Thanking Sam Halperin

In my 40 years as an education reporter, I have been helped by more people than I can name here, but I owe my career to one man, Samuel Halperin.

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Seize the Day

Two related stories on following one’s heart and intuition.

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Mistreating Teachers and Students in the Name of Higher Test Scores

A few days ago I received a letter from an experienced teacher in an eastern state that recalled Yogi Berra’s observation, “Deja vu all over again.” Her story brought to mind the treatment that caused my older daughter, a talented teacher, to leave the profession, and it makes me grieve for students, teachers and the institution of public education.

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Whom Has Died

The Times has learned that Whom has passed away after a long, lingering illness.

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Could Teaching Become A Team Sport?

Lots of people are now talking–often with passion and intensity–about teaching as a “team sport,” but wishing won’t make it so.

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Hypocrisy and the Washington Post

Is there any limit to the hypocrisy of the Washington Post’s Editorial Page? What brings this to mind is the Post’s recent editorial attacking the District of Columbia’s Inspector General, Charles Willoughby, whose work the same editorial writers had praised a year earlier.

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The Art of Leaking

It’s the nature of organizations and bureaucracies to close ranks, just as it’s in the DNA of reporters to want more and more information. Add to that mix the factors of self-interest and idealism. When reporters pry, officials withhold, and secrets are leaked, the result can be high drama. But are these supposed ‘secrets’ true, half-true, or false? What are the leaker’s motives–to settle a score, advance his/her own career, or see justice done? It’s up to the reporter to answer those questions before publishing anything. In short, there is an art to leaking and to using leaks in developing a story.

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