- Higher Education
- K-12 Education
In my last blog, I examined the alarming statistics on school-based violence and asked whether turning schools into armed camps was the solution. While access to weapons, gang activity, and bullying present real threats that need to be realistically addressed, I am convinced that much of school-based violence and acting-out lies in dysfunctional and alienating school cultures. This blog is abouContinue Reading »
Greenwich, Conn., is home to families who can afford to buy anything and a public school system that can afford to teach everything (including ice-skating). A recent New York Times article recounts the excitement of the Bonillas, a low-income family willing to pay the high cost of living in Greenwich to get access to affluent and academically-sound schools. And they’re not alone.Continue Reading »
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten made a big announcement today by calling for a moratorium on all stakes associated with the Common Core State Standards until students and teachers have been given ample training and time to “master this new approach to teaching and learning.” This is a reasonable statement on its face, but what does it mean in practice?
For someContinue Reading »
As part of Jeff Charbonneau’s victory lap as National Teacher of the Year, he met with President Obama this week at the White House. There was a little kerfuffle because Charbonneau does not share the president’s views regarding teacher evaluation. Like the majority of teachers, Charbonneau opposes linking student standardized test scores to teacher evaluation. It’s unclear, he says, whether thContinue Reading »
Schools can be tough places for our kids. Middle and high schools, in particular, are susceptible to instability and an ambient student culture of intimidation ranging from casual bullying to bona fide violence. The horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December put school safety in the headlines, but schools have been struggling with safety issues for many more years.
Diverse schooling carries many benefits but also brings big challenges—namely, juggling multiple academic and socioeconomic levels in the same classroom. Charters across the country recognize there is a growing need for diversity and are cropping up around the country. From a 2012 report on successful diverse charter schools by The Century Foundation and a phone interview with BlacContinue Reading »
Blended learning was the topic of a lively Education Sector panel discussion on March 22, and, along with the video, we wanted to share some highlights. The inspiration for the talk was a recent Education Sector article on the Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School, a two-year-old Los Angeles charter school that mixes traditional teacher-led lessons, collaborative learning, and indepContinue Reading »
In a new Education Sector Chart You Can Trust, I show that Washington’s motto as “The Evergreen State” applies not just to an abundance of evergreen coniferous trees, but also to the state’s school districts, which almost never identify low-performing employees. Across all districts statewide, only a minuscule number of employees were deemed unsatisfactory: 0.92 percent of teachers, 1.42 percenContinue Reading »
We live in paradoxical times.
On the one hand, we are getting smarter. Since the 1980s political scientist James Flynn has tracked the rise in IQs globally. For instance, between 1953 and 2006 IQs have gone up a whopping 17.4 points. Rising IQs are now known as the “Flynn Effect.”
On the other hand, only 23 percent of fourth-graders can identify George Washington as thContinue Reading »
The word “bricolage” means something “created from a variety of available things.” It seems appropriate then that Bricolage Academy in New Orleans seeks to benefit its students by creating a socio-economically diverse population. Guided by the philosophy that the world is constantly changing and will look very different in 20 years, Bricolage, which opens this fall,* seContinue Reading »