In his latest burst of fragging, conservative school reformer Robert Pondiscio recently argued that social justice-minded school reformers have only themselves to blame if suburban Massachusetts voters reject a ballot proposal to lift the cap on urban charter schools. Under this reasoning, I qualify as culpable because I recently called out white middle-class voters for organizing against a ballot measure… Read more →
There’s something depressingly familiar about the privileged pushback we’re seeing in Massachusetts around the ballot measure to lift the cap on charter schools. An active group of affluent white parents in well-resourced suburban districts are organizing to deny low-income black and brown families access to better schools, all under the progressive guise of “saving our public schools.” If this sounds… Read more →
It is hard to look at photos splashed all over social media with mostly white teachers who work in the suburbs, smiling, while they protest what would ensure that more disadvantaged children get the education that they deserve—the education that these teachers would most assuredly demand for their own children. “But giving parents in underperforming districts more opportunity to… Read more →
We all hold up Massachusetts as the gold standard in K-12 education and in many ways, it is. (I even wrote a blog entitled, “Be Like Mass.”) The state where public education got its start tops the rankings year after year and was a pioneer in reform long before most other states shook off the cobwebs and started making needed changes to… Read more →
Be Like Mike. Those three words were part of a very catchy, even iconic, Gatorade commercial back in the early 1990s featuring Michael Jordan shining on the basketball court, and smiling big while surrounded by crowds of kids and fans who wanted to be just like him. Well, with a slight tweak of one word, Rhode Island may have found… Read more →
The Seattle Times’ Education Lab just published the second of a two-part series that should be a wake-up call to all the self-congratulatory states and school districts who think they are doing all they can to prepare students for success. The series, artfully authored by reporter Claudia Rowe, opened with two provocative questions: Massachusetts is a lot like us, so… Read more →
For more than a decade, fourth-graders in Massachusetts have been, on average, the most literate children in the country. They also compute at higher levels. The same is true for eighth-graders. And for overall K-12 achievement. Yet the predominant sentiment in school hallways and policy offices around the state is discontent. This stands in striking contrast to Washington, where students’ scores have hovered at middle-of-the-road status for years, and schools chief Randy Dorn recently trumpeted an uptick in graduation rates, though they lag behind the national average by five points.