MoCo to Residents: Suburbs A Terrible Mistake

Montgomery County’s Assault on the Suburb 

Suburbs were a terrible mistake, says Councilman George Leventhal

It’s Orwellian. A packed suburb where homes turn over within days of going up for sale, where schools are precious and overcrowded, and where people who work all over the Washington area can arrive home to a diverse, convenient and lovely community, wake up one day to find themselves targets of the New Urbanism agenda. The perpetrators? The Montgomery County Council, which has been negotiating with a major developer, Equity One, to ensure it is able to double the number of people who live in the small community there while selling its residents on a false notion that it’s all ...

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A Choice for Walton?

(Warning: The contents of this email may cause disruption to the status quo.)

In the years since he abruptly passed from this earth in 2005, I have often wondered what the late John Walton would say and do about the rolling tide of top down demands and regulation being imposed on charter schools & many of their support organizations. A dear friend, mentor to many, and the energy behind the Walton Family Foundation’s original education reform investments, Walton believed in school choice, because it was the right thing to do. Armed ...

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Remarks on National School Choice Week

“Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.”

I first heard that quote by Frederick Douglas from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in his opinion on the constitutionality of the Ohio School Choice program, in 2002. Thomas recalled Douglas’ famous words at a moment in time when it appeared our nation had forgotten the importance of education, so much so that parents who wanted choice found themselves battling for their opportunity to choose at the nation’s highest court in Washington, DC.

It was a scene like no ...

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Letter to the Editor: Chicago’s Education System

Jim Kirk
Publisher/Editor in Chief
The Chicago Sun-Times

Dear Editor:

Chicago’s education system, like many nationwide, continues to experience inequities and declines. Despite four decades of effort and hundreds of reforms, programs and judicial action, the schools remain woefully inadequate for most and failing for a majority, with fewer than 35 percent of children proficient in literacy or numeracy skills. That’s why the articles recently written about a Chicago Board of Education member are particularly disturbing. It’s not often that a city has at its disposal people who not only are civic minded and philanthropic in their focus but also nationally recognized for their education expertise and organizational savvy by industry, politics ...

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The Governors and Vergara: Why It’s Both Necessary — and Avoidable — to Take Education Reform to Court

Policymakers, pundits and ed reformers are gleeful in the wake of the Vergara decision finding the practice of teacher tenure in California unconstitutional. It’s been nearly 30 years since the issue of teacher union protections was first raised as a possible cause for the failing schools first revealed in A Nation at Risk. While few love the idea of taking policy issues to court, weak-kneed politicians have brought it on themselves. After all, few heroes remain in our states’ leadership who are willing to buck the unions for fear of negative political consequences. History shows us the outcomes of such actions are otherwise, however. Brave governors, in particular, ...

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Reality TV for Education Reform

Vol. 1, No. 1                                                                            May 28, 2014

Why Education Reform Really Does Need A Reality TV Show.

I would not have said this a year ago. I’ve been opposed to such a thing, despite being auditioned once for a show that promised to show the real challenges schools face daily.  (I was supposed to be the provocateur, calling out bad practices on screen. Thankfully they dropped me from consideration when I insisted we had to talk about solutions. So much for my worldwide fame!)

But now I have another take. Having been “on the outside” for 6 months now, after 25 years “in,” I now understand clearly why EdReformers bang their heads ...

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