Breaking up large high schools improved graduation rates
A conversation with Brett Peiser
New York City’s charters and small high schools at risk
A conversation with Laura Bush
A conversation with Cami Anderson
A conversation with Jeb Bush
A conversation with Chris Cerf
A conversation with Whitney Tilson
A conversation with John White
Podcast: John White talks with Education Next about his goals for the Recovery School District.
Podcast: Peter Meyer reports from Chicago, where two public schools have been launched by a Roman Catholic religious order.
With Steiner’s sudden resignation, will the state continue its Race to the Top?
How the Christian Brothers came to start two charter schools in Chicago
If you love bungee jumping, you’re the middle school type
Lacking nuns and often students, a shrinking system looks for answers
Reformers in New York’s capital have brought high-quality charter schools to scale, giving hope to a generation of disadvantaged kids.
The case for single-sex schools
The mayor, the schools, and the “rinky-dink candy store”
Podcast: Peter Meyer tells Education Next how the city of Albany hit the jackpot: high-quality charter schools, and lots of them.
Not much in public schools
Technology meets abstinence education
Lessons from life in public office
A new study uses survey data from 900 school board members in 419 school districts.
What should we be talking about when we talk about universal pre-K?
Much of what we read in Adam Bryant’s “Corner Office” columns would certainly justify Paul Tough’s applause for persistence and grit. But though certainly gritty and persistent, all of the subjects of the column show signs of having a remarkable background in knowledge acquisition (e.g. professional parents, high SATs, college degrees) probably earned their success by putting their grit at the service of learning.
We can only hope that policymakers, teachers, and administrators understand the limitations of the grit hypothesis so we don’t disadvantage yet another generation of hard-working, gritty, and determined poor kids by not teaching them what they need to know to succeed.
There is no Common Core curriculum, radical or otherwise.
While there is no secret sauce for creating schools that close the achievement gap in poor urban neighborhoods, there is certainly a great deal that a school can do short of busing in white students.
A knockout story in The Atlantic by education journalist Peg Tyre describes the wonderful turnaround of a Staten Island high school that the turnarounders attribute to a writing program.
The new CTU contract will not have “phony” merit pay (differentiated pay) but will have the “real” thing (school autonomy).
The reason we are so transfixed by Chicago is that the deal being hammered out now will be a game-changer.
The walk-out may tell us more about the power of politics than about the issues facing our nation’s schools.
Shouldn’t every American citizen have a right to the best education we can deliver?
A couple of reports last week reanimated the debate about what to do with Catholic schools, which have been hemorrhaging students for the last couple of decades.
Rigorous and consistent attention to academic discipline helps ensure a culture of respect where behavioral discipline is less necessary.
We should surely understand how far the reform movement has gone in transforming public perception of teacher unions and their role in education, but we should also appreciate how big and scary the unions still are.
Given that our public education system is failing too many children, why wouldn’t one consider doing something different? We should at least ask the right questions. Does the free market work? Why not run schools like a business? What’s wrong with profit?
This week Chris Christie signed legislation that creates a new teacher-rating scheme and also streamlines the process for firing both teachers and administrators.
It started as a fairly typical funding-equity lawsuit and ended with a startling Wall Street Journal headline, “Michigan City Outsources All of Its Schools.”
The pendulum might be swinging, ever-so-slightly, toward the believers (in school).
Schools can boost social mobility, but only if they value merit and knowledge
The terrible consequences of family breakdown are certainly upon us, but if this recent spate of teeth-gnashing over the growing social mobility gap is any indication of where the country is, I’d say the country still doesn’t get it.
Of the papers presented at Fordham’s Rethinking Education Governance for the 21st Century, one that had particular resonance for me was Rick Hess and Olivia Meeks’s analysis of the school district dilemma.
At some low point in my tenure on the board of education in my small school district, a friend advised, “Don’t worry. You are like gravity. They always know that you are there.”
It is the existential question of school board membership: Can you suggest improvement without appearing to criticize the current administration, the current system?
To have gotten this far on the accountability track is good news. But we surely seem to be a long way from getting our children the kind of educational protection that even restaurant patrons receive—not a healthy illustration of our public priorities.
The good news is that we have two trends that are gaining ground on the monster that is our education system: a renewed appreciation for content and the new market mechanisms (i.e. choice) that incentivize innovation and renewal.
Passing a set of historic reform bills last week, the Louisiana legislature handed Gov. Bobby Jindal and his new education chief, John White, the keys to reform city.
The three have formed a group that intends to raise $10 million annually for the next five years to lobby the New York State legislature to protect the reform initiatives launched by Klein and Michael Bloomberg in New York City and promote reform throughout the state.
As was widely reported Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday. The Times called it a “coveted endorsement”—and indeed it is, no matter how much fun Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich had at poor Eric Fehrnstrom’s expense.
The big news last week was the release of data by the U.S. Department of Education showing that, as the press release stated: “Minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.”
In Part 1 of my New York City teacher evaluation commentary, I explained the judicial decision which determined that the public had a right to know how individual teachers were doing. Most tellingly, perhaps, was Judge Kern’s dismissal of the argument that flaws in the data mattered to her decision. Referring to a previous ruling […]
It is possible that in a different era, a court might very well have concluded that releasing teachers’ names was quite insane. But while this lower court decision (there are, in New York, several higher courts) will not prove to be a major marker in educational jurisprudence, it does show how far we have come in righting a long-listing ship.
What worries me about the reasoning of some of the anti-Common Corers is that they seem to confuse a popular national trend with nationalism
The point of a liberal arts education—and I include math and science in that education—is to teach some eternal verities so that, when the surface world changes, as it tends to do, we have citizens that possess the most important skill of all: the ability to adapt.
Why have we given up on the idea that education can be the “great equalizer”? The answer, I believe, is that we have accepted the “materialistic fallacy.” We have taken results of our education ineptitudes—more poverty—and made them the cause of them.
It is a shame that in 2012 educators continue to ignore the importance of background and domain-specific knowledge as the essence of reading—and of a good education.
In case you missed them, a few notable events from the last month (or so): An amazing story from Erik Robelen at Education Week begins… Overriding the governor’s veto, New Hampshire’s Republican-led legislature has enacted a new law that requires school districts to give parents the opportunity to seek alternatives to any course materials they […]
It is not so much that “reform has to go beyond charters” as it is that real reform must embrace choice—choice at the individual level.
We shall see tomorrow night, but this is already looking to be the Year of the Education Governor. With NCLB being pummeled from left and right and Race to the Top in suspended inanimation, the feds seem unusually quiet, if not on the run.
The best way to honor Martin Luther King would be to commit ourselves to delivering a rigorous, comprehensive, and, ultimately liberating education. Indeed, it would be the best way to let freedom ring for future generations.
That’s the headline above Paul Peterson’s better-than-nifty essay on the Ed Next blog.
My friend Robert Pondiscio and I went head-to-head in a weeklong Facebook exchange about poverty and education over the holidays. Part of the debate was spurred by a draft of his recent Core Knowledge post on “ Student Achievement, Poverty, and ‘Toxic Stress.’” It is well-worth a read. Robert keyed in on a recent study […]
The responses to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent claim that he was going to be a lobbyist for public school students because no one else was reminded me of the old television game show, “What’s My Line?” wherein a celebrity panel got to quiz three contestants and then guess which one actually performed the job they all said they performed.
Amidst lots of recent drama about teacher evaluations came a wonderful report by Sam Dillon in the New York Times: In Washington Large Rewards In Teacher Pay.
A fascinating story in the New York Times about schooling in India has a few things to teach American educators; mainly, that the poor really do want a good education.
Last year I attempted to rank the top education stories of the year using Google. It was fun, but it was bit too nuanced (algorithmically speaking) to work.
The controversy over the recent New York Times front-page slam of K12 Inc. was ostensibly about the company’s inability to deliver online education, but one of the more interesting parts of the ensuing debate was not about computers and education but about delivering education for profit.
By combining mayoral authority and parental choice, the Mind Trust proposal would create a marriage made in heaven.
A new round of the popular education board game, Poverty Matters, began last week with a New York Times op-ed by Helen Ladd and Edward Fiske, titled, “Class Matters: Why Won’t We Admit It?”
Newt’s never been known for soft-and-cuddly and he does make an easy target for bleeding heart liberals as he joins his Darwinian socio-economic observations with a delivery crisp enough to shatter good china. The problem is, though, that he’s mostly right.
I must interrupt this program to urge readers to cozy up to ednext.org and be thankful for the new issue of Education Next. Cover-to-cover, it’s a blessing.
Reading Thomas Friedman in yesterday’s New York Times, I couldn’t help but think of the Shel Silverstein classic, “Clarence Lee from Tennessee,” a 1993 poem suggesting that kids could trade in their parents for new ones.
It’s hard to tell whether Joe Nocera’s op-ed essay in the New York Times last week, “Teaching With The Enemy,” is wonderfully nuanced or just silly. That’s surely what some education observers might wonder about the notion that Randi Weingarten, former head of New York City’s teacher union and current head of the American Federation of Teachers, should be chancellor of New York City schools.
Schools and parents have different responsibilities – and we need to appreciate the differences.
University of Chicago economist John List is following more than 600 students in several Chicago schools to find out whether investing in teachers or, alternatively, in parents, leads to more gains in kids’ educational performance.
Reading the New York Times update on the progress of the $100 million Mark “Facebook” Zuckerberg donation to the Newark public schools this morning, I couldn’t help but think of the time our superintendent convened a meeting of parents to announce a $20,000 grant for a “Parent University” project. Wow!
Whatever happens with ESEA reauthorization, I am convinced that the genie of education excellence is out of the bottle; administrators, teachers, aides, security guards – they are getting with the program.
I was prepared for a rant against all things reform when I started reading the New York Times Q & A interview with Maria Velez-Clarke, the principal of the Children’s Workshop School in Manhattan’s East Village, about the school’s C-grade from the City.
As much as it pains me every time I hear Checker Finn say it, school boards may indeed be irrelevant. And Checker’s new essay in National Affairs lays out a pretty persuasive case for why they will disappear; not, why they should go away, but why they will simply die on a vine that is no longer part of a healthy education system.
What was so odd about Dennis Walcott’s announcement that New York City was opening 50 new middle schools is that the most recent research suggesting that a middle school grade configuration is probably not the way to go was done in his city.
I gave up bashing teachers years ago, when I realized that, as with soldiers in the trenches, they had their hands full just staying alive. What I never understood, however, since this wasn’t really a war, was why teachers seemed to hide behind their unions.
The problem is that local school boards can’t wait around for the folks who have caused our cancers to cure them.
I felt a bit sad reading this morning’s New York Times poll report showing that New Yorkers are now broadly dissatisfied with their school system and that most say the city’s school system has stagnated or declined since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took control of it nine years ago.
Podcast: John White talks with Education Next about his goals for the Recovery School District.
New Yorkers were reminded yesterday that politics can be bloody when the state’s comptroller pulled the plug on a multi-million-dollar no-bid contract to Wireless Generation to set up a data-base for New York City’s schools.
On Wednesday a state judge in Albany ruled that student test scores on state exams could not be used for 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation and that NYBOR’s and NYSED’s cut scores for grading teachers was unfairly slanted to favor those student scores.
My only hope is that we don’t let education policy get hijacked by the same partisan bickering that flavored the debt-ceiling standoff a couple weeks ago. Our education system lost its AAA rating several generations ago.
It would be too simplistic to say that the difference between good schools and bad is in the quality of the information the public gets about its schools. But the swing in public opinion the size of that reported by the PEPG/Ed Next survey should be a wake-up call: get the information out.
Michael Winerip is on a roll. After a good piece of reporting on the Atlanta cheating scandal a couple of weeks ago, he has turned in a solid story about the testing mess rolling into Pennsylvania.
Podcast: Peter Meyer reports from Chicago, where two public schools have been launched by a Roman Catholic religious order.
News of the World: rocketships, suburban charters, parent triggers, cheating, merit pay — and even Winerip does good
Okay, it’s not exactly what Rupert might condone, but since he and his crew are preoccupied, I offer some education highlights from my weekend reading.
It is encouraging news that New York City’s three-year-old pilot project testing the content-rich Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum has proved so far “a brilliant experiment in reading.”
I’ll hand it to Michael Winerip. This morning he takes on one of the charter movement’s fiercest competitors, Eva Moskowitz
It is hard to read the Declaration of Independence without being moved by the document’s plainspoken audacity, especially recalling that it wasn’t then a “document,” but a rather blunt call to arms.
There are no knock-out punches in this fight, but David Brooks comes close with a perspective-setting essay about school reformers and their adversaries.
After the sweetness-and-nice between New York State Education Department and the New York State United Teachers to win $700 million from the federal Race to the Top fund last year, NYSUT sued the state’s Board of Regents and NYSED’s acting commissioner over the decision to ratchet up the importance of student test scores in a teacher’s annual evaluation.
The New York Times’ education columnist Michael Winerip spoiled another good story yesterday.
There has been the “silver bullet” debate, the “secret sauce” battle, the “demonize teacher” tirades, and the “cracking the code” kerfuffle over Waiting for Superman. Now, according to Diane Ravitch, it’s the miracle workers perfidy.
How we got from a state constitution requiring that the legislature “provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children of this state may be educated” to laws taking away the right of citizens to determine what they spend for that “free” education is a long and hard legal and policy road.
As educators, we need to remember that good memories are paths to good living – and our schools must do whatever they can to teach the habit of remembering.
The New York Times has had a veritable flock of noteworthy education stories the last several days and, at the risk of bursting readers’ 20 article bubble, I would recommend all five.
In a lengthy essay for the Washington Post New York State Regent Roger Tilles provides more evidence for why the Empire State has slipped so badly educationally in the last couple of decades: the tendency to fiddle while Rome burns.
It’s school budget voting day in New York. And in my little district, with fewer than 2,000 K—12 students, voters are being asked to approve a $41,249,180 budget, which is a remarkably lean one, considering that it is just .77 more than last year’s budget.
The well-intentioned folks who believed that separating school district elections from the hurly-burly of the hoi-polloi would result in something more dignified and professional — well, apparently, they were wrong.
Last week, Dave Eggers and Ninive Clements Calegari wrote an essay for the New York Times titled The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries. What is refreshing about Eggers and Calegari’s approach is that it picks up on some of the more important findings of the recent McKinsey report, but I urge them to avoid the briar patch of “low pay” unless they understand the enormous costs already absorbed by system inefficiencies.
Anderson has some serious creds, having managed Joel Klein’s initiative aimed at creating schools for New York City’s most challenging students. And she gets kudos from Randi Weingarten. Still, I would advise Anderson not to pose for the cover of Time holding a broom.
According to yesterday’s New York Times Chris Christie went to “the heart of liberal darkness” yesterday – and kept his cool.
My argument about poverty is simple: there are too many millions of people like Brizard who “used the U.S. education system” to drag themselves out of poverty to count them as exceptions that prove some demography is destiny rule.
Unfortunately, in his Limits of School Reform essay this morning, the newest op-ed columnist for the Times, Joe Nocera, shows the limits of logic in thinking about the subject.
Highlights from my interview with Richard Iannuzzi, the head of the New York State United Teachers.
When David Steiner, a reformer’s reformer, announced last week that he was giving up the reins as New York state’s Commissioner of Education, the education world seemed to take a collective deep breath.
The inside story of how the legislation to raise the charter cap and remove the firewall between student data and teacher evaluations came to pass.
An interview I did with New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner about New York’s bid to win Race to the Top funds
Though violence is contagious, you don’t solve the problem with classes about it – you provide a zone of safety, a “culture of peace,” within which you then do the hard work of education.
A brilliant report from Mike Antonucci at the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA) paints a dark picture of what the recent public union defeats in Wisconsin and elsewhere mean to the National Education Association.
At Monday night’s school board budget “workshop” I felt the sinking sensation that passengers on the Titanic must have felt: it’s too late for life boats.
Are we letting our digital obsessions distract us from obligations to teach knowledge?
In a provocative new school funding case, a federal court judge in Kansas City ruled against parents from the suburban Shawnee Mission school district who had wanted to increase property taxes above the state mandated limit. This is a local control debate that is sure to heat up as we stumble through the current financial crisis.
“Teachers wonder, why the heapings of scorn?” is the front page headline over a Trip Gabriel story in today’s New York Times. And, indeed, teachers have been taking it on the chin of late.
That’s the subtitle of my new story, about an experiment to take a successful religious school education model to the public sector. Let the walls come tumbling down!
On Friday, at the end of a bang-up Education Writers Association conference on improving teaching quality, at the Carnegie Corporation in New York City, I was approached by a newspaper education editor who asked whether I thought charter school test results were real. “Are they cheating?” she asked, more pointedly.
ED’s two-day Advancing Student Achievement through Labor Management Collaboration conference was quite a confab, one which highlighted the success of collaborations in places like Helena and New Haven as well as the pioneering union-friendly work of Green Dot, the charter management organization.
In their continuing drive to ratchet up learning standards, New York State’s education leaders are now sounding the alarm about high school diplomas. According to a new study, done for NY’s State Ed department, fewer than half the kids in the state holding a diploma are ready for college.
If there’s a Pulitzer nomination for investigative reporting worth making, it’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the work its team of reporters has been doing on the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. In fact, scandal does not quite capture what would seem to be a systemic failure of huge proportions.
The Times had some kind words for Randi Weingarten yesterday, praising her and her union for having “wisely chosen to work with state legislatures and local school districts” in releasing “a plan for speeding up disciplinary hearings.” The Times calls this “a good starting point for more discussion.” And indeed it is. But readers should read Weingarten’s January 12 speech, “A New Path Forward: Four Approaches to Quality Teaching and Better Schools,” to get a flavor for the politics of the thing.
From the beginning, charter schools have been sold as a vehicle of choice for the poor – and they have done a remarkable job, for the most part, providing that outlet. Now, according to this morning’s New York Times, public school choice may be coming to a more affluent neighborhood near you.
I am now in my fourth year on my school board – not counting the six months of horror I endured there at the end of the 20th century — and “endure” is certainly a wise term for the experience.
It’s great to have Saturday morning education stories to mull, but the New York Times may be pushing the envelope with this line-up.
Without further ado, rationalization, explanation, or caveat, here are Google’s top 20 education “stories.”
In the education-reform movement there have always been two schools of thought—when there aren’t a dozen—about what makes a good reform superintendent.
As I got into this business through the curriculum reform door, opened by E.D. Hirsch, I can’t pass up an opportunity to promote the need for comprehensive and rigorous curricula.
Stanford economist Eric Hanushek “investigates the interplay between teacher effectiveness and the economic impact of higher student achievement, specifically in terms of test scores.”
Our public schools face a “fiscal tsunami” that will change our public education system for years to come.
The wake-up call and Sputnik moment has already happened. We’ve already looked.
One-time NYC deputy schools chancellor Christopher Cerf has been appointed commissioner of education for New Jersey. Not a surprising choice, given Governor Chris Christie’s determination to remake the Garden State’s schools.
California’s new law lets parents in failing public schools vote to turn their school over to a charter school operator. The fact that California’s teacher unions calls the law the “lynch mob provision” must mean the bill’s backers are on the right track.
In a case the NY Times said would “propel New York City to the center of a national debate about how student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers,” a bunch of lawyers fought it out in a NYC courtroom yesterday.
Sam Dillon tackles the question of teacher evaluations in the Times today with a front-page story pegged to Bill Gates’ investment of $335 million in overhauling teacher evaluation systems.
The official announcement comes on Monday, but this being New York, word had “leaked” out on Friday. “Mayor and State Reach Deal on a Schools Chief,” was the front-page headline in the Times.
It’s one thing to think about the achievement gap between races and socio-economic groups, but our relatively recent headlong rush to celebrate diversity—and integration and “mainstreaming”—has brought with it new achievement gap challenges.
This is the conclusion of David Figlio and Cassandra Hart in their new study of Florida’s pioneering Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for Education Next.
Diane Ravitch took some parting shots at Joel Klein last week with a short post on the New York Review of Books’ blog headlined “New York’s New School Czar.”
The public education world shook yesterday with the news that New York City’s Chancellor Joel Klein was resigning.
While the research jury may still be out on the turnaround versus closure question, New York City has at least come to appreciate the human dimension. Instead of just announcing a school closure, as it has done in the past, this year school officials are meeting with parents and staff “before making a final decision.”
Bottom line: our education system has perpetuated the culture of poverty legend long enough, not by failing to integrate schools, but by failing to teach black children.
Why was I not surprised to read the Education Week story on a new federal study, “the largest…to date,” says Ed Week, that pooh-poohs character education? (ie. It doesn’t work.)
Thomas Carroll, one of New York’s leading charter school directors, has just sent out a memo to fellow charter network operators in the Empire State urging them NOT to participate in Race to the Top. Carroll says that the red tape that comes with the money is not worth it for charters.
I was gratified to see the new book on the Pledge of Allegiance that I co-authored with Jeffrey Owen Jones reviewed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday morning. Unfortunately, I never met Jones whose book this was — and is. A gifted television and film producer who stumbled onto the Pledge tale while teaching at the University of Rochester, Jones unfortunately died before he could finish the project. Tom Dunne, a longtime friend and publisher with St. Martin’s Press, asked me if I could help.
Though nothing that most educators didn’t know, Jennifer Medina’s front-page story in the New York Times this morning is worth reading—if you like reviewing, in slow motion, the tape of a train wreck.
David Steiner, the New York State Education Commissioner, surely knows that politics in New York state is a blood sport and that the powerful teachers union plays it well. But he also seems to be wise enough not to shout “King of the Mountain!”
Far be it from me to take on Nicholas Lemann – former Managing Editor of the Washington Monthly, former staff reporter for the Washington Post, staff writer for The New Yorker, author of The Big Test (about the SATs), and current dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism – but…his current “narrative of crisis” complaint in The New Yorker gets the plot wrong.
Catholic schools are back in the news as the New York Diocese prepares for what the Times is calling an “aggressive effort to close or consolidate elementary schools” — as many as 30 of the 216 in the system, reports the Times.
Many of us still buying print were pleasantly surprised yesterday to find the New York Times magazine devoted to education. The issue of technology is the essential question of “The Education Issue.” What will the digital revolution do to–and for–our schools?
The New York Times’ Week in Review on Sunday followed up on its Science Times story from last Tuesday, “Forget What You Know About Studying,” with a page-one story called “Testing, The Chinese Way.”
The headline in the Washington Post was “Austan Goolsbee: triathlete, improv comedian, economist.” Given the state of the economy, Obama’s new Chairman of the Council on Economic Advisers might need the improv comedian talents more than anything. But what might not show up in the quick list of resume references is an interesting story Goolsbee and Jonathan Guryan (both professors of economics at the U. of Chicago) penned for Education Next in 2006: World Wide Wonder? Measuring the (non-)impact of Internet subsidies to public schools
My jaw did the proverbial drop when I read this opening sentence in a front page story in Sunday’s Albany Times Union: Albany’s charter schools have created a second school system that is almost entirely segregated.
The debate about poverty’s impact on education is close to ridiculous in large part because our poverty is as much intellectual as it is economic, especially when it comes to education.
If I were to write an education book, it would be called, “Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry: Life on the School Board.” Of all the emotions accompanying these events — and school board meetings are more full of emotion than anything else – the feeling of not knowing whether to laugh or cry is one of the more common and consistent ones – for me.
Mark Bauerlein has a wonderfully refreshing piece in the new Education Next. It is especially welcome to those beleaguered liberal arts and humanities folks among us who feel so un-21st century. But I hope that even die-hard periodic tablists among you would be impressed by Bauerlein’s subtle skewering of the current head of the National Endowment of the Arts, Rocco Landesman.
Another front-page story in the New York Times this morning is sure to stoke the Gotham education fires. “Triumph Fades on Racial Gap in New York City Schools” makes it pretty clear that the recent goal line adjustment made by New York State’s new education Commissioner David Steiner did not affect all groups equally.
What seems central to Winerip’s reportorial DNA is a sympathy for the little guy, whether the disabled kid or the handicapped school. Though I can’t claim to have studied his writings thoroughly (nor have I communicated with him), if Winerip does have political or ideological views about the education system, it would appear that he sees the thing through the prism of leaving no child or school behind – that is, before allowing any child or school to get ahead, we must pick up those behind. The market place, which allows success and failure, is a threat; the social safety net is wide and deep.
This is American education’s sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. Or is it $64 million? Billion? Or, how about $26 billion? That’s the number moving through the Capitol at the moment.
It is hard to be a reporter in America for very long, including as one trying to fathom our richly diverse public education system, without having to deal with a Constitutional issue.
Despite the bashing the ten-year-old federal law has been taking–much of it deserved–on the ground, in the provinces NCLB has succeeded in beginning a much-needed change in the culture of public education: from a system focused on adults to one looking behind all the curtains to see how kids are doing. It hasn’t been a pretty launch, of course, but the ship is only barely out of port.
The fall 2009 issue of Ed Next included an article I wrote about some remarkable charter schools in Albany. In that article, I described how the teachers union had fought hard to limit the role charters could play in Albany and elsewhere in New York. Richard Iannuzzi of the NYSUT claims that “New York’s anti-union charter spokesmen misstated” the union’s position on charter schools.
A story in the October 12 issue of Time Magazine on the “crisis” in Catholic schools, brought me back to a question I have been asking myself for several months: what’s the connection between the health of Catholic schools and the health of the Catholic church?