Mindworkers

Charlet T. Kerchner / MindWorkers

Reporting on Common Core starts in Pomona with candid talk between labor and management

  I spent two days this week with the teachers and administrators of the Pomona Unified School District as they sought to find a way forward in implementing the Common Core. Associated Pomona Teachers took seriously the requirement in California law that school districts were supposed to “consult” over implementing the new standards and testing [...]

Annotating the News 11/10/13

Poorer than we thought.  Using a calculation that factors in California’s relatively high cost of living, the state has the highest poverty rate in the country.   According to Census Bureau, 23.8 percent of Californians live in poverty where the official poverty rate is 16.5 percent.   Even using the official calculation, a quarter of the [...]

Big Money and the School Board: An Annotation of a “L.A. Times” Op-Ed

[This story has also been posted at Ed Source.] The Los Angeles Times Monday printed an op-ed piece I wrote about last week’s school board election, where a coalition of deep pockets givers spurred by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spent over $63 per vote.  It was not only big money but also money badly spent.  (Read [...]

“I would prefer to trust our teachers…”

California’s Back!  Gov. Jerry Brown did himself proud in Thursday’s state-of-the-state speech, and he did California proud, too.  In the details of the speech, there are prospects for boldness, greatness, and innovation, not the tire patching and gridlock we’ve experienced as government. Others will comment in great length on the wisdom of the San Joaquin [...]

Learning 2.0 So Far: Breakthrough Ideas and Political Deadlock

This spring, I posted Learning 2.0, a short essay on how we might reshape school reform to recognize the tremendous changes in information processing and their implications for teaching and learning. I’ve been gratified by the response.  The original post has been reprinted and passed along, which is what I had hoped, and over the [...]

Insanity or Courage?

Last evening, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion at a reunion of Education Pioneers, an organization that looks for and trains out-of-classroom talent for education reform.  The conversational stars of the evening were Maria Casillas, who flunked retirement to rejoin the Los Angeles Unified School District to head its efforts at connecting [...]

Fasting Because Budgets are Moral Documents

The practice of fasting is testament-honored but not much practiced these days, as any trip to the shopping center or the movie snack bar will reveal.  But starting this week, I along with more than 20, 000 Americans will be partial fasting for economic justice.  Jim Wallis and a number of other clergy have announced [...]

Learning 2.0

“Why, one might ask, should California, the headwaters of the digital revolution, be stuck in the eddies of an early 20th Century school design?” Starting this week, I will be posting a series of pieces about the what I believe to be the essentials of 21st Century learning and the changes in educational politics that [...]

A Real Cheesehead: Public Sector Collective Bargaining Under Attack in Wisconsin

The extent of the attack on public sector collective bargaining has taken me by surprise.  I had expected that Republican victories in November would lead to a hardening of attitudes, but the extent and spread has been breathtaking.  There are reports of an initiative to repeal collective bargaining in California, but that may well amount [...]

A Cautionary Story About Merit Pay

In a just published piece on the PACE blog, I talk about the unintended consequences of paying teachers based on student results.  In the long run, actually much more quickly than one might think, Talent will organize to insure its economic success.  The blog piece retells the story of how baseball players became superstars with [...]