Education Blog

Bridging Differences

Deborah Meier is a visionary teacher, author, and founder of successful small schools in New York City and Boston. Harry Boyte, senior scholar at Augsburg College, is founder of the youth civic empowerment initiative Public Achievement and a leader in the movement to democratize higher education. This blog is no longer being updated.

Families & the Community Opinion Education Is a Civic Question
In their final post to end Bridging Differences' decade-long run, Deborah Meier and Harry Boyte urge readers to put the energy, talents, wisdom, and hard work of "we the people," young as well as old, at the center of creating a 21st-century education system.
Kate Stoltzfus, September 13, 2017
8 min read
Education Opinion Hiatus in Bridging Differences
Dear colleagues and friends,
We're taking a break for several weeks, in preparation for the American Education Research Association Conference and the John Dewey Society (this year I'm doing the Dewey lecture on the topic
Harry C. Boyte, April 7, 2017
1 min read
Families & the Community Opinion Who Makes Democratic Change?
We need a model of making school changes based on citizens first, not government first. There are many precedents.
Harry C. Boyte, April 3, 2017
4 min read
Families & the Community Opinion Is Less Governance Always Better for Students?
Conservatives are partially right to advocate for less government, says Deborah Meier.
Deborah Meier, March 30, 2017
4 min read
School & District Management Opinion Empowering Students: When the Last Become First
In learning civic skills and taking public action through the citizen politics approach, students, often on the margins, change expectations and challenge school cultures. They also illustrate the power of "a different kind of politics" beyond the Manichean mindset.
Harry C. Boyte, March 28, 2017
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Our Democracy Is Weak Now, Let's Fight for It in Schools
The forms of democracy are weak now. Students, families, and teachers should fight for it, argues Deborah Meier.
Deborah Meier, March 23, 2017
4 min read
Social Studies Opinion Repairers of the Breach
In a time of civic unravelling especially along partisan lines, how can we add a strong emphasis (and assessment dimension) on "civic repair" to every issue and organizing effort?
Harry C. Boyte, March 21, 2017
4 min read
Education Opinion School Choice That Might Work
Deborah Meier imagines conditions under which school choice could produce innovation that would influence traditional public schools.
Deborah Meier, March 17, 2017
3 min read
School & District Management Opinion Democratic School Communities in Unexpected Places
If we want to build a broad, majority coalition for democratic educational reform with a strong emphasis on communities, we need to look in places that are not part of the conventional progressive horizon.
Harry C. Boyte, March 14, 2017
4 min read
Families & the Community Opinion The Importance of Community: Connecting Schools and Neighborhoods
Now, more than ever, young people must see themselves and their communities as the makers of history, writes Deborah Meier.
Deborah Meier, March 10, 2017
3 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion Schools and the Freedom Struggle in an Orwellian World
In the age of the smart machine and Big Data, educators are called to find common ground across partisan divides in the fight for freedom against the looming dangers of an Orwellian world. The old idea of schools and colleges as social centers, or civic sites, is a resource.
Harry C. Boyte, March 6, 2017
5 min read
Social Studies Opinion School Choice Trade-Offs
There are educational benefits to choice, but it also divides people who otherwise would be allies, says Deborah Meier.
Deborah Meier, March 2, 2017
1 min read
Social Studies Opinion Choice as a Catalyst Starts with Public Relationships
In a world where "informational" has replaced "relational" in education as well as everywhere else, we begin a democratic awakening by recalling and promoting public relationships.
Harry C. Boyte, February 27, 2017
4 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion Can School Choice Return to Its Progressive Roots?
Can the charter movement offer progressive alternatives to traditional public schools, as it once did? Deborah Meier considers.
Deborah Meier, February 24, 2017
3 min read