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Education reform

This tag is associated with 123 posts

It’s a mess – and it’ll be great

I greatly admire Adam, his conviction, and his advocacy. When I saw him begin a conversation with Diane Ravitch, I jumped in, hoping that Ravitch would take my interest as incentive to respond to Adam. I wish all of our national leaders would spend some time discussing learning and stewardship with him. Ravitch did reply, … Continue reading

A Definition of Success

As the school year ends and we ponder whether we have been the best teachers we possible could be by looking at test results, I wonder, what are we missing?  Are these results the only marker of whether a child has been successful this year?  Are tests, homework grades, attendance and all the other quantifiables … Continue reading

Why Should We Ask the Children?

This year I took the ultimate risk; I asked my students what they wanted to learn about.  The first time I did this, I was met with averted eyes and mumblings.  One student even asked me if this was a trick question?  After much reassurance, after all, these kids know that adults usually use their … Continue reading

What’s high school for?

I don’t always agree with Seth Godin, but I usually find his thoughts valuable beyond the world of marketing and entrepreneurship he usually writes about. I was so glad he decided to venture into the question of “what value could (or should) high school bring?” in today’s blog post, he suggests we should teach the future generations … Continue reading

The curriculum treadmill

I can still smell the high school weight room. I remember the day I tore my shorts (but not my boxers, thank goodness) squatting 455 pounds. Not a lot you can do in that situation, even if the captains of the girls’ soccer team are at the quad machine behind you. My strength coach (a … Continue reading

How do you change school culture?

How can the culture of a school be changed? I was recently asked this question by Tyler Rice and  I responded with a letter (cross-posted here) to which I await his reply. Dear Tyler (and educators at Coop Catalyst!) It’s taken a few days of thinking to even begin to formulate a response to this huge question. I’m sure … Continue reading

Rewards: motivating compliance or learning?

I sometimes pretend and say ‘Yay!’ – my 7 y/o daughter explaining how she learned to ‘comply’ in her school Incentive schemes, which are supposed to encourage desired behavior through the use of rewards, or discourage undesirable ones through punishments, are all too familiar to all of us. Probably similarly familiar are the findings that … Continue reading

Miracle schools, vouchers and all that educational flim-flam

is the title of this piece by Diane Ravitch. It appeared at the website of Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, as part of the “Ask This” which is subtitled “Questions the Press Should Ask.” Oh if only reporters and writers on education were knowledgeable enough about education to ask … Continue reading

A Powerful, Crucial Vision for the Future of Schooling: Teaching 2030

Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools… Now and in the Future is perhaps the most cogent, reasonable, clear, and yet visionary book about educational reform in the 21st Century. Written through a collaboration of twelve teachers/teacher-leaders and changemakers, Teaching 2030 steers clear of rhetoric, either/ors, political side-taking, and … Continue reading

Khan Academy: A Revolution in Education

One of the questions that I’m frequently asked is: How can humane education –- which explores the interconnected issues of human rights, animal protection, environmental preservation, and culture, providing students with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to become solutionaries for a better world –- be added to an already overburdened curricula? There is so much … Continue reading

What the School Reform Debate Misses About Teachers

For my post today, I’m sharing an excellent op-ed by former New York chancellor, Joel Klein. While I don’t always agree with Klein, in this case, I believe that he’s hitting the crux of the issue regarding teachers, and that we need to stop choosing sides and ensure that our children get great teachers and … Continue reading

Paying Teachers $125K for Excellence

In this 60 Minutes episode, “Charter School’s $125,000 Experiment,” Katie Couric reports on a New York City charter school experimenting with high salaries to attract great teachers, none of whom are provided the safety net of tenure. What do you think?   Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education Author of Most Good, Least Harm, … Continue reading

Educator Arnold Greenberg: Counting What Can’t Be Counted

Arnold Greenberg, founder of Miquon Upper School in Philadelphia, Deep Run School of Homesteading, and Liberty School – A Democratic Learning Community, lives in an off-the-grid cabin in East Blue Hill, Maine. He wrote this essay, “Towards a Different Standard: Counting What Can’t Be Counted,” which I wanted to share with readers of Cooperative Catalyst. … Continue reading

Teaching: The Most Noble Profession

For my blog post today, I’m sharing an essay I wrote that was published on Common Dreams.org, a progressive news site. Here’s a short excerpt: “In college a friend in medical school told me that he thought that medicine was the most noble profession. It was a strange statement, really, and quite provocative. I wondered … Continue reading

Magical Forests, Growth Models, and School Reform

I sit watching the educational debate unfold in front of my eyes and the current tenor of the debate has focused on prescribing a method that will achieve the end result of high test scores.  There are some that believe if we create a uniform set of procedures, scripts and decision-making trees; giving them to … Continue reading

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