May 3, 1995

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Vol. 14, Issue 32
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The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has awarded a $2 million grant to the National Writing Project in Berkeley, Calif., to improve the teaching of writing in schools with large numbers of low-income students.
Gov. Jim Edgar of Illinois released a proposal last week to restructure the Chicago public schools that calls for creating a powerful "superboard" to run the system for the next four years.
Innovation can be defined as a change with as yet unknown results. Educational leaders typically act as if innovation will lead to improvement. Because innovations are experiments, some of them could lead to improvement. The problem is that the public rightly believes educational innovation has become an end in itself. The public wants results, but is being served innovation.
In its report "First Things First: What Americans Expect From the Public Schools," the Public Agenda Foundation revealed last fall that many people view teaching innovations unfavorably. (See Education Week, 10/12/94.) This finding is not news to many educators. Hard-working principals, teachers, and activist parents in communities everywhere are frustrated because they can't get much support for changes they believe would improve schools for students.
Reports of the decline of psychoanalysis are premature. The test below, which requires matching the rhetoric of school reform in Column I with its psychological counterparts in Column II, is designed to assess the unconscious motivations that may underlie your school reform preferences.
Before I was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, I had a respectable job. I was a school teacher.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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