Go Ahead. Ask. No, Demand

Improving education is not simple because the human beings who inhabit schools, their relationship with one another and the social system in which they live are complex and varied. While simple solutions to complex problems always fall short, the elements of effective systemic solutions in education are not so hard to imagine. In fact, they […]

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The strategic campaign needed to save public education — in nine steps

Over the last several decades, a concerted negative public relations effort has tainted the idea of government as a mechanism to serve the common good. Investment in and the credibility of the institution of democratically governed public schools have been under sustained attack, while education inequity has increased. As a result, much needed sustained systemic […]

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Next Steps for the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Research Council’s K-12 Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards are designed to drive dramatic rethinking and improvement of science education for all students in the United States. Now decisions at the district, state, and federal levels will determine whether the new standards will promote substantive improvement…..Five other state actions will enable […]

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Education Reform: Unsubstantiated Benefit Claims; Unreported Side Effects

We are in a marketing war for the soul of American education. We are at risk of a radical change in which protecting the rights of the few trumps ensuring the common good and in which democratic participation gives way to private governance. These battles are raging in the open, but the public is observing […]

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Resistance to Attacks on Public Education is Not Enough

The Vergara vs California superior court decision to throw out five state statutes that provide job protections to teachers underscores the persistence, power and wealth behind current education policies. Response from critics has been swift and sharp. However, if we want to defend and improve a democratically-governed public education system that promotes authentic engagement and equity, resistance […]

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Arguing for Science Literacy

Students who are scientifically literate know how to argue. However, current education policies undermine rather than advance this vital academic goal. I do not mean disagreements that are resolved based on personal considerations or positional authority. For scientists, argument is all about whether claims — regarding the accuracy and generalizability of their models to explain […]

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