Breakfast Club Blog

Common Core and the Competition

There’s a lot to be said about the current version of education reform and Common Core. I’m all in favor of getting rid of No Child Left Untested. I believe that all children should become fluent readers and writers and well-versed in math because these are skills that will help them succeed in school and, more importantly, in life. I’m convinced that what will separate kids who achieve their potential from those who don’t will be their communication, critical thinking, c...Read More

Allegiance

Last Friday, I took my son to school. There was a car accident on a major thoroughfare and traffic was diverted to side streets. As a result, our ten minute drive became twenty and we arrived just in time for the school’s weekly “flag ceremony.” (Actually, it would be more accurate to say that we delayed it for about sixty seconds while the principal waited patiently for me to deliver Oliver to his Kindergarten teacher, whose students were intentionally placed in the front row ...Read More

The Death of School

Harvard GSE professor Richard Elmore’s recent remarks at May’s Aspen Institute may leave educators feeling a bit disturbed. And that’s exactly what I love about it. In his 8 minute speech, Elmore begins the conversation with the assertion that he does “not believe in the institutional structure of public schooling… anymore.” Wait! What? This is coming from a man who has spent over 40 years in the upper echelons of government and academia, advocating for educat...Read More

If Not Now, Then When? If Not You, Then Who?

It’s six o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting in my office, drinking coffee, eating yogurt and blueberries and putting a schedule together for the next three hours before I have a meeting with the Governor’s Chief of Staff. With careful planning and any luck, I can give 20 folks the information they need to register to vote. I can encourage 15 people to make choices that I believe are in their own best interest when they go to the polls, and I can set up a schedule that...Read More

Do you Suffer from Terminal Modesty?

At my house in the mornings I can usually talk my five-year-old son into going outside and fetching the paper from the drive while I prepare a few bowls of cold cereal and pour two cups of hot coffee. Usually I enjoy reading the headlines and filling my head while I fill my tummy, but I have to admit that lately it has been frustrating to read about the school budget cuts here in Austin. Hundreds of educators have lost their jobs and multiple school sites being considered for closure. With limit...Read More

After-school Programs: “It’s probably time for an upgrade.”

OK, so let me tell you about last weekend. The refrigerator that my wife, Jan, and I inherited from the previous owners of our home is over ten years old. It’s a good model and it’s served us very well, but during the last year we’ve had to repair it three times. On the most recent occasion, the technician gave us the gloomy prognosis – “It’s probably time for an upgrade.” The news was unwelcome but inevitable. So, we found a good deal on a new one and made ar...Read More

Ed Reform: A Turning Point for Afterschool?

It’s been a hot, hot summer here on the East Coast. But the sweltering temperature is nothing compared to the heated debate going on all around the country as the Administration and Congress take up serious education reform efforts. A lot of big issues are on the table, including major shifts in funding for afterschool programs as well as what happens after school and in the summer. At the center of the debate is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a l...Read More