Power, influence, and déjà vu 

 Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), one of ESSA’s coauthors, has made one thing abundantly clear: The law prohibits the federal government [...]

April 30th, 2018|

Who matters?

For years, critics of test-based school accountability have pointed out that when schools face pressure to raise students’ scores in math and reading, they tend to respond by doubling down [...]

March 26th, 2018|

The more things change . . . 

Last month, my 15-year-old son created a Facebook account. He friended me right away, which struck me as a kind gesture (what dad wouldn’t want to be his kid’s No. [...]

February 26th, 2018|

Moving on

  About 4,000 unsolicited manuscripts have landed on my desk since becoming editor of Kappan in July 2008 — and I’ve read every one of them. I’ve also selected and [...]

January 22nd, 2018|

When the president is a liar 

I have to confess that I have long rolled my eyes at suggestions that schools should promote critical thinking for students.   Duh. Of course, schools should promote critical thinking. Why else would [...]

November 27th, 2017|

Good enough for my kid?

American values about education are never more clear than when we think about what we want for our own children. I know that I’ve evaluated every classroom I ever observed [...]

October 23rd, 2017|

The medium is us

“We become what we behold  . . . We shape our tools and, afterward, our tools shape us.” — Marshall McLuhan Periodically, I see a query about what person, living [...]

September 24th, 2017|

Practical preparation for all

I never thought of myself as a vocational student when I was in high school. But, in fact, my daily high school newspaper class was a practical course with direct [...]

August 29th, 2017|

In reform decisions, somebody knew consequences

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” sputtered the leader, as it finally dawned on him that, no matter how many times he snapped his fingers, he couldn’t [...]

July 10th, 2017|

The lure of teaching

A newly minted teacher of elementary and special education recounts her long journey to a teaching credential. Jillian Stelma was walking through the halls of her high school when a [...]

May 1st, 2017|