

Read the phrase engraved above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.”

And read the reaction by the widow of the man Troy Jones was convicted of murdering 22 years ago: “We have laws in this land so that there is not chaos.”

In this year of global upheaval – from Egypt to Wisconsin – what is happening to our capacity to serve as the world’s beacon of freedom and equality? And when did our conception of justice shift so mightily – from securing equal treatment to avoiding chaos?

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Categories: Democracy

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What If Learning — Not Fighting — Were the Focus?

As accusations fly back and forth over the reported DC cheating scandal – the latest in a series of battles between America’s two dominant Edu-Tribes – I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we stopped spending so much time focusing on what is broken or who is to blame, and started focusing instead on how people learn, and how we can create better learning environments for everyone?

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Categories: Leadership, Learning, Organizational Change

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The Wisconsin Teachers Protest: Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

As school systems across the state of Wisconsin cancel another day of classes — the result of massive protests in Madison following Governor Scott Walker’s effort to strip educators of the bulk of their collective bargaining rights — I can’t help but think of the old adage that two wrongs don’t make a right. Continue […]

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Categories: Democracy, First Amendment, Leadership, Organizational Change

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