Paul Tough’s Hard Work of Helping Children Succeed

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In the acknowledgments of Helping Children Succeed, Paul Tough’s latest ruminations on same, the best-selling author concedes that he had originally thought of the slim 125-page book as nothing more than an online report. His literary agent disabused him of that notion, visions of new readers dancing in his head.

Tough’s earlier book, How Children Succeed, a prequel to his latest tome, hit the zeitgeist in 2012, its subtitle “Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” ever so tantalizing. A contributing writer to the New York Times magazine and This American Life, he set forth . . . Read full article →

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Peter Rawitsch: Childhood Cannot be Standardized

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Just after school let out in June, an email arrived from Peter Rawitsch, a first-grade teacher, from Delmar, New York. Board-certified in early childhood, he has taught for 35 years. He had been selected by the New York State Department of Education to be one of 12 members of a committee to review the preK-2nd grade English Language Arts (ELA) standards.

Their task: to determine if the standards were developmentally appropriate for young children. As an advocate and critic, Rawitsch wanted to make sure that his core knowledge was current; to that end, he was conducting . . . Read full article →

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Susan DuFresne’s Opt Out Bus: Riding for Schools that Children Love

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This summer, Susan DuFresne boarded the Opt Out Bus, with her husband, Shawn, to bring books to America’s children. She’s been recording what she found on her Facebook page, which contains this disclaimer: “The views I express on this wall are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer. #FreeSpeech.”

A kindergarten teacher in Washington State, where a former Microsoft executive is director of the Department of Early Learning, she has given a new face to early childhood activism, raising her impassioned voice for social justice and educational equity.

In New Mexico, one . . . Read full article →

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Kaliris Salas-Ramirez: A Neuroscientist for Democracy, Racial Equity, and Progressive Education

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America’s education policies are tearing at the fabric of progressive practice. Nowhere is this phenomenon more damaging than in the earliest years. The kind of schooling that nurtures higher order thinking, curiosity, imagination, and innovation, critical skills for our complex 21st-century world, has become a province of the privileged—a rare species, especially in underserved communities of color.

Kaliris Salas-Ramirez is fighting for her biracial son’s progressive education at Central Park East I, in East Harlem. The brainchild of Deborah Meier, who describes play as “self-initiated cognitive activity,” CPE I is now a battleground for democracy, pitting parents . . . Read full article →

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