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.

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.

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.

Public Schools, Private Agendas: Parent Revolution

parent revolution

Gary Cohn: At first glance, it is one of the nation’s hottest new education-reform movements. But a closer examination reveals that the “parent-trigger” movement is being heavily financed by the conservative Walton Family Foundation,

The Making of an “Educational Saboteur”

obama school kids

Mark Naison: In the last five years, I have had to switch gears and devote large amounts of time to protecting my profession and the institutions I have built, against powerful forces seeking to reduce teaching and learning to quantifiable “outcomes.”

Diane Ravitch Warnings Ignored

Diane Ravitch

Mark Naison: Ravitch, an Undersecretary of Education in the Bush Administration, and an initial supporter of “No Child Left Behind” warned against many of the policies that are destroying our public education system.

Hope for Embattled Educators

Standardized Testing Students wide

Mark Naison: We now have a Counter Narrative, based on strong scholarship as well as experience, which warns that Reform policies are likely to widen educational disparities rooted in race and class and weaken the nation’s schools by driving out the most committed teachers.

Driving Out Our Best Teachers

teacher student

Mark Naison: How you can improve the quality of a profession by subjecting its members to public ridicule and abuse, in everything from campaign speeches, to editorials, to Hollywood films, is a mystery that I am too dense to unravel

Turning the Tide: An Historian’s View of School Reform

high school principal

Mark Naison: Over time, people of courage and integrity will turn the tide and begin to restore sanity to educational discourse and develop a powerful alliance of teachers, parents and students, supported first by the Occupy movement, and later by unions, religious organizations and progressive politicians.

What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished in Two Short Months

occupy nyc

Mark Naison: While Occupy Wall Street and its spinoffs around the nation have certainly not developed “leaders” who articulate its goals to the media or negotiate with public officials, it has already registered a formidable list of accomplishments for a movement this young.

Why Teachers Must Become Community Organizers and Justice Fighters

occupy lausd

Mark Naison: Teacher Activists must put forth a vision of Radical Democracy which envisions an education which empowers students as critical thinkers and agents of historical change, not just as obedient test takers and which envisions schools playing a central role in neighborhoods united and mobilized to get a fair share of the nation’s resources.

Anti-Teacher Union “Reformers” Hoisted on Own Petard

michelle rhee

Randy Shaw: After years of teachers union bashing and corporate-led school “reform” efforts, anti-public school forces are now on the defensive. And the main reason is that the statistical measurements do not support their arguments, and even show a pattern of falsification.

Racism in K-12 Public Schools

school classroom

Jessie Daniels: The clever, sinister thing about institutional racism in education is that it operates relentlessly on its own, like a machine, even when people of good will want it to operate differently.

Common Core Standards, Who Benefits

library-books

Mark Naison: While people are losing their homes, jobs, and medical coverage, new school professionals are flooding communities with programs that have offer little to the people they were allegedly designed to benefit.

LAUSD Releases Its Own “Value-Added” Rankings of Schools

Cynthia Liu: What’s troubling is that rhetoric surrounding use of student standardized test scores–even if student performance year-over-year is compared to eliminate external influences–appears to include other measures of teacher performance, yet those other measures have never been identified.

America’s Greatest Enemy: Ignorance

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Charles Hayes: Nothing is more insidious and more threatening than ignorance. Nothing is more pervasive and more unrelenting in deleterious effect than being unaware of the vital matters that should command our attention.

Can Public Education Be Fixed?

Anthony Samad: We either invest in ourselves now, or pay later as a less competitive society. We need to fix ourselves before we nix ourselves.

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