Tag Archives: education reform

So How Do We Improve Public Education? A Perspective…

This week I had a couple meetings with candidates and policy makers (I will not mention their names so as not to damage their reputations.). These meetings were little more than casual discussions about local school issues and broader education issues. The main question, as always, is how do we improve public education? I gave some suggestions during those conversations but wanted to follow up with a little more detail than I provided on the spot.   The answer to question is complex and most politicians and policy makers aren’t willing to go for the complex because it doesn’t fit nicely enough on a piece of literature about how awesome they are at “reforming” education. It involves changing our culture of devaluing people who chose … Continue reading

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The Most Important Education Article You Should Read Today…

We all want to improve public education in this country. We all want to make our children the most competitive in a global economy. We all want but we do not all understand that it will take more than tearing down teachers in order to create that system. In the United States, where salaries are low and the profession is held in low esteem, top talent chooses to go in professional directions other than teaching. Or, if high performers do choose education as a career, they don’t stay in classrooms very long. Attrition rates among teachers are skyrocketing. A recent study by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) found that America’s teacher dropout problem is spiraling out of control, with attrition growing … Continue reading

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The Most Important Education Article(s) You Should Read TODAY…

It’s always nice to read something other than the teacher bashing and bubble test pedaling of the corporate education reformers. So, here are a couple good articles about reforms that actually work and what the United States would really have to do to get there (hint: it’s going to take more than firing teachers and a bubble test). The article is from Britain but describes how Finland has come to dominate the world of education: All students in Finland receive a free education from when they start at seven years of age until they complete their university studies. As a result 80 per cent of Finns attend university. During their educational journey all pupils receive free school meals, resources and materials, transport and support services. … Continue reading

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Republican Senator Claims Teachers Shouldn’t WORRY About Ending Seniority Based Layoffs

Oh you silly teachers, I don’t think you should worry that we are ending seniority/experience based layoffs and replacing it with an unproven system, claims Republican State Senator Gen Olson. Don’t you get it? You experienced teachers are great and will obviously be kept employed because you are great but we just can’t stand by and base budget cutting layoffs on your really great experience. Hopefully that clears up any confusion as to why I think your experience is great and valuable but really ought to be ended as a reason for employing you. You have to love it when someone gets caught up in a logical loop…

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A Load Of Crap AND The Most Important Education Article You Should Read TODAY…

An editorial appeared in the St. Cloud Times today praising recent legislation that removes experience as the determining factor in teacher layoffs during budget cuts. The article, by the President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, conveniently leaves out some facts and endorses methods of improvement that have no history of being effective solutions. Another article from the New York Review of Books by Diane Ravitch, takes a look at the lessons Finnish schools have to offer and once again demonstrates how we have completely ignored the important lessons they have to offer for school improvement. Predictably, the first article expresses support for linking student achievement (remember, that’s a fancy way of saying bubble tests) with teacher evaluations… The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce advocates legislation … Continue reading

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