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What’s the purpose of education in the 21st century?

Debate about the purposes of education never seems to end.  Should young people become educated to get prepared to enter the workforce, or should the purpose of education be focused more on social, academic, cultural and intellectual development so that students can grow up to be engaged citizens? … But it doesn’t have to be either-or.  […]

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U.S. education policy: Federal overreach or reaching for the wrong things?

Great advances for economic and social justice, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and civil rights laws are the result of federal legislation and Supreme Court decisions. All of these benchmarks of progress been initiated by local social and political action, but they have been achieved nationally….. The problem over the last several decades of […]

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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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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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Escape From Poverty for a Few More Students Is Not a Worthy National Goal

The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision provided a catalyst to advance but not fully achieve racial and economic justice. Sixty years later, Republicans and Democrats alike continue to talk about race, poverty and education. However, there is a chasm in current education policies between proclamations of intent and real effects. The […]

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What If We Approached Testing This Way?

Frequent high-stakes testing and its misuse for teacher evaluation are poisoning the assessment waters. Assessment should not be the goal of learning. The word “assessment” should not make students, teachers, administrators and parents cringe. It does not have to be this way. For students and their teachers the most effective use of assessment is to guide […]

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