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Category: Education Policy

  • Teaching Standard English is Racist

    Advertisements Since I co-authored a number of articles and chapters in the early 2000s–including the most popular “Why Revitalize Grammar?” (2003, English Journal), “Grammar Rant Analysis” (2006, English Journal), and Grammar Rants (Heinemann, 2011)–I have been exploring the ways in which grammar instruction in the USA is based on bigotry.  In the years since, I […]

  • Are You Educating Citizens for a Democratic Future, or Preparing Livestock for Slaughter?

    Advertisements In a democracy, the real goal of education is to help students develop themselves into knowledgeable, critically thoughtful, and action-oriented citizens. That means it is our job as teachers to educate our students to live their best futures for themselves and those around them. Good teachers know that we don’t have all the answers […]

  • Why Personal Politics Belong in the Classroom: 3 Reasons and a Caution

    Advertisements No one can deny the United States is in transition. We are moving either toward an autocracy or toward a renewed democracy. While most of us in education probably hope for the later, most of us acknowledge the momentum of the former. What I’m not sure most teachers realize is that some of this […]

  • Innovating the Traditional College, University Right Now

    Advertisements Traditional colleges/universities are conservative, even risk-averse institutions desperately preserving their prestige (and market share). The open market of for-profit education is a risk-fueled financial orgy desperately trying to be taken seriously. Both have ethical and organizational problems, which is why neither is succeeding in truly innovating the practices of higher education. What real innovation […]

  • If Teachers Are Natural Rule-Followers, That’s a Problem

    Advertisements As a teacher educator–that is, someone who teaches would-be teachers at the college level and leads teacher certification programs–I have always been leery of students who become teachers because they like imposing rules. I’ve had would-be teachers say, in front of an entire class, that they enjoy correcting people’s grammar and pointing out errors […]

  • To Ed Policy-Makers: Take the Danza Challenge

    Advertisements Since before the Common Core State Standards were just a flicker in David Coleman’s eyes, education reformers with no experience as public school teachers have been trying–within increasing success–to impose their ideas onto public schools. Many working educators, particularly teachers who work constantly with students, wonder how those without any experience doing the job […]

  • Grading Student Writing Objectively: A Myth and a Trap

    Advertisements Many newer teachers and non-specialists believe that above all else, teachers should be objective when they grade student writing.  That is, they should grade based on fact, not bias. After all, this kind of thinking goes, isn’t it wrong to judge student work subjectively, bringing one’s own thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives to bear on […]

  • The Bottom Line in Education: Real Student Learning

    Advertisements Measurement in capitalism is pretty easy: It’s profit. You can tell how effective something is by how much money it makes. Education is actually just this easy. What we should measure, the only thing we should care about, the only discussion we should have, the only thing we should fund, the absolute bottom line […]

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