International Standards and Assessments

Two weeks ago, I attended my first webinar, hosted by Edutopia, where Linda Darling Hammond talked about international standards and assessments. It’s really too bad she wasn’t Obama’s pick for Secretary of Education; she’s smart, articulate, progressive, and she even knows how to use power point! If you have about 50 minutes, it’s worth listeningContinue reading “International Standards and Assessments”

Interview with Dominic Randolph, Head of New York City Private School That Dropped AP Classes

(Happy Thanksgiving) Last June, I ran a series of interviews I had conducted with activists and educators who were on my radar as people trying to do something to change policy and practice in their communities. Today, I’m running an interview I conducted with one of the most interesting school heads I’ve ever encountered, DominicContinue reading “Interview with Dominic Randolph, Head of New York City Private School That Dropped AP Classes”

Another School With an Opt-Out Policy

I am always looking for schools that have homework opt-out policies, but they seem to be few and far between. Last November, I posted a link to a school in Australia with an opt-out policy. A reader who has been trying to get opt-out policies at her children’s Alberta schools recently sent me a linkContinue reading “Another School With an Opt-Out Policy”

Why “Race to the Top” will Fail

My favorite education blogger, Susan Ohanian, posted a link to this wonderful piece by Marion Brady in the Washington Post. The One Reason Duncan’s “Race to the Top Will Fail By Marion Brady November 4, 2009 When “Race to the Top” fails, as it will, the main reason won’t be any of those currently beingContinue reading “Why “Race to the Top” will Fail”

“Mr. Homework” Does More Rethinking

I’ve written here before about Washington Post reporter, Jay Mathews, who calls himself “Mr. Homework.” In August, 2008, he did an about-face and called for an end to homework for elementary school students. A few days ago, he wrote a Washington Post column, “Is Homework Necessary,” where he wonders whether his faith in homework forContinue reading ““Mr. Homework” Does More Rethinking”

Moms (and Dads) on a Mission – Race to Nowhere

Race to Nowhere, a documentary which looks at the fast-paced, high-stress lives of many of today’s students, is premiering on Saturday, October 10, at the Mill Valley Film Festival. I’ve written about the film before because I’m an Advisor to the film, I appear in the film, I fully support the film, and I thinkContinue reading “Moms (and Dads) on a Mission – Race to Nowhere”

The Global Achievement Gap

While I’m recommending books…. I recently read The Global Achievement Gap, by Tony Wagner, an excellent book about the failures of today’s secondary schools and how schools prepare students to memorize facts rather than problem solve. He identifies seven skills necessary to survive in the 21st century: critical thinking and problem solving; collaboration across networks;Continue reading “The Global Achievement Gap”

New Book: Rethinking Homework

There’s a new homework book, Rethinking Homework: Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs, by Cathy Vatterott, an associate professor of education at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, who calls herself Homework Lady. The first half of the book, which I loved, takes a fresh look at the research on homework and is written inContinue reading “New Book: Rethinking Homework”