The Power of Their Voices: Early Childhood Teachers Talk School Reform

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A former preschool teacher carried the torch for democracy at the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. “The Senate should not be a rubber stamp,” Patty Murray said. “We owe it to the American people to put families and children first, not billionaires.”

Those were fighting words from the mild-mannered senator from Washington State, and senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee. Especially with Microsoft and Amazon among her top campaign contributors from 2011 to 2016. But as the results of our recent election attest, women’s ascent to power . . . 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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ExcelinEd's Pitch to Drive Student Progress: Not for Children

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Late last week, an email arrived from Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She was pitching a new online course. With spring testing over, and the opt-out folks quiet, I guess ExcelinEd thought this a propitious time for study.

Launched by Jeb Bush in 2008, the organization boasts that it is transforming education for the 21st century economy. Their guiding principles: all children can learn; all children should learn at least a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time; and all children will achieve when education is organized around the singular goal of . . . Read full article →

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Ana Menéndez Mourns Her Four-Year-Old’s Childhood

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It’s come to this. Four-year-olds in our assessment-crazed land are waking up in the middle of the night whispering sums. They’re facing the rigor of the Common Core State Standards, squirming in little chairs, deprived of gold stars—the littlest victims of educational goals and grownup folly.

Ana Menéndez, the daughter of Cuban exiles, is a journalist who has covered conflict across the globe. The author of four books of fiction, including The Last War and Adios, Happy Homeland!, earlier this year, she took to the pages of the Miami Herald unwittingly entering a . . . Read full article →

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