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For the Good of All Students: Why I'm Marching for Education Justice

We don’t have to eradicate a person’s soul in order to make them a great leader and thinker.

This weekend, I have the honor of speaking and marching with thousands of concerned educators, parents, and students at the Save Our Schools March and Conference. We’ll have local events across the country, but the main event happens in the nation’s capital with folks like Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, Matt Damon, Jon Stewart, and plenty of other concerned citizens making a statement about the state of our country’s public schools.

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What Teachers Want to Know: When Will Testing Company Employees Get Laid Off?

Everyone has to feel the pain of budget cuts—except the companies being paid millions to make standardized tests.


This spring, school districts across the nation sent record numbers of layoff notices to teachers, all in the name of balancing education budgets. But, there's one area that most states and districts aren't cutting—the cost of standardized tests. States and local school districts pay testing companies millions of dollars annually, and with calls to evaluate teachers according to tests results and expand the number of subjects tested coming from the White House and Department of Education, the amount of cash being shelled out to testing companies is sure to skyrocket.

Here's how it works: In order to be compliant with the federal No Child Left Behind Act—which requires student testing—states first pay consultants and testing companies to write multiple choice tests aligned with individual state standards. Once kids take the tests, the states then pay those same companies to score them. The federal government does kicks in some cash to help cover the costs, but thanks to cutbacks, that money doesn't defray the whole expense or pay for the people districts and states hire to manage the entire process.

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Your Favorite Public Education Reformer Probably Went to Private School

Many of today's prominent education reformers attended private school. Their policies for public schools are a far cry from that experience.

What do some of the nation's most prominent public education reform advocates—Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, President Obama, and Davis Guggenheim—all have in common? They received their K-12 education at private schools. "In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education" from this Sunday's New York Times spotlights this phenomenon and raises important questions about the discrepancy between the well rounded education these reformers received at elite private schools like Exeter and Sidwell Friends, and what they recommend for other people's children.

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