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In my summary of the year 2010 I wrote:
This was the year of the billionaire in education. And teachers, parents and students are wondering what we need to do to make 2011 turn out a bit differently.
We figured it out alright. 2011 was the year of the great awakening. The year began with Wisconsin educators rallying to protect their rights, under attack from Governor Scott Walker. Jesse Turner had called it out even before 2010 was over - and along with a bunch of us from around the country, helped create the one of the big public education events of the year, the Save Our Schools March on July 30th in Washington, DC.
This was a year of pushing back and occasionally breaking through. In March, President Obama revealed he actually shared the views of many when he spoke of the need for fewer tests. This led to a lively exchange with Department of Education officials who did their best to pretend they agreed. We kept pushing through the year, pointing out the weakness in reforms that focus on test scores, and the strength that lies in the intelligence of our teachers, when they are given the chance to work together.
Teachers were not the only ones who decided to take to the streets. The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread across the country, and is bringing into sharp focus the oversized influence of corporations in our political process, and our public education system as well.
As the year draws to a close, the powerful are doing their best to stamp out or spray away the pesky rebels in our cities and college campuses. But we are seeing some big ideas hang on, and in California and elsewhere, the rejection of NCLB waivers offers hope that a new direction may emerge.
Here are my 170 posts from this year, organized into categories. Special thanks to all the guests and interview subjects who shared their thoughts with us this year!
Education reform, standardized tests and accountability
Jan. 27: Is Data Driving us into a Dead End?
April 25: Tests over Teachers in California
April 28: When Will the Testing Bubble Burst?
Nov. 8: NCLB Waivers get a Reality Check
Teach For America, teacher preparation and retention
Dec. 23: NEA President Sends Mixed Messages about Teacher Preparation
Immigration and Education
Teacher Unions, collective bargaining and due process
Save Our Schools, grassroots organizing and genuine reform
Mar. 23: I am Educator, Hear me Roar!
May 2: Here’s to the Teachers!
July 31: Save Our Schools Rocks the Capital!
Aug. 1: More Save Our Schools Videos!
Obama, Duncan and the Department of Education
Gates Foundation, Astroturf Groups
July 16: Teach Plus: Astroturf In Indiana?
Dec. 5: John Thompson: The Center for American Progress Pushes the Good, Bad and Ugly in Teacher Evaluation: Part 1
Dec. 21: Tara Kini: One Year Ago Congress Defined Novices “Highly Qualified Teachers”
What do you think about the year 2011? What should we look forward to in 2012?
The opinions expressed in Living in Dialogue are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.