Education Policy

Something Else I Don't Get ...

In an earlier post I shared my confusion about who gets to speak for public education.  I am confused again.

Maybe I am missing something but aside from ideology, what is really behind the work in several states to end collective bargaining rights for teachers’ unions? 

I’ve been a school principal for 19 years, two of which I spent away from my beloved secondary school in Ohio to start an independent school in Los Angeles.  The school in Ohio has a negotiated agreement and a teachers’ union; the one in LA did not.  I prefer the union and the contract.

Obama has a Long Way to Go on Education Reform

(CNN) -- President Obama should be applauded for keeping education at the top of the nation's policy agenda at a time when so many other important issues -- the ongoing recession, two wars, health care, etc. -- demand his attention.

He was right to urge parents to do their part to reinforce the importance of education with their children, and he is to be commended for recognizing the important role of teachers who so often are blamed for the failings of our nation's schools.

Putting the "F" Word Back in Education

Smokey Daniels, a well-known literacy guru, was talking about schools at a meeting my staff and I were attending.  He stood up and said, “I think we need to put the “F” word back in schools.  I mean we need “F” (pause for effect), “U” (another pause), “N” (relieved laughter and clapping).

He’s right, of course.  Kids and teachers could use a little more of the “F” word.

When second semester began at my school my school this year you couldn’t find a student in math, science, social studies or English classes.

Beyond Silver Bullets for American Education

By Pedro Noguera and Randi Weingarten, December 22, 2010
previously published in The Nation

Some of today's leading school "reformers" claim that the primary cause of the ills affecting American education is a glut of bad teachers, and that the unions that represent them are the major obstacles to progress. How does this viewpoint square with what is happening in our schools?

Will the Revolving Door for Urban Superintendents Ever Slow Down?

It is the morning after the Nov. 2 election, and Mark Roosevelt is tired. The Pittsburgh schools chief has a cold and is in the third or fourth week of a diet and he’s been up until nearly dawn watching the election results on television. The news is not good. If the new Pennsylvania governor carries out his plans to expand the number of charter schools in the state, the Pittsburgh schools could lose $100 million a year in state funding, threatening the city’s ambitious reform programs.

Tough Times Ahead for Public Education

TULSA, OK – So you don't think the last election was a setback for teacher unions and education progressives? Think again.

So says Kimberly Anderson, Director of Governmental Relations for the National Education Association.  Earlier this month, she briefed delegates at the National Council of Urban Education Association's fall conference on the ramifications of widespread Republican victories at the polls Nov. 2.

Anderson pointed out that the GOP gained more than 60 seats in the House, helping to make up the largest freshmen class in the history of the chamber. The new mix erodes the ability to fight issues like school vouchers, she said.

“I have no confidence we are in the position to defeat a voucher vote in the House,” she said.

Forum Conveners: We Need to Define Successful Schools

TULSA, OK – Those who want to create better schools need to resist the urge to protect the status quo and instead provide a clear vision of what a good education system should look like.

That was the message from Conveners from The Forum for Education and Democracy, who headlined a keynote panel discussion at the National Council of Urban Education Association's fall conference here earlier this month.

Conveners from The Forum included Executive Director George Wood, veteran educator Deborah Meier and University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings.

They were joined on the panel by Michigan State University Professor Yong Zhao, University of Colorado Professor Kevin Welner and testing expert Monty Neill.

Teachers Urged to Take Back Their Profession

TULSA, OK – Get parents on board. Withhold political contributions to politicians who would bash teachers. Expose myths. Resist bad practices.

The hundreds of teachers who gathered here for the National Council of Urban Education Association's fall conference left with a series of strategies they believe will help them reclaim public education.

But they also left with the shared belief that it will not be easy – especially after the Nov. 2 election and the simplistic propaganda of movies like “Waiting for Superman.”  

Noguera Calls on CES Delegates to be "Critical Friends"

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pedro Noguera has had plenty of access to Obama administration policy makers. In fact, he sat down with 50 people from the U.S. Department of Education, who listened to his thoughts for 90 minutes.

"Then I left and nothing changed," Noguera, a Convener with The Forum for Education and Democracy, said in an opening address last week at the Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum. "I realized that the Obama administration was staying the course not just in Afghanistan, but in education."

Ted Sizer's Ideas: We Need Them Now More Than Ever

When Ted and I began our teaching careers more than fifty years ago, we were excited by the work. But even then we realized that there were problems with the way we were doing it.

Syndicate content