Saturday, March 11, 2017




Noble Teachers Forming Largest Charter Union
The 800 teachers and staff of Chicago's Noble charter school chain is working to form the largest charter teacher union in the country. They would not become the first charter union in the country, or even in Chicago. In fact, the Aspire network of charter schools just averted a strike by their own teachers' union by agreeing to wage increases, shorter workdays, and, apparently, occasionally liste
ESSA Big Mess
ESSA is caught in the middle of a very bad movie right now. It's the sequel to "How A Bill Becomes A Law," and it has no heroes. After the bill becomes a law, the work still isn't done. Because to build a bi-partisan agreement, you write the law with statements like "Treatment of mugwumps will be fair." (Perhaps not that vague, but as always, allow me to exaggerate to make a point). So Republicans

MAR 09

Testing Bribes
One of the biggest challenges connected with the Big Standardized Test is also one of the most important-- getting students to actually care . State and district officials all across the country have largely failed-- and they know it. Why, yes, I am very excited about the PARCC test. This is less of a challenge with the littles. A primary teacher can tell her students, "I need you to put your dead

MAR 08

Why School Choice Is Not A Thing
The promise, the dream of school choice is a system in which every family can choose from a wide range of schools, selecting the one that best fits their own child. If we would just break the public school "monopoly," the reasoning goes, even poor families would have the same wide range of choices available to upper and middle class families. This is not a true thing. It is not even an accurate po
8 Reasons To Opt Out
Depending on your state, it is that time again-- time to waste students' school time on the Big Standardized Test. Whether it's the PARCC or the SBA or whatever mutant offspring of the testing industry that your state prefers, it's headed your way like a hungry wildebeast. Maybe you have opted your child out in the past. Maybe you've thought about it, but ultimately decided not to. Maybe you've ev

MAR 07

Choice: The New Argument
The argument in favor of school choice continues to evolve, and post-DeVos, the conservative version is taking on its most honest form to date. It has been peeking its head out here and there for a while, but this week emerges full-blown in a US News piece from Robert Pondiscio (Fordham Institute). In " Asking the Wrong Questions on School Choice ," Pondiscio looks at the argument prompted by news

MAR 06

Can Choice Return To Its Roots?
Deborah Meier wrote in Education Week recently wit an interesting question. " Can school choice return to its progressive roots? " she asked. She goes back to the days in which she became involved in starting charter schools, to get out from under the heavy hand of regulation and red tape and start a school run by educators who would focus on the stuff that really matters, serving students who has
Real Performance Based Education
This afternoon the set was struck and the stage swept clean. We've come to the end of this year's spring musical. As always it was one of the highlights of my year, and as always, it reminded me of how inadequate so many of our educational models are. There are weeks of rehearsal, learning music, learning choreography, working on blocking and lines and the underlying character work that goes with

MAR 05

Making Students Pledge Test Security
When it comes to the Big Standardized Tests, we know that one thing is important before all else-- not the soundness of the questions or the validity of the test or the value of the scoring or the careful construction of questions that truly measure what they're alleged to measure. No, only one thing matters most-- Protecting the proprietary materials that belong to the test manufacturer. You may

ICYMI: In Like a Lion Edition (3/5)
As always, I recommend that you pass on, tweet, share and otherwise amplify the pieces that speak to you. It matters which voices we amplify and which we do not. Milwaukee's Voucher Verdict Milwaukee has been doing vouchers for 

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