When my wife and I moved recently, the process forced me to dig through piles of stuff and discard what I didn’t care enough about to pack and then unpack. In the process I came across some really good stuff, and that triggered this list of books, organizations, films, and websites that I value.
I wrote the paragraphs below nearly five years ago. Besides changing a few names, how much revision is needed to make the observations accurate in mid-2015? Perhaps we haven’t been running in place, but I am convinced that we are fighting the wrong battle in the last war.
Something’s significant seems to be happening in the complex world of public education. The Common Core testing has been the catalyst, but what’s now going on appears to be a much bigger deal.
Does the opt-out movement have legs? Or could what some are calling a ‘revolution’ just be nothing more than normal growing pains for the Common Core State Standards? Whichever of those is accurate, it’s also a rare opportunity to rethink the wisdom of the strange path we are heading down.
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” William Butler Yeats wrote in 1919 in ‘The Second Coming.’ Yeats was describing the world after the Great War, but it aptly describes American education today: polarized, shouting at, but rarely listening to, each other.
It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I want my friends to know that I will be joining the Board of Directors of Pearson Education. This was not an easy decision, and I know that some of my friends, particularly those on the left, will be angry with me. I ask you to withhold your judgment until you have finished reading this.
Imagine you’ve been made responsible for making dramatic improvements in our public schools…but with the stipulation that you must choose one point of attack and focus almost all of your energy and resources on that.