In case you missed it or were distracted by, say, the D.C. earthquake, the video of yesterday's thought-provoking ?When Reform Touches Teachers? discussion between American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and the American Enterprise Institute's Rick Hess is up on our website. ?Fordham's Mike Petrilli moderated the discussion and posed some tough questions about whether reformers and educators could find common ground.? A peek at some of the lively conversation about teacher compensation, evaluation, and collective bargaining, and you watch the whole conversation or check out some of the highlights below.
How teachers are perceived and the negative tone in some education debates was a point of contention.
Weingarten: New poll says teachers are respected more than ever, but 2/3 of reporting on education is negative.
Hess:? Republican governors are making measured cases for reform and are threatened or compared to tyrants.
Weingarten:? ?Educators have a right of freedom of speech, but we have a responsibility as to how we use it.?? Both sides of the debate are guilty of ?demagoguery.?
Both speakers reflected on the value of disagreement, but came to
With Gov. Rick Perry officially stepping into the GOP presidential-candidate pool over the weekend, we thought this piece?written on June 15, 2011 for the National Review Online?timely once again.
Deep in the heart of Texas is where some education-policy lessons might best stay.
But they tend not to. Rick Perry's seemingly imminent entry into the 2012 GOP race suggests that, for the second time in less than a dozen years, we could very well see an ardent effort by a Texas governor to make the federal role in education conform to his own preconceptions and to lessons drawn from his experience in Austin.
That's what happened in 2001 when Governor George W. Bush carried with him from Texas the essential elements of policy and practice that (after much fiddling by Congress) became the No Child Left Behind Act.
And that's what could happen again in 2013 should Perry win the Oval Office and endeavor there to magnify and replay the conclusions he has reached about education during his dozen years running the Lone Star State.
Besides (and partly due to) its enormity, Texas is a proud, sometimes arrogant, and seriously self-absorbed place. One need only stand under the immense dome of the state capitol?taller than the one in Washington?and gaze at the six flags depicted in the terrazzo floor. All have
Arnius Duncanus is at it again. Unmoved by pleas that he "first do no harm" when it comes to promising reforms like the Common Core State Standards Initiative, he seems compelled to attach mandates to his forthcoming NCLB waivers that will require adoption of the Common Core standards.
No, his team won't mention the Common Core, but everybody knows that's what he's talking about when he calls for "college and career-ready standards."
Duncan says that he doesn't want to be tone-deaf to state officials' concerns about No Child Left Behind. Fair enough. But why be so tone-deaf to the politics around all of this?
I once heard Arne talking about winning gracefully. That's what's called for now. Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core. Most are deeply engaged in developing assessments related to the standards. During the past legislative session, no state backed out. In other words, proponents of the Common Core have won a great victory. The only possible outcome of Secretary Duncan putting more federal pressure on the states to adopt the Common Core is stoke the fires of conservative backlash--and to lose many of the states that have already signed on.
Walk away from this one, Mr. Secretary. Please, those of us who support the Common Core are begging you.
"Maybe the progress is mostly due to societal trends such as the end of the crack cocaine epidemic or benefits from a strong 1990s economy - both of which would have made home environments of our neediest children much more hospitable. Perhaps the big increase in education spending over this time period deserves credit, or the major reduction in class sizes."
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
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