Seventy-Five Years and Beyond: It Was All About Cooperation

Latest Story Right now I am at Fen Farm in the UK for a two week expedition with my wife searching for antiquities for our antiques business.  It’s been  an exciting and exhilarating experience over the past 15 years. Tomorrow is the start my seventy-fifth year revolving around the sun on this 4.5 billion year […]

Atlanta Public Schools’ Equity Audit Finds Differences! by Ed Johnson

Guest Letter by Mr. Ed Johnson, Advocate for Education, Atlanta, GA Ed Johnson wrote a letter in response to the Atlanta Public Schools Equity Audit which was prepared by researchers at Georgia State University to look at differences in the characteristics across schools in the APS district.  As you will see in Ed Johnson’s letter, […]

Georgia Teachers Continue to Impress: 2014 CRCT Results in Context

Latest Story In this post I am going to show why I think Georgia teachers continue to impress, especially when we look at the 2014 CRCT results in the context of the past decade. In the wake of the Vergara v California tentative decision in which the plaintiffs claimed that lurking in many California classrooms were […]

Why Achievement Test Scores are Poor Indicators of Student Learning and Teacher Effectiveness

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has established a single variable as the way to reward and punish schools, teachers, students and their parents.  The fact that I have used the terms “rewards” and punishments” is evidence enough that the ED is stuck in 19th century psychology. In 2001, the Congress approved the No Child […]

Why No Mention of the Effect of Poverty on Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index?

Georgia released a lot of data about every school in the state which is summarized by a score attained through the College and Career Ready Performance Index. When the results were released this week by John Barge, State Superintendent of Education, the focus was on the new calculation system used to generate a score for […]

Atlanta’s New Superintendent Should Not Agree to Be Responsible for Narrowing the Achievement Gap

Latest Story The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has hired Dr. Meria Carstarphen to be its superintendent for the next three years.  She was hired after a one year search led by 13-member search committee.  She is now superintendent of the Austin Independent School District (TX).  Dr. Carstarphen was the only person put forward to be […]

Children are not Assets to Make Ready for Careers & College

Latest Story There was an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that I believe pertains to K-12 education.  The authors (Krislov, M. & Volk, S.S., 2014) reminded us that college is still for creating citizens. One of their main arguments was that “higher education fails in its mission if it trains graduates only for […]

Will the Atlanta Public Schools Make Foolish or Wise Decisions?

I found this poster while reading over on Dustin Stout’s amazing work on creative design and social media. Dustin was reminded of this Bertrand Russell quote by a colleague, and superimposed it on a photo to make this Russell poster. Russell’s Fools, fanatics and wise men quote resonated with the most recent posts on this […]

Ed Johnson: Atlanta Needs to Reconsider Its Choice for New Superintendent

  Ed Johnson, an advocate for quality education in Atlanta, provides commentary and data questioning Atlanta’s decision to hire Austin’s current superintendent for Atlanta’s superintendency. According to Mr. Johnson, there is great controversy in the process, as well as the choice for superintendent. According an email I received from Ed Johnson, on April 7th, members […]

Science Ideas Have a History: The Case for Interdisciplinary Thinking

Latest Story Figure 1. How was this tool used to “discover” the background radiation made by the Big Bang? In a piece published on the Chronicle of Higher Education, Alejandra Dubcovsky, professor of history at Yale University, says  “to understand science, study history.” Indeed, science teachers have used some stories surrounding the history of science […]

NBC’s Climate Debate: Enabling the Deniers

On NBC’s Feb. 16 edition of Meet the Press a “debate” was broadcast between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican Rep. from Tennessee and David Gregory, the media enabler. On the one hand, its unfortunate that Bill Nye agreed to go on the program and acknowledge by his presence that global warming […]

NBC's Climate Debate: Enabling the Deniers

On NBC’s Feb. 16 edition of Meet the Press a “debate” was broadcast between Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Marsha Blackburn, a Republican Rep. from Tennessee and David Gregory, the media enabler. On the one hand, its unfortunate that Bill Nye agreed to go on the program and acknowledge by his presence that global warming […]

Governor Deal’s Weather Task Force is More of a Mob Than a Problem Solving Team

To improve the state of Georgia’s response to severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal appointed a 28 member task force.  A few years ago, when Atlanta educators were accused of changing answers on student tests sheets, the Governor (Sonny Perdue) appointed a panel of three to investigate and prepare a report.  Why do we need 28 […]

Governor Deal's Weather Task Force is More of a Mob Than a Problem Solving Team

To improve the state of Georgia’s response to severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal appointed a 28 member task force.  A few years ago, when Atlanta educators were accused of changing answers on student tests sheets, the Governor (Sonny Perdue) appointed a panel of three to investigate and prepare a report.  Why do we need 28 […]

5 Qualities of Systems Thinking and Communal Classrooms

Systems thinking teaching and learning can happen in any classroom, but it has a better chance of being successful when the school’s principles and policies are rooted in systems thinking.  However, as you will find out, the qualities that characterize systems thinking classrooms can be applied to any classroom. Systems thinking schools and classrooms seek […]

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You’d Be Plug Wrong!

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You’d Be Plug Wrong! What will it take to convince school boards, departments of education and administrators that using student achievement scores, one of the outputs that we constantly measure in American schools, is not a scientific nor ethical […]

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You'd Be Plug Wrong!

If You Think Student Output as Measured by Achievement Tests Is a Way to Evaluate Teachers, You’d Be Plug Wrong! What will it take to convince school boards, departments of education and administrators that using student achievement scores, one of the outputs that we constantly measure in American schools, is not a scientific nor ethical […]

Instead of School’s Industrial Culture, Students Need the Freedom to Learn

For the past 13 years, American schools have endured a rebirth of an “industrial culture” that is the product of “mechanistic age thinking,” described in-depth by Russell L. Ackoff (public library) in his writings, speeches, interviews and courses.  This rebirth has been waved over us by reformers whose self-interests, wealth, and corporate networks have resulted […]

Instead of School's Industrial Culture, Students Need the Freedom to Learn

For the past 13 years, American schools have endured a rebirth of an “industrial culture” that is the product of “mechanistic age thinking,” described in-depth by Russell L. Ackoff (public library) in his writings, speeches, interviews and courses.  This rebirth has been waved over us by reformers whose self-interests, wealth, and corporate networks have resulted […]

Reforming Education Requires another Way of Thinking: What is it?

In this article I am going to argue that the kind of thinking that will be required to reform education has been part of our culture for decades, but it runs counter to ways that reformists have been “tinkering” with schools, K – college.  This “tinkering” is playing havoc on teachers, students, and parents, and […]

Is the Atlanta School Board Going to Think Differently?

Is the Atlanta School Board (APS) going to think differently? Its composition is different than it was a year ago. Six of the nine member board were elected to the Board in November. On January 14th, the Atlanta School Board met to discuss the nature of the school system, and to draft an APS Statement […]

In Spite of the “System,” Urban Teachers Have a Record of Success

In spite of the “System” the evidence is that urban teachers have a record of success, not one that is spiraling down.  The present state of reform of American education is based on the idea that American students are doing poorly, and this will lead to disastrous economic consequences, and the loss of American’s place […]

In Spite of the "System," Urban Teachers Have a Record of Success

In spite of the “System” the evidence is that urban teachers have a record of success, not one that is spiraling down.  The present state of reform of American education is based on the idea that American students are doing poorly, and this will lead to disastrous economic consequences, and the loss of American’s place […]

A Systems Thinker Reviews The Atlanta Public Schools’ Performance in Reading & Math

Latest Story People are asking for better schools, with no clear idea how to improve eduction, or even how to define improvement of education (except to increase test performance on high-stakes tests). Most people are in favor of improving education.  But when asked how would they improve education, the suggestions are insufficient, and in some […]

A Systems Thinker Reviews The Atlanta Public Schools' Performance in Reading & Math

Latest Story People are asking for better schools, with no clear idea how to improve eduction, or even how to define improvement of education (except to increase test performance on high-stakes tests). Most people are in favor of improving education.  But when asked how would they improve education, the suggestions are insufficient, and in some […]