Does Every Teacher Deserve to Keep Her Job?

Cleveland Schools’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Gordon announced earlier this month that more than 50 Cleveland public school teachers may be terminated based on their performance and/or conduct. According to Gordon, in 41 schools, principals gave notices to 68 teachers that their one-year contracts would not be renewed. Those 68 notices were far more…

Kentucky Senate Hears Charter School Bill Today

This afternoon the Kentucky Senate Education Committee holds a hearing for Sen. Mike Wilson’s (R-Bowling Green) charter school bill (SB 211). I am attending the Annual Symposium of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) in New Orleans today, so unfortunately, I will not be able to testify. Testifying in support of the passage of…

Louisiana: East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Understands Public Schooling in the Era of Parent Choice

Charter schools are expanding in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. In the fall of 2014, new charters have been approved and are scheduled to open in the parish, other charter schools are expanding, and the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board is bracing for a potential reduction in revenue as a result of parents choosing…

Thoughts on Indiana’s Changes to Superintendent Licensure Policy

Indiana legislation (HR 1357) passed in 2013, permits local school boards to hire superintendents without licensure or previous training and experience in schools or educational leadership. The bill passed with the tie-breaking vote of the state’s lieutenant governor. It was the first time an Indiana lieutenant governor passed a tie-breaking vote in eight years. Previous…

Kentucky: New Jefferson County Collective Bargaining Agreement Makes Small Advances but Leaves Much To Be Desired

Last week the Jefferson County Teachers Association’s (JCTA) voting members approved a new contract with the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). Centerpieces of the new agreement include a) no annual raise for JCPS teachers, and b) slight changes to flexibility in hiring for JCPS principals. According to JCTA president Brent McKim, teachers are willing to…

Building a New Teaching Profession in the USA

I recently returned home after spending nearly two weeks in Finland. After meeting with dozens of Finnish education officials, administrators, and teachers, one of several recurrent themes was trust. Finnish educators said repeatedly that trust is a hallmark of their educational system and their relatively recent success on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).…

A Call for Better Prepared High School Graduates: Cases Louisiana and Kentucky

In an op-ed that appeared in the New Orleans Times Picayune today, Louisiana’s state superintendent of education, John White, challenged Louisiana’s education system to do a better job of preparing the state’s high school graduates for college and careers. White, while acknowledging Louisiana’s success with increasing high school graduation rates, asserted that changes in the…

Crying Stories

**This week I am attending the International Symposium on Educational Reform hosted by the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.** Yesterday I got a dose of inspiration unlike any that I have had in some time. It came from two graduate students at the University of Jyväskylä, both from China. The first was a young lady…