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@BarackObama, prove me wrong.

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Today in Real Reform & Innovation, 1/23/12

1/23/12: What happened in the #realreform Twittersphere? EduTweeters weighed in at ASCD’s #LILA12, @NickKristof got an eye-ful, the Parent Trigger continued to spread, & more, after the jump. Read More

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Today in Real Reform & Innovation, 1/20/12

1/20/12: What made #realreform types think, cheer & chuckle? A #CATeaching conference, & having way too much fun with #6wordessay at Michelle Rhee’s expense. More after the jump. Read More

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The other trouble with ‘elites’

Published at The Huffington Post on January 19, 2012

Wednesday morning, Denver progressive radio host David Sirota had DPS Superintendent (and Boulder, CO resident) Tom Boasberg on his show. The segment picked up on a point from Sirota’s recent opinion piece, “America’s dangerously removed elite“: the significance of a high-profile school superintendent who, as neither an educator or a DPS parent, has virtually no stakeholder ties to the school district he runs.

Listening to Boasberg’s comments, I was annoyed (though by now, not surprised) at his refusal to veer away from the standard DPS talking points, and I was grateful that I and other callers had the chance to address at least some of the problems he brushed over. But I spent the rest of the day irked by the fact that he didn’t have to hear what was said, or question himself and his track record.

Though I’m skeptical by nature, I don’t usually question the intentions of most people involved in this or other issues. For the most part, I find it’s not a particularly useful exercise. I’m definitely not naïve enough to discount the role of profit, self-interest, etc. in others’ motivations, but I believe that most people want what’s best for others, even if we disagree on what it takes for that to happen. Likewise, if the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then I am more interested in the evidence for or against a set of proposals than what’s in the hearts of those proposing them.

I do, however, have a big problem with our schools and other public institutions being ruled by a small group of people sharing more or less the same perspective. I have an even bigger problem when these people are powerful, “dangerously removed” elites. I have a few reasons for this. Read More

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Today in Real Reform & Innovation, 1/18/12

1/18/12: What’s the word from #RealReform Twitterbirds? Three biggies: 1) ‘love’ (for Gov. Jerry Brown, again), 2) ‘Data’ (the opposite of love, if tweets about #dayofdata are any indication) & 3) ‘organize’ (to support AZ teachers, students & curricular freedom). Full recap after the jump. Read More