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Green Grand Prix and other competitions

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.  It began with a science fair project and in a few years we were designing and building hybrid and electric vehicles.…

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How CSAP Works

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 shuffle.”  While this is all true, just calling CSAP broken misses the stunningly ironic utility of CSAP.…

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Our Phony Education

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 the previous quarter, or year, then you cheer.…

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The case for alternative schools

I came away from reading last week’s Inquirer series on school violence with three main thoughts.

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Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?

Secretly, I always wanted to start a post that way. This is my chance.

In reply to my last post, Mike linked to a

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School climate data and accountability

First off, apologies for our prolonged absence from posting. We have been working on some really exciting projects here at the Workshop, but for various reasons we need to keep it under wraps for a while longer. We very much looking forward to writing about what we are doing instead of what we might be doing in the future.…

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Junot Diaz, kids, and showing up

I found this interview yesterday and loved this response to a Dave Eggers question about speaking at a local high school:
(warning: some explicit language)

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Two stories and a missing narrative

On Monday, there was an editorial in the Times detailing the failure of most performance evaluation systems. This management professor, Samuel Culbert, offered his take on how most individuals are evaluated at work:

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Reading for class tomorrow — one of the best parts of teaching is meeting old friends again and again — and found this gem:

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How renaissance status could benefit Audenried

Lots of good coverage in the Notebook and elsewhere about Audenried, Hope Moffet, and resistance to the Renaissance Schools plan in general. But I was thinking this weekend about how becoming a Renaissance school could really end up benefiting Audenried…

…if Universal Companies plays its cards right.

Universal is slated to take over the school as an outside manager.…

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