Carrie Bakken

Vergara v. California highlights the need for a teacher-powered educational strategy

By Carrie Bakken

The Vergara v. California ruling that every student has a Constitutional right to learn from an effective teacher has been labeled bold — but it actually mirrors the counterproductive strategy long dominating reform efforts that ignores teachers’ professional expertise and then blames them for poor student outcomes. This decision pits unions against reformers. However, we’d […]

Christina Torres

What Teach for America can learn from its own work in Hawaii

By Christina Torres

Teach for America recently released numbers showing that its 2014 class is the most diverse in its history. It should be lauded for this. Like many other TFA alumni of color, I saw that the organization didn’t always act to include members of the populations it serves. In recent years, though, I have seen TFA […]

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina. File photo. (AP Photo/The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Hinderaker, Pool, File)

Is Carmen Farina the cowardly lioness? Why the NYC chancellor of schools needs to get tough

By David C. Bloomfield

“Carmen Fariña is the principal everybody loves to fear,” began a 1999 Times profile of the current chancellor when she ran the Upper East Side’s P.S. 6 “with a no-nonsense style and gets results through Darwinian selection.” Where is that woman with the “imposing character”? Instead, we have someone consistently describing herself as a grandmother, […]

Sydney Morris and Evan Stone

How Duncan’s teacher reprieve aids students, Common Core, tests

By Sydney Morris and Evan Stone

Test: It’s just a four-letter word for measuring skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities, or aptitude. In public education lately, test has become another kind of four-letter word: one associated with stressed out students, angry parents and teachers fearful of losing their jobs. Testing has such a negative connotation that in New York City alone this year, […]

Kevin Kruger president of NASPA, left, and David Maxwell, president of Drake University, right.

Can higher education reinvent our ‘paralyzed and dysfunctional’ democratic process?

By David Maxwell and Kevin Kruger

Student participation in the political process is on the decline in the U.S. as skepticism for political candidates and processes rises. In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, voter turnout among 18 to 24 year-olds fell to 41 percent, a six percentage-point drop from the 2008 election, The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning […]

Jacqueline King

Higher Ed isn’t as far behind on Common Core as you think

By Jacqueline King

Most attention to the Common Core State Standards has focused understandably on the continued political backlash against the standards and the status of implementation in schools. As we look ahead to next spring when students will take assessments that indicate whether they are on track to college and career readiness, we have seen some attention […]

Click to read an Q&A with author Elizabeth Green.

Summer reading: Teachers near and far

By Aaron Pallas

It’s the dog days of summer. Read an education book! Heck, read two! Read these two together: Elizabeth Green’s Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) (Norton, 2014), and José Luis Vilson’s This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education (Haymarket, 2014). Together, […]

Jason Bernal is CEO of the Yes Prep, charter school network with 13 schools in Houston, Texas.

Getting low income students to college takes more than just academics

By Jason Bernal

At a time when a college diploma is more important than ever to compete in the global economy, only 10% of students from low-income communities across the country who enroll in college are earning a degree. Pair that with the fact that the majority of African American and Latino students graduating high school don’t meet […]

Dwight Davis

Why one teacher got behind education equity after meeting with Obama, Duncan

By Dwight Davis

On July 7, I had the privilege of meeting with and discussing education policy with President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and three of the most amazing teachers within our profession: LeShawna Coleman, Justin Minkel and Leslie Ross. One of the questions that the president asked of us was, “What brought you […]


Growing pains: Can disruptive innovation benefit students?

By Michael Horn and Richard Whitmire

Why do organizations struggle so much with the innovator’s dilemma? It’s not hard to grasp. Kodak, DEC, Sears, Xerox and Bucyrus Erie saw their empires fade because when disruptive innovations appeared, they did not look like opportunities that made sense to chase. For example, with profit margins of film/processing/printing so high, why would Kodak shift […]

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