Less Superman, more Clark Kent

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in General | No Comments

We try not to use this space to just link to other people’s writing. There are plenty of folks who do that better than us. But Joe Nocera’s column on school reform in today’s NY Times is really worth a read. Not because is says anything wildly new, but because it says it simply and […]

The Biggest Bully in Schools

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in General | One Comment

Bullying in schools is big these days.  As a nation we are struggling with just how much our children are being subjected to derision, coercion and just plain abuse on school buses, online, in classrooms and hallways, and after school.   We have decided to get tough on bullies, to have zero tolerance until we have […]

Radically practical

Posted by on Apr 25, 2011 in General | No Comments

When you consider the contributions of the Highlander Folk School to both the labor and civil rights movements, few U.S. educators have had as much broad, social impact as Myles Horton. (A case could be made for Charles Elliot or E.L. Thorndike, I suppose, but I’m thinking of positive impacts here.) Horton was without a […]

“This isn’t a school.”

Posted by on Apr 22, 2011 in General | 5 Comments

We’ve spent some time this week writing about the need to clear away/let go of conventions about high school that limit the ways we think about learning and teaching. This certainly isn’t a new observation, but neither is it common in the reform community. You know where it is common? Among students. They already know […]

why don’t you all just f-f-f-ade away…

Posted by on Apr 20, 2011 in General | No Comments

A few weeks ago I pointed out an interview with Junot Diaz where he described the lack of attention isolation most adolescents face. How few adults are thoroughly invested in listening to the children around them? Sadly, at least some teachers fall into this category…

School Reform as a Forest Fire

Posted by on Apr 19, 2011 in General | No Comments

As a small nonprofit working its tail off to start a school we at the Workshop have had to have our fingers on the political pulse of schooling and school reform in the city, state and nation.  More than once we have grimaced at a misguided political or policy initiative to fix schools, only to […]

Reform and the “old rules”

Posted by on Apr 19, 2011 in General | 2 Comments

First off, Grid Magazine is one of those things that just makes you proud to be from Philly. (The link above is to the magazine site, which includes the current issue in full text.) The current issue, which focuses on education, has a great article about Rob Fleming’s Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design (SEED) Center […]

Green Grand Prix and other competitions

Posted by on Apr 17, 2011 in General | One Comment

This school year I’ve been spending two days a week at West Philadelphia High School’s Auto Academy working with the students and teachers who make up the EVX Team.  I started the team 13 years ago as an after-school program to make good space for teachers and students to do hands-on work solving real problems.  […]

How CSAP Works

Posted by on Apr 14, 2011 in General | One Comment

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s nice piece of investigative reporting into violence in Philadelphia Public Schools rightly exposes CSAP-  Comprehensive Student Assistance Process-as not working to address the needs of students.  Interviews with those on the front lines of education- teachers, principals, students and parents- paint a portrait of CSAP as a “fiction,” “imaginary” and a “paper […]

Our Phony Education

Posted by on Apr 8, 2011 in General | One Comment

In 2008 Jonathan Rowe testfied about the insanity created by the Gross Domestic Product coming to stand in for the economy.  I quote him at length:  “That term “the economy”: what it means, in practice, is the Gross Domestic Product–a big statistical pot that includes all the money spent in a given period of time. If the pot is bigger than it was […]