Three over coffee.



Since I’m being a grandfather this week, the coffee is Connecticut Muffin in Brooklyn, not Peet’s on Chicago’s Northside.

Thursday night a foot of snow fell on Chicago. At 6:30 AM on Friday morning the cell rang and there was the superintendent’s voice on a computer call telling me it was a snow day. A snow day! I’m in Brooklyn and they get a snow day back in Park Ridge. It feels like I wasted a snow day.

NCLB from the viewpoint of a technology thinker.

The Republicrat wonkers at DFER and Ed Sector try to pigeon hole the opposition to NCLB as as bunch of teacher union Bosses smoking cigars while protecting feather bed contracts.

That’s not describing Wesley Fryer, host of the blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Fryer’s no job-protecting Luddite. In fact, just the opposite. But yesterday he published what he calls a “political rant on education.”

Although my blog is NOT explicitly a political blog, I will not hide nor make excuses for my personal and professional advocacy agenda which involves working to transform our schools into learning environments which serve the interests of both our students as well as our nation in the 21st century, rather than the narrow interests of politicians and a political party seeking to advance a contrary agenda.


NCLB has advanced a destructive agenda which feeds into the same tendencies Neil Postman detailed in his book “Technopoly,” where the general public comes to believe an idea because it is visually represented with charts and graphs in the newspaper. Is educational quality adequately indicated and represented by test scores? Absolutely not. More than anything, numerous research reports have validated the contention that test scores represent the socio-economic status of parents more than any other factor. Is this mentioned by our President in his most important speech of the year? Of course not. The purpose of this speech was not to share insights into the truth about the state of public education in our nation, rather, the purpose of this speech was to justify the actions and policies of a misdirected and destructive political regime which has done far more to HURT the causes of authentic assessment, project based learning, differentiated learning, and the encouragement of educational cultures of creativity and experimentation than it has HELPED the educational needs of learners in our nation.

Colorado’s teacher union-busting bill.

Colorado is considering a bill that would allow individual schools to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement. In Colorado, that’s what passes for education innovation.

Colorado Senate President Peter Groff on Thursday introduced a bill that encourages schools statewide to seek more freedom in hiring, scheduling and spending – and allows them to sidestep the teachers union to get it.

Wish I said that.

Over at the AFT’s NCLB blog:

A lot of what passes for debate in the educational policy blogosphere is really about efforts to privilege discourse. Some people think that if a person from the union says that it’s going to rain, it’s only because they don’t want their members to be held accountable for students getting wet, no matter how many clouds there are in the sky. In my blogging, this is often an issue with the guys at Education Sector. The most recent case of it was over discussions of changing teacher compensation and the need to have adequate base compensation if you want your plan to last.

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