The Problem with Accountability

The Problem with Accountability

Nine years ago, I and others working with transfer schools sat with the NYC Department of Education staff responsible for creating the first progress reports. They generously listened to feedback on how to assess transfer schools and let the progress report evolve...
Transforming Teacher Learning

Transforming Teacher Learning

A few years ago, I decided I would learn to play the mandolin. Even though in my youth I had adopted the refrain that “I’m not a musical person,” I figured I had changed as an adult. I considered myself a lifelong learner and had chosen a career (education) in which I...
In Schools We Trust…

In Schools We Trust…

Recently, the New York City Department of Education added a simple but critical element into its capacity framework for schools: Trust. Trust, of course, is important for more than only schools. As the philosopher Sissela Bok wrote: “Whatever matters to human beings,...
What Do Great Schools Produce?

What Do Great Schools Produce?

Several years ago, I had the chance to visit a number of schools in Kenya that had been started specifically for impoverished children—Nairobi has an estimated 100,000 orphans living on the street, and these schools reached out to them. One school particularly stuck...
School Accountability after 2014

School Accountability after 2014

What does the year 2014 matter in the history of public education? For those who are keeping score, this is the year, according to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), when every student in America was supposed to have achieved proficiency. According to the law, which...