Education Reform

Is the US system of public education in crisis? Many say the answer to that question is no. But almost all agree that we have two systems of public education in the United States - one based principally, though not entirely, in the suburbs and another that is based principally in poorer urban and rural areas. One is, unarguably in crisis. The other is not. These articles discuss the root causes and possible solutions.

Labor Day Assignment: Educating the Uninformed

Teachers Not Overpaid

Walter Brasch: When will we realize that teachers are not overpaid relative to others with the same education and experience, that they work more than the average workers—and only because of unions do teachers have the support to keep education from disintegrating into mediocrity?

Education in Crisis

used-books-600

Charles Hayes: Our educational deficit is readily observable by focusing on those whose lives are sheltered by a narrow sense of identity, a regional, local, or tribal view simplified by relating to all of those outside their group in terms of us and them.

Teacher Tenure: Yes!

Supporting Teacher Tenure

Robin Lakoff: There seems to me to be something deeply and frighteningly wrong with a society that pays an investment banker 1,000 times as much as a kindergarten teacher. Or pays a lobbyist 100 times as much.

Arne Gets An Earful!

arne duncan meets bats

Mark Naison: I asked for a two-year moratorium on all these policies — no more school closings, no more VAM, no more charter school creation — and a new effort by the US Department Education to have teachers voices have a primary role in shaping Department policy rather than business leaders.

What Happened to Higher Education?

Improving Higher Education

Frank A. Fear: Generally vacant is an emphasis on how colleges and universities are making the world a better place, doing things like helping to reduce poverty, enhance environmental quality, and improve human health.

Adjunct Faculty: Academic Apartheid

Adjunct Faculty Cheated

Robert Fuller: I need not belabor the immorality of paying adjuncts a fraction of what other faculty earn, and of denying them benefits, office space, parking rights, and a voice in departmental and institutional policy.

Teacher Temps Can’t Move Children Out of Poverty

Teacher Temps

Mark Naison: One of the things I am most worried about in the rush to online learning and disposable teacher temps is the elimination of relationship building and mentoring, which in my experience, is key in having education move people out of poverty and promote upward mobility.

Why Charter School Scandals Resemble the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Charter School Scandals

Mark Naison: While the comparison is not exact, there are some powerful similarities between what happened to subprime mortgages and what is currently taking place with charter schools, another “short cut” to opportunity which has been seized upon by elites for financial and political gain, to the detriment of those for whom the charter school was initially designed to help.

Badass Teachers Assn

Happy Birthday Bats 375

Mark Naison: As The Badass Teachers Association celebrates its first year I’m utterly stunned by the phenomenal growth. I have never been part of any organization that has grown this fast.

Fighting Common Core Across the Political Spectrum

Fighting Common Core

Mark Naison: Industrial union organizers insisted, to their credit, that Black, Latino and Asian workers had to be included in any movement to achieve collective bargaining rights and respect at the workplace, and made that a central part of the organizing strategy.

Waking Up to Education Activism

Education Activism

Mark Naison: I am going to speak up, and speak out until the testing madness is pushed out of our public schools and until we built a school experience around what empowers and engages children and makes teachers want to remain in their jobs for life.

A New Model of School Reform

New Model of School Reform

Vicki Zakrzewski: Organizational psychology research has for many years shown that lasting change happens only if the individuals within the system are willing to transform their own beliefs and practices, from the ground up.

The Obamas’ Race to the Bottom

Obama Administration Education Policies

Sikivu Hutchinson: After pursuing policies that have deepened racial segregation, the Obamas’ eleventh hour “awakening” to racial inequality is yet another kick in the teeth to people of color staring at the brutal mirage of economic “recovery”.

Who Can Fill Henry Waxman’s Shoes?

Replacing Henry Waxman

Karen Wolfe: The biggest lesson of the day was that education advocates should make sure their questions get asked and answered. In an election with plenty of issues, we need to make sure education doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Campus Rape Reports Up, And That’s Not Entirely Bad

Campus Rape Reports

Tara Culp-Ressler: College administrators, who want to avoid cultivating a bad reputation as an unsafe school, are typically squeamish about the fact reforming their sexual assault policies can actually result in an initial uptick in rape reports. But it’s important to realize that this data can signal that students have the support systems they need.

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