The Education Evolving Blog

November 7, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

» Download full Mehta visit notes

The growing desire to 'do something' about education is paralleled by a growing uncertainty about what exactly to do. A project organized by the Harvard Graduate School of Education concluded: "If we keep doing what we're doing, we're never going to get there". It concluded that the basic K-12 system will have to be changed in some fundamental way.

Jal Mehta at HGSE wrote the book setting out its five possible 'futures for school reform...

October 14, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

It's time to start reconsidering the old institution of 'adolescence'.

Have a look at this Commentary that ran in the StarTribune in Minnesota, October 13, 2013. It was intended to provoke a discussion about that curious, and particularly American, notion: the "artificial prolongation of childhood past puberty".

That was done, 100 years ago, with good intentions; in the interest of 'child welfare'. But the question today is whether adolescence has now become harmful -- to young people...

August 30, 2013 · By Jon Schroeder

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan raised eyebrows August 6th when he agreed to grant waivers to eight California school districts on the most controversial accountability provisions in the federal “No Child Left Behind” law. The districts – including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento – serve more than one million students or about 20 percent of California’s overall K-12 student population.

The Obama Administration’s decision to grant waivers directly to school districts has been both criticized and downplayed in importance by California state officials, including...

June 24, 2013

Have you ever wanted to see, hear, and feel what happens inside a school where teachers call the shots? Now, thanks to filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens, you can experience A Year at Mission Hill as a 10-chapter series of 5-7 minute videos. They are soon releasing a full-length film, Good Morning Mission Hill: The Freedom to Teach.

Mission Hill K-8, a Boston Public School, is a pilot...

June 17, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

This Commentary, in the StarTribune June 9 has now been circulated pretty widely around the country. It's drawn a good deal of favorable response. Clearly it has also distressed some people.

Raising uncomfortable questions does upset people. When action seems urgent, when people think they see the problem and think the goal is clear, they do get impatient with those who call the conventional wisdom into question.

But good decisions come only out of full discussion. Especially in a time of rapid...

June 14, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

In this Commentary in the StarTribune on June 9th I said we are not having a very intelligent discussion about 'closing the achievement gap'.

I ask what seem to me to be relevant -- practical, and important -- questions. Among them:

  • Is is sensible to use a one-dimensional definition of achievement? Is it fair? The late Jack Frymier used to say it is quite unfair for adults not themselves at risk to be imposing failure on young people just getting started in life.
  • So far as proficiency...
May 24, 2013 · By Lars Esdal

"Why does our whole discussion about improving learning go on with no one questioning the old institution of adolescence?"

These were Ted Kolderie's opening words in a TED talk at the New Schools Venture Fund 'summit' May 1 in San Francisco. The session topic was: "It's time to give up on _______ and replace it with ______". In the three-minute video below he explains why we should give up on adolescence and replace it with 'adultness'.

...
May 17, 2013 · By Guest Blogger

Guest post by Julie Sabo, currently a 5th grade teacher in Minneapolis, Minnesota and former state Senator.

Hopes and dreams

A popular way to begin the school year is with an expression of Hopes and Dreams from students and sometimes also from parents. When I first began doing this beginning of the year ritual the Hopes and Dreams expressed were usually broad and blustery, grand in nature. Some students dreamed of worldwide social justice, some for personal strength, fame, great riches, and some for very specific careers.

An interesting change has happened...

May 16, 2013

This post was originally blogged on the Education Week Of, By, For blog.

Young people can be very ambitious and are capable of great achievements. Consider these stories of teens' achievement from a different time, as described by Newt Gingrich in Business Week:

"At age 13, Benjamin Franklin finished school in Boston, was apprenticed to his brother, a printer and publisher, and moved immediately into adulthood. John...

April 30, 2013 · By Dan Loritz

National Public Radio education reporter Claudio Sanchez did a (five minute) story late last week about the 30 year anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s “Nation at Risk” report. Sanchez interviewed several leading national figures in the education realm, including Education Evolving’s Ted Kolderie. The story provided a sobering assessment of how little has changed in American education in the last three decades. Click here to listen to the full story.

Pages