Lingering Questions

Having an unexpected chance at a last-minute final column for Metroland, is a blessing and a curse. No pressure, after an almost-12-year run. At first I scrambled to try to assemble a column on one of the topics I hadn’t gotten to, wanting to just continue as I had been, but over the holidays and it being a big topic, I couldn’t pull it together properly.

Instead, I will leave you with a distinctly non-exhaustive spattering of some questions I didn’t get to, or that I (and plenty others) have written about but remain important and unanswered, some rhetorical, some deeply not. Though Metroland was one important place we could have conversations like these, it needn’t be the only one. Continue reading

Let Them Eat Tests

Every once in a while, someone does us a favor and says explicitly what we’ve been suspecting they believed or intended all along. Sometimes it has to be captured by a mole, like Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comment. Sometimes people say it loud and proud because, apparently, they don’t understand just how awful it makes them sound.

That was the case for NYS Regent Meryl Tisch’s suggestion that “high performing” schools be exempted from the high-stakes testing regime that is currently being forced on the school children of the state. Continue reading

Public Education Is Under Attack

Yesterday, public school advocates rallied at the New York state capitol to call for full state funding of public education. Participants held “R.I.P.” tombstone signs of the programs, classes, staff and resources that their schools have had to cut over the past five years—arts, languages, small class sizes, academic support services, magnet programs. All the things that serve what politicians like to call “21st century skills.” Continue reading