Education Policy

Teaching Standard English is Racist

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 have… Read More »Teaching Standard English is Racist

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

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 to… Read More »Are You Educating Citizens for a Democratic Future, or Preparing Livestock for Slaughter?

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

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 is… Read More »Why Personal Politics Belong in the Classroom: 3 Reasons and a Caution

Innovating the Traditional College, University Right Now

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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 requires… Read More »Innovating the Traditional College, University Right Now

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

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 on… Read More »If Teachers Are Natural Rule-Followers, That’s a Problem

Letter from the SUNY Deans of Education to the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York

My fellow and sister Deans of Education in the SUNY system sent the following letter in response to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute’s plans to permit teachers with virtually no qualifications to be appointed as “certified” teachers. See below the letter for links to the regulation change and a public comment link where you can… Read More »Letter from the SUNY Deans of Education to the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York

To Ed Policy-Makers: Take the Danza Challenge

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 could… Read More »To Ed Policy-Makers: Take the Danza Challenge