The Washington Post made a big splash this weekend with a long, thorough piece on Common Core adoption and implementation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Post calls the embrace of Common Core “one of the swiftest and most remarkable shifts in education policy in U.S. history” and attributes it to the philanthropy of the world’s wealthiest person. Perhaps this is the beginning of a trend—the media covering private giving to schools. The New York Times recently reported on the K–12 giving of the Walton Family Foundation.
Something big is afoot in the nation’s teacher unions. In state and local elections, members are choosing increasingly militant leaders. This might be what unions need to regain strength, or it could further isolate them. Either way, the path ahead is going to be bumpy for all involved. This piece, despite the crude analysis of the reform community, explains what’s happening and why.
I’ve spilled lots of ink trying to raise the alarm about Detroit’s schools. But a picture’s worth a thousand words, so take a quick spin through this tragic photo collection on the abandonment of the Motor City.
State takeovers of failing districts can pit two principles against each other—the need to intervene aggressively when low-income kids are being poorly served and the right of communities to shape the contours of their local schools. This short piece about Newark and Paterson, New Jersey—under state control for two decades apiece—describes the uncomfortable balance.
In my view, the education-reform community has spent too little energy trying to help rural schools. There are millions of low-income kids far outside of big cities, and unfortunately we’ve yet to develop policies and programs to address these needs. If...