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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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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Kenya Dilday’s Choice: Her Black Child Matters at Central Park East 1

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Another S.O.S. from Harlem’s Central Park East 1 elementary school floated amid the deluge of my inbox yesterday. “Save CPE1” was the subject line.

This April, before the annual round of high-stakes testing, a petition began circulating in support of this home of progressive, child-centered practice. Here, the opt-out rate in 2015 was 81 percent. CPE 1 was founded in 1974 by Deborah Meier, writer, teacher, principal, and education activist—one of several created in East Harlem under the guidance of Anthony Alvarado, a forward-thinking superintendent of District 4, in the nation’s largest school system.

The . . . Read full article →

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Test Nation III: A Dance of Redemption

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It was a moment that called for John Coltrane. The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education—love that acronym, CARE-ED— had revealed the truth about the Common Core State Standards and high-stakes assessment:

Overall, there is not a compelling body of research supporting the notion that a nationwide set of curriculum standards…will either raise the quality of education for all children or close the gap between different groups of children. Therefore attaching high-stakes testing to the CCSS cannot be the solution for improving student learning.

Only “My Favorite Things” would do. . . . Read full article →

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