Blog posts from October 2010

October 29, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

Pathways Early College Innovation High School is one of the two Innovation Schools that opened this year under a new Massachusetts law allowing for the creation of district schools with exemption from many rules and regulations. In September Secretary of Education Paul Reville described the motivations behind the law in an

October 27, 2010

In this report to Minnesota’s Association of School Administrators, the organization’s executive director Charlie Kyte recalls an illustrative comment from a superintendents at a conference.

He said:

The system of K-12 education is not broken. In fact, it is 100 percent successful—doing what it was designed to do. The problem is what we need it to do now is not what it was designed to do. It was designed originally to have a portion of the students be academically ready to go on to college. It was designed to have another portion of the students...
October 25, 2010

An article in the New York Times this past week pushed back against the caricature of AFT President Randi Weingarten by Waiting for Superman.

“Ms. Weingarten happens to be the most visible, powerful leader of unionized teachers,” the article notes, “and in that role she personifies what many reformers see as the chief obstacle to lifting dismal schools: unions that protect incompetent teachers.”

The article argues that she has led her (oft reluctant) members to compromises on issues of...

October 22, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

In this guest post Kari Thierer, National Director of School and Network Support for Big Picture Learning, describes how students in Big Picture students have the opportunity to learn through apprenticeship, and mentorship.

About one third of schools in the Big Picture network are created by charter, and the others as district schools....

October 20, 2010

In this case study of Avalon School and several other teacher-led schools in the upper Midwest, Claremont University researcher Charles Kerchner found some interesting things: The schools use resources differently than traditional district schools. The teachers, as managers of the school, have constructed a much different method of teaching. And, they slice up authority and responsibility differently–including assigning a good bit of...

October 19, 2010

Editor's note: This post by Ted Kolderie appeared yesterday in the National Journal Online. Ted is a founding partner at Education|Evolving.

If 'Michelle Rhee' was the answer, what was the question?

Presumably: How are student interests put first; as, with the removal of ineffective teachers? Tenure and other things won by the teacher unions made it hard to put students first...

October 18, 2010

Are urban superintendents warming to innovative uses of technology? To new roles for teachers? In a recent letter to the Washington Post 16 major superintendents indicate yes. But an alternative angle might also be considered.

Toward the bottom of Manifesto, 'How to Fix Our Schools', there is recognition of the need to use technology to increase productivity and customize learning. The authors use encouraging language about the need for improving teacher roles:

October 15, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

Paul Dakin is Superintendent of Paul Revere Public Schools, in Massachusetts. The Paul Revere School is the first of two new Innovation Schools in that state, which are schools inside school districts with autonomy reflective of the chartering sector. Mass. Secretary of Education Paul Reville wrote a...

October 13, 2010

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has announced he will offer 20 adults under the age of 20 up to $100,000 to take time away from school and pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Theil—a law school graduate, whose family immigrated from Germany when he was young—stated that while there are a lot of things people learn in school, “I don't think they learn much about entrepreneurship.”

Thiel was an early investor in Facebook with his company Clarium Capital. After Zuckerberg’s announcement...

October 11, 2010

On Saturday Larry Cuban appealed to the temperance of those in the education policy world: "Please, don’t hype teacher run schools."

He described an article written in 1990 titled America’s Schools: Choice Is a...