Column: Why schools used to be better

It’s one of the ironies of education reform that despite wave after wave, schools are seen by many as in worse shape as before all the changes, says the Washington Post. Here’s a look at why from Marion Brady, who was a classroom teacher for years, has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall), professional books, numerous nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book “What’s Worth Learning” asks and answer this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called Connections: Investigating Reality, is free for downloading here. Brady’s website is www.marionbrady.com

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Christie proposes education reform bills that would eliminate current tenure system for teachers

Gov. Chris Christie sent a package of education reform bills to the Legislature Wednesday that would eliminate tenure as teachers know it and offer job protection only to those who consistently show a high level of performance based on new statewide evaluation system, reports NJ.com. Under the tenure proposal, teachers would be given one of four ratings–highly effective, effective, partially effective or ineffective–based equally on student performance and classroom observations. Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf first unveiled the evaluation system during an address at Princeton University in February…

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Cheating on the hard work of school reform

Cheating in school became education topic number one this week, except this time it wasn’t students cheating on tests–it was adults cheating for them, TIME reports. As part of a series, USA Today published an article strongly suggesting that teachers or administrators goosed student test score gains at an elementary and middle school in Washington, D.C. Since it was a school former D.C. chancellor Michelle Rhee had singled out for praise, the news created yet another battleground for Rhee combatants. The distraction is too bad because the focus on cheating offers–pardon the cliché–a teachable moment for parents and policymakers…

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