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Who’s the most influential educator in America?

John nominated four people for the title of “Most Influential Educator in America” as spring turned to summer — Joel Klein, Arne Duncan, Big Bird and Wendy Kopp. In this blog entry, he fleshes out each candidate and names some new contenders, while inviting readers to weigh in.

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The Influence of TFA

By all reports, Teach for America’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in Washington last weekend was a star-studded event–as well it should have been given TFA’s growing importance. What began as a Princeton student’s senior thesis has become the proverbial 900-pound gorilla in education, a leader and a lightning rod. I’ve been part of what I believe has been balanced coverage of Teach for America, on the NewsHour, in a web-based series, and in my new book; that is, I’m not in either of the two large camps—those who love TFA and those who detest/fear/suspect it. The middle can be lonely, by the way.

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What’s Ahead in 2010

If you don’t mind, I feel like patting my colleagues on the back this week–in public.  Here are three reasons: #1.  Last week the PBS NewsHour aired our piece about what the federal government is calling the Race to the Top, the $4.35 billion competition for education dollars.  It aired the night 40 states and [...]

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Teaching for America or Learning on the Job?

To what extent is classroom teaching a skill?  How long does it take to learn those skills, and is there a best way to learn them? These are important questions at any time, but I submit they are of particular importance today, with Teach for America (and other alternative routes into the classroom) growing in [...]

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