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teachers

Ravitch: The Death and Life of the Great American School System

by: teacherken

Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:32:00 AM EST

My support for NCLB remained strong until November 30, 2006.  I can pinpoint the date exactly because that was the day I realized that NCLB was a failure.

This is a book review.  Those words appear on p.99, which however odd a starting point is critical.  I learned about this event contemporaneously from the late Gerald Bracey, who informed some of us by email and many more in this Huffington Post blog.  At a conference at the American Enterprise Institute called to answer the question of whether No Child Left Behind was working, we learn from Bracey

Charged with summarizing the day, former assistant secretary of education for Bush I, Diane Ravitch, declared that the answer to the conference title's question was clearly, "No!"

That began an intellectual transformation that leads to the outstanding new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.  I will explore the book, the author and the implications of her transformation.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 3527 words in story)

If we are going to have national standards in education

by: teacherken

Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:11:42 AM EST

then something that should be included, for teachers and administrators, as well as students, are these words:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.

They were written by Robert Jackson, as part of the opinion of the Court, in the 1943 (note the date) case of WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ET AL. v. BARNETTE ET AL., 319 U.S. 624.   And recent events in a school in the DC suburb makes it clear why everyone should know about this case.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 1941 words in story)

Thanks for lives past and present

by: teacherken

Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 17:26:17 PM EST

crossposted from Daily Kos

I was, perhaps appropriately, listening to a recording of the Brahms Requiem when I saw the email:  Greg Kannerstein had passed away.  Let me quote two paragraphs from Haverford College President Steve Emerson's ('74) email:  

A mentor, student, teacher, colleague, coach and friend to thousands, Greg recently stepped down from his role as our Dean of the College after a 41-year career marked by boundless enthusiasm for Haverford.  He had begun work on his new appointment as a Special Advisor to Institutional Advancement and Lecturer in General Programs when emerging health issues forced him to take a medical leave last month.  His illness was diagnosed only weeks ago.

My heart aches at the thought of losing Greg.  I believe it is fair to say that every Haverfordian who has passed through the College since 1968 has been touched by Greg's spirit.  Whether in his role as coach, teacher, Athletic Director, Dean of Admissions, or Dean of the College, Greg was always there for Haverford, and for everyone in the greater Haverford family.  

And that got me thinking about the thanks I want to offer -

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 773 words in story)
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