Archive

Fordham Institute to Teachers: Don’t Get Sick!

By John Thompson. Should teachers be allowed to bargain for 12 days of medical and personal leave per year? The teaching profession is 77% female, …


Teachers at a Crossroads: Time to Heed Dr. King’s Call

By Craig Gordon. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. …


Well-Funded Non-Profits Pave the Way to Privatization

By John Thompson. David Callahan’s The Givers begins with the first politicized think tanks of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the American Enterprise …


Silicon Valley Philanthropy Opens Classrooms to De-Personalized Learning

By John Thompson. David Callahan’s The Givers begins with the first politicized think tanks of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the American Enterprise …


When Philanthropists Rule: Part Two of a Review of “The Givers”

By John Thompson. As explained in this previous post, I began David Callahan’s The Givers with a commitment to avoid confirmation biases. As he notes, …


Beware of Billionaires Bearing Gifts: A Review of “The Givers”

By John Thompson. I began David Callahan’s The Givers with a commitment to avoid three types of confirmation bias. As Callahan observes, plenty of …


Will Corporate Reformers Ever Admit They Were Wrong?

By John Thompson. It’s sure fun to watch corporate school reformers forming a circular firing squad. For a generation, conservative and neoliberal …


Education Activists Craft Viral Videos

By Anthony Cody. Short, punchy films with a message have become one of the most powerful ways the movement to resist high stakes tests has spread the word. …


Supporting Education Activist Sarah Chambers

By Michelle Strater Gunderson. If you are fortunate, every once in a while you will meet someone who breathes the fire of justice. In my life Sarah …


Corporate Reform: Turning a Profit at Public Expense

By John Thompson. I wish I didn’t have to write a positive review of Alex Molnar’s “Dismantling Public Education: Turning Ideology into …


Name Calling in the Time of Trump

By Michelle Strater Gunderson. Last week a group of my first grade girls was taking an unusually long time in the bathroom. When you teach little ones you …


John Kuhn: Vouchers Serve Adults at Children’s Expense

By John Kuhn. The following is a speech delivered on March 5, 2017, to the Association of Texas Professional Educators Legislative Action Weekend.  I …


Teaching the History of White Nationalism in the United States

By Paul Horton. During the last year the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported an increase in hate crimes and hate groups. As political discourse in the …


#DearBetsy

Wendy Davis on holding Betsy DeVos accountable for the needs of sexual assault survivors and all students.



DFER Dances Around Trump’s Public School Wrecking Ball

By John Thompson. Rachel M. Cohen’s “The War on Public Schools” warns that “Charters, vouchers, and disposable teachers are Trump’s targets.” …




SPED Shenanigans Highlight Trouble with NOLA Charter Data

By John Thompson. There are so many reasons why anyone interested in public education should read Marta Jewson’s latest expose of the high profile New …


Betsy DeVoucher

I found this great animation by Ryan Sluggett on the web. Hopefully, with Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing postponed a week, new disclosures will …


Doubling Down

Buffalo Board Member Carl Paladino stands behind his racist remarks about the Obamas. Read about it here. See the rest of the interview here.


Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Children

By Michelle Strater Gunderson. When I was small and my world was safe, I would wake up on Christmas morning and there would always be an orange at the …


Is Educational Research Validating Corrupt Practices in New Orleans?

By John Thompson. In the aftermath of the Trump election, and as our “post fact” politics becomes even worse, it will be interesting to see what school …


Where is Evidence that School Closures Actually Help?

By John Thompson. The latest report by the Education Research Association on New Orleans school reform, “Extreme Measures: When & How School …


Back to the Future with Richard Rorty

Richard Rorty seemed to predict strongman Donald Trump’s rise to power nearly two decades ago. For those of us who can’t wait to get their copies …


Do NOLA Test Score Increases Demonstrate Real Learning Gains?

By John Thompson. Author’s Note: This post was drafted before the election, but held until after the anticipated defeats of Donald Trump and …


My Parents, Pat and Fred Cody: An American Story of Resistance and Resilience

By Anthony Cody. This week a Trump surrogate, Carl Higbie, cited the unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two as …


Or Will It Be Michelle Rhee?

The chilling rumor of Michelle Rhee becoming Trump’s Secretary of Education put me in mind of education activist Hannah Nguyen. I met Hannah after …



How Did This Happen? Post-Election Thoughts

By Nora Cody. Donald Trump didn’t just win, he won Bigly. Everyone I know is shocked, stunned, and deeply saddened, but in many ways we should have seen …


Open Letter to MA Governor Charlie Baker: No Education Lottery for the Lucky

By Ruth Rodriguez-Fey. Governor Charlie Baker has intensified his campaign to lift the cap on Charter Schools with the help of his wealthy investors from …


From “Is School Choice the Black Choice?” Town Hall

John H. Jackson, President of the Schott Foundation, at “Is School Choice the Black Choice?” Town Hall at Howard University. For more click here.


Uncovering Lasting Lessons from Decades of Education Reform

By John Thompson. Learning from the Federal Market-based Reforms: Lessons for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), edited by William Mathis and Tina …



Rich Reformers Reject Research

By John Thompson. As test-driven, competition-driven school reform gets closer to scrap heap of history (at least in terms of improving schools), we will …


Gates Want Taxpayers to Subsidize Ed Tech Research

By Anthony Cody. Bill Gates has posted a blog in which he argues for government investment in various sectors, including educational technology. He …


Evidence Shows Brutal Impact of Racial and Economic Segregation

By John Thompson. Most of the chapters in Learning from the Federal Market-based Reforms: Lessons for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), edited by …


Charters and Choice: Research Shows Negative Impact

By John Thompson. The contemporary school reform movement was rooted in the Michael Deaver, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and Dick Morris era of public relations …


Has Competency Based Education Made the Opt Out Movement Passe?

By Anthony Cody. Some have argued recently that the Opt Out movement is dead because it has actually become helpful to those promoting constant online …


When Allies do what Enemies Cannot

By Anthony Cody. This week there has been another round of mean spirited divisiveness aired in the education movement, this time directed at Diane Ravitch. …



Pondiscio Exposes Split in Ed Reform Camps Over Role of Race

By John Thompson. Although I wouldn’t spend too much time eavesdropping on the civil war between liberal and conservative reformers, it is fun to …


When Will “Expert” Reformers Stop Trying to Fix Poor Families?

By John Thompson. In 2014, National Public Radio’s Freakonomics Radio gave almost all of its program on “America’s education …


Will Tom Toch Ever Find a Reform Bad Enough to Abandon?

By John Thompson. In 2008, Tom Toch’s “Rush to Judgment” reviewed science-based alternatives to value-added teacher evaluations. Toch …


Ain’t it a Pity his Ditty is so…

By John Thompson. Three cheers for Warren Buffett’s speech at the Democratic National Convention which borrowed from Joe Welch’s challenge to Joe …


Nowhere to Hide: “The Elephant in the [Class]room”

By Daun Kauffman. Trauma during development, or childhood trauma, changes brain architecture and ability to learn and social behavior.  It impacts two out …


The Charterization of Teacher Ed: Relay Moves into Connecticut

By Lauren Anderson. Just last week in Cincinnati, the NAACP voted in favor of a moratorium on the creation of new charter schools and a ramping up of …


Corporate Reformers Spin the Test Score Data

By John Thompson. The education sector is plagued by “astroturf” think tanks that issue “reports” that repeatedly conclude that (surprise!) reform …


A Critical Vote for Clinton

By Anthony Cody. The Democratic National Convention has been painful to watch. In the days prior, we had the revelation of emails which demonstrated what …


Cultural Violence in Our Schools

Attorney, activist and Selma survivor, Faya Rose addresses the Save Our Schools Rally at the Lincoln Memorial.  


Paul Tough Turns Away from Punitive Education Reforms

By John Thompson. Paul Tough’s Helping Children Succeed is a great corrective to the hubris that undermined the contemporary school reform movement.  …



California Floats Multiple Measures for Grading Schools

By Anthony Cody. This week leaders in the California Department of Education released a new system for “grading schools” that proposes to assign …



Election 2016: Education Activist Views Part Two

By Anthony Cody. Last week I shared the views of eleven different education activists, who reflected on the choices we face in the current presidential …


Dems Debate K-12

Chuck Pascal, Randi Weingarten, Troy LaRaviere and others at the Democratic platform meeting in Orlando. Democrats on Charters and Testing from Schoolhouse …


Election 2016: Views from the Education Movement

By Anthony Cody. The 2016 presidential election has generated equal portions of hope and frustration. The Democrats are likely to offer us Clinton, and …


Save Our Schools: See You in DC July 8-9!

By Anthony Cody. One week from today, on Friday, July 8, I will join thousands of activists from around the nation at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, …


$15,000 LA Times VAM Mystery Solved

By Anthony Cody. In my recent research into the 2010 LA Times series on “teacher effectiveness,” I learned that $15,000 was used to help pay …


Building a Progressive Agenda for Public Schools

By Wayne Ross, David Gabbard, Kathleen Kesson, Sandra Mathison, and Kevin D. Vinson. If public schools are to realize their democratizing potential, …


Tough Spells Out What Kids Need: Does Any Reformer Care?

By John Thompson. A first post summarized the way that Paul Tough’s new article, previewing his new Helping Children Succeed, explains why we must …


Paul Tough Grapples with Real Challenges Faced by Low Income Students

By John Thompson. Part One: (read Part Two here). I can’t wait to read and reread Paul Tough’s new book, Helping Children Succeed: What works and Why. …


Bernie Sanders Has Rung the Bell, and it Cannot be Un-Rung

By Anthony Cody. Many of us are in a state of deep frustration over the strong possibility that Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee …


Is Funding Transparency Enough to Prevent Billionaire Influence in Education Journalism?

By Anthony Cody. Here is where we stand with the revived controversy over the Los Angeles Times’ 2010 “investigation” into teacher effectiveness. In …


Was LA Times Practicing Independent Journalism When They Ranked Teachers?

By Anthony Cody. A fresh debate has emerged in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Times’ critique of the Gates Foundation’s education reform project. As …


Who Uses Educational Research? And How?

By John Thompson. My first response to “The Push and Pull of Research: Lessons from a Multi-site Study of Research Use in Education Policy,” by …


LA Times Criticizes Gates and Deasy, but Forgets Their Own Role

By Anthony Cody. This week the Los Angeles Times published an editorial chastising the Gates Foundation for their role in education reform. The editors …


Will Democrats Sacrifice Public Education for the Sake of Party Unity?

By Anthony Cody. I noticed an interesting phenomenon on some progressive web sites over the past week or two. Even with the California and New Jersey …


Humility Still in Short Supply at the Gates Foundation

By Anthony Cody. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the CEO of the Gates Foundation, has released her first annual letter, describing the foundation’s work in a …


Three Sanders Opportunities: Bernie or…

By Anthony Cody. The Bernie Sanders candidacy offers the American people several important opportunities that should not be missed. First and foremost, he …


Ed Bloggers Take On PARCC Test, Defying Intimidation Efforts

By Anthony Cody. Will mainstream reporters take note of the following story? The testing giants behind the PARCC test are doing their best to squash any …


Teachers: Abused by Republican One Percenters and Democrat Ten Percenters Alike

By John Thompson. Diane Ravitch observes that “reformers almost always have a soft landing in a cushy job, even when their previous endeavor was a …


The Future of Teacher Hiring? Screening Test Predicts Whose Students will Get Best Test Scores

By Anthony Cody (and Anonymous). I received the following message from a reader this morning. With his permission, I am sharing it here, followed by my own …


Dark Daughter, Light Daughter

Some of the most memorable words at last months NPE conference came from the audience. Here activist Ruth Rodriguez shares the tale of two daughters: one …


If You Were Secretary of Ed for a Day, How would YOU Elevate the Teaching Profession?

By Anthony Cody. This particular teacher appreciation week we seem to be getting an especially hard sell on the virtues of John King, who left behind a …



Fighting for Play

By Michelle Gunderson. The children in my first grade classroom play. There are no academic centers where a teacher rings a bell and children move from …


The Power of Radical Imagination and the Opt Out Revolution

By Morna McDermott McNulty This is post eight in the No Art Left Behind series. See an overview and links to the rest of the series here. “Struggle is …


Broad-Trained Superintendent Rushes In — and Out of Oklahoma City

By John Thompson. The front page New York Times article, by veteran reporter Motoko Rich has unleashed quite a backlash. Its title, “Oakland District …


PARCC Testing Disrupts Learning

By Michelle Strater Gunderson. I worked the work of three people this week. I do not say this to be congratulated or slapped on the back. I have never been …


Save Our Schools: Time to March Again This Summer

By Anthony Cody. In 2011, the Save Our Schools March was the first-ever national protest focused on K12 education. In 2016, we are going back to DC again. …


A Strike is Not a Walk in the Park: Michelle Gunderson Discusses Chicago Picket Lines

By Michelle Gunderson. A picket line is sacred ground. As a labor organizer and teacher unionist, I do not say this lightly. Workers have fought and died …


Chicago Teacher: Why We Will Strike

By Michelle Strater Gunderson. A teachers’ contract is not just about money. It’s an agreement between government and a community about how …


New York Opt Out Activists Organizing for RoboCalls Again

By Deb Escobar. Refuse the Test Robocall 2016 Committee:  Katherine Brezler, Deb Escobar, Lisa Kollmer, Lorri Gumanow, and Loy Gross. Last year, a handful …


Why High School Exit Exams, Not Students, Are Worthless, Part Three

By Denise Hertzog Pursche. In my prior post about “Why High School Exit Exams, Not Student, Are Worthless”, I talked about my own experience as a …


Chicago Teachers’ Strike Vote: Union Democracy in Action

By Michelle Strater Gunderson. I sat in the House of Delegates of the Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday night waiting to be counted as a yes vote for our …


Should Teachers Join in Building “Learning Management Systems”?

By Anthony Cody. The rise of Competency Based Education as a supposed alternative to schooling driven by standardized tests is prompting an interesting …


Broad-trained Superintendent Stirs Controversy in Oakland

By John Thompson. The New York Times’s “Oakland District at Heart of Drive to Transform Urban Education,” by veteran reporter Motoko …


Here is Why I’m Excited about the NPE Conference in Raleigh

By Anthony Cody. There is less than a month to go before the third annual Network for Public Education conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. These are …


The Battle Over Public Schools Comes to Oklahoma

By John Thompson. The most serious criticism of my book, A Teacher’s Tale, is that it focuses on the harm done by No Child Left Behind and …


Why We Don’t Do Art in School (And Why We Should)

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts focused on the value of art in our lives, and the role art can play in resisting the test and punish model of …


How will Hillary Clinton “Eliminate the Criticism” that Unions Protect Bad Teachers?

By Anthony Cody. A couple of weeks ago, Anderson Cooper asked Hillary Clinton a challenging question. Here is what he asked, followed by her answer: …


2011 Video: Sanders Challenges Duncan over NCLB

By Anthony Cody. The candidates for the Democratic nomination for president have not been as specific about their education policies as some of us would …


Hillary Clinton on “Good” Teachers

Last night candidate Clinton spoke of the importance of “good” teachers and schools. What did she mean? Hillary Clinton on "Good" …


Teaching Social Justice in SF

From filmaker Lena Jackson: “Watch a day in the life of USF School of Education Master’s and Credential Student Gustavo Lopez. Gustavo is …


Clinton and Sanders Debate Education

By Anthony Cody. Last night at the Democratic presidential debate, attention turned to K12 education. Both candidates addressed two questions. The first …


Teacher Retirement Fund Invests in Online Charter Schools, Private Prisons

By Anthony Cody. Teacher retirement funds represent the largest amounts of money under the control of working educators. The California State Teacher …


Hillary Clinton Pushes for Extended Learning Time

By Anthony Cody. Hillary Clinton gave some idea of where she would take education policy last night at a South Carolina town hall, where she spoke of …


Gates Foundation Coordinates Efforts to Defy Washington Supreme Court

By Anthony Cody. As the corporate reform project begins to fray around the edges, one of the main sponsors is resorting to more overtly political tactics. …


How the Color of Money – McCleary Crime Scene Coloring Contest Came to Be

By Carolyn Leith. Back in September, parents were blindsided when Seattle Public Schools (SPS) proposed staff cuts at “25 or something” schools across …


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