Category: Uncategorized

Photo credit: http://www.myballard.com/2011/08/31/seattle-public-schools-closed-today/

Closing schools is not an educational option

The suggestion that the solution to poorly performing students is simply closing schools is merely following what has become a common trope in the corporate education reform community–the notion that “the problems” in education can be solved simply by, variously, “getting rid of the bad teachers“, converting public schools to charter schools, continuously raising standards, or increasing the amount of […]

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When teacher silencing becomes dangerous…

When teacher silencing becomes dangerous…

Since publishing my post on teacher silencing yesterday, my mailbox has been inundated with stories from teachers about being harassed, threatened, and intimidated by school district administrators for posting their opinions about standardized tests, opting out, and other issues of education policy and practice. One teacher wrote: I was having a discussion this morning with a colleague and we weren’t […]

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Let the Poems Fall Where they May

Let the Poems Fall Where they May

It’s been a bit difficult for me to blog these past few weeks with everything going on in the world. Fortunately, the poet in me has regained her inspiration to create. April is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s a month that encourages me to celebrate poetry every day. It’s a month where poetry isn’t just an add-on, […]

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Forget ‘Awareness,’ President Trump, We Need Autism Acceptance

Forget ‘Awareness,’ President Trump, We Need Autism Acceptance

FYI: Fully funding research for autistic people of all ages would help a lot more than just sporting a pin Who can be mad at something as gauzy as “awareness,” especially when it’s tied to a serious disability like autism? Given that we’re faced with an administration who is looking to cut everything the government does to aid our physical […]

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Graphic credit: Gerd Leonhard

Are “Big Data” and “metrics” the new religion in education reform?

As anyone watching the corporate education reform movement can attest to, Big Data and metrics have become the coin of the realm to the reform community. Let any conversation between reformers and defenders of public education go on long enough and the reformer will eventually blurt out the magic words: “But…accountability!” This worldview seems informed by the belief that any […]

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Who knew it could be so complicated?: DeVos edition

Who knew it could be so complicated?: DeVos edition

Donald Trump, in a moment of rich irony, appears to have been caught just a bit off guard with just how complex the American health care system really was last week. “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” he added. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” Notwithstanding the fact that nearly every American who […]

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Photo credit: http://www.myballard.com/2011/08/31/seattle-public-schools-closed-today/

Only in Betsy DeVos’ Michigan can schools be “reformed” by closing them

The news broke on January 20, 2017 that as many as 38 schools could be closed in Michigan, 24 of those in Detroit, due to “poor academic performance.” Parents in the city, and throughout the state, were understandably stunned, as this announcement represented an abrupt change in the state’s previous position on school closings: Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration has switched […]

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Private school vouchers: A solution in search of a problem

Private school vouchers: A solution in search of a problem

Private school vouchers are the zombies of the education reform agenda. No matter how many times they are defeated at the ballot box, they just won’t die. Vouchers are overwhelmingly unpopular with voters, contribute to school segregation, don’t help poor families attend the “school of their choice,” and the most recent research on vouchers suggests that the students who use […]

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Stacking the jury in the voucher wars

Stacking the jury in the voucher wars

A recent article in the Detroit Free Press attempts to paint a “fair and balanced” portrait of private school vouchers, the expected lynchpin of Betsy DeVos’ agenda as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education. The author consulted an apparently impressive array of education scholars, authors, professors, and reform leaders in an effort to bolster this argument, and, indeed, most of the […]

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How the reformers devalue teaching experience: Forbes edition

How the reformers devalue teaching experience: Forbes edition

A recent article from EdSurge.com unveiled the newly-enshrined members of the Forbes “30 under 30 Education Leaders to Learn From” Class of 2017. While I tend to believe that most of this genre of rankings articles (Best Colleges, Best Places to Live, Best Chicken Wings–spoiler alert: they’re from Buffalo!) aren’t worth the paper they are printed on–or the bytes they occupy in cyber-space, as the […]

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My New Year’s Eve resolutions for public education

My New Year’s Eve resolutions for public education

The education reform community’s obsession with “accountability” is based on the premise that teachers are motivated by rewards and punishments to work harder, and teach better. But this approach to accountability is predicated on the view of teachers as disengaged “workers” who are not intrinsically motivated, and must be coerced by threats and extrinsic measures. The truth is that virtually […]

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