The overall education policy and even more strongly, in my home state of New Jersey, encourages the development of charter schools. Often, support for charter schools is framed in the context of competition being good for education, as it is in business.
Editor's note: Today's guest blogger is Thom Markham, a psychologist, educator, and president of Global Redesigns, an international consulting organization focused on project-based learning, social-emotional learning, youth development, and 21st-century school design. He formerly directed the Buck Institute for Education's national training program in PBL and is the primary author of BIE'sHandbook on Project Based Learning.
Tim Brennan is the Founder of the DREAMER Institute for Connective Living. He is also a life-long public educator and has been pursuing a deeper understanding of the importance of social, emotional and character development (SECD) well before he was familiar with those terms. I believe his perspective adds important depth to our collective understanding of SECD and what it means to learn authentically and well.
Have you read Spirit: Defining Our World? It's a magazine published by Special Olympics to promote their programs and share information and inspire those who are interested in the organization and its goals. There are remarkable stories of individuals who refuse to be defeated by their handicapping conditions.
Today, November 22, is the National Day of Blogging for Real Ed Reform. Started as a grassroots movement by Ira Socol on his SpeEdChange blog, educator bloggers from around the globe are posting today to "take back the agenda" of education reform. You can see a list of blogs at Cooperative Catalyst.
I'm beginning to agree with traditionalists who argue that education should go back to the old days -- if we could be assured of landing at Midland, an elementary school in Rye, New York, between 1956 and 1966. More specifically, alighting in the classroom of teacher Albert Cullum. He had an intuitive sense of what worked in education, regularly incorporating teaching methods from project learning to social emotional learning, long before they had academic labels.
What do you think about the situation in the Newark public schools? Do you think it's a good idea for the governor of New Jersey to engineer a $100 million gift, and matching funds, to just one district of more than 550 in New Jersey?
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion called "Culture Shift, Alternatives to Suspension: Creating Connections for All Students," which highlighted the effectiveness of a restorative justice and youth court as an innovative approach to juvenile justice.
Intolerance may be one of the oldest and ugliest stories on Earth. But when it comes to speaking up against hate speech, bullying, and bigotry, students and their communities are finding creative ways to craft an uplifting response. Increasingly, new media tools are playing an important role in these efforts.