Denisha Jones on Early Childhood’s Lesson for School Choice

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With Betsy DeVos at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education, choice has ascended to the top of the policy agenda. Charter schools, vouchers, and other nonpublic options are proliferating—the grandchildren of free-market economist Milton Friedman, who viewed the elementary and secondary system as a monopoly in dire need of competition.

Staunch proponents of choice view it as a solution for the nation’s persistent opportunity gaps. Denisha Jones, a national advisor to Defending the Early Years, where this post originally appeared, highlights the inequities of America’s market-based early childhood system as a cautionary tale.

Jones is . . . Read full article →

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Emily Kaplan’s Musings on the Luxury of Lingering in Childhood

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A battle rages across the land. How on earth do we bridge those cavernous achievement gaps? The ghosts of No Child Left Behind hover. George W. Bush’s attempt to banish the “soft bigotry of low expectations” has morphed into a “no excuses” reform movement that ignores early childhood’s robust evidence base, consigning children to joyless hamster wheels and school creeds. Recess is disappearing.

Emily Kaplan, an elementary school teacher in Boston, has taken note. She’s bravely left the “Silent Area,” where giggling and critical thinking are prohibited. Here are her musings, originally published at . . . Read full article →

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Kindergarten Suspension: Eva Moskowitz Unmasked by John Merrow

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The other night, bleary-eyed from screens, I watched John Merrow pin Eva Moskowitz to the wall on PBS NewsHour. The veteran journalist tackled the question “Is Kindergarten too young to suspend a student?”

Be forewarned: this is one of those New York-centric stories. Eva Moskowitz, who heads up Success Academy, a network of charter schools that have proliferated like potholes all over town, recently announced that she would not challenge Bill de Blasio for mayor in 2017. She said she wanted to be a force for “transformational change” in education. A staunch proponent of school . . . Read full article →

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