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USA Today Covers Launch of Rethink Learning Now

Greg Toppo of the USA Today covered today’s launch of the Rethink Learning Now campaign. See what he had to say.

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What Would Theo Do?

I’m a lifelong Red Sox fan, so as this year’s trading deadline approaches, I’m wondering once again what Theo Epstein, the GM of my beloved Boston Red Sox, will do to improve his team’s chances of winning their third championship in six years — after not winning one for eighty-six. I’m also a lifelong public education fan, so with the Department of Education’s Race to the Top Fund poised to provide billions of dollars in competitive grants, I’m wondering if Arne Duncan can do for public schools what Theo Epstein has done for the Red Sox — take a maligned institution known more commonly for its failures than its successes, and turn it into a perennial winner. Duncan should start by asking himself a simple question —What Would Theo Do?

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Why Send My Son to Public School?

Earlier this week, Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced the latest hopeful sign for D.C.’s public schools – a spike in citywide student reading and math scores. “We’re thrilled at the progress we’ve made this year,” said Rhee. “We still have an incredibly long way to go.” I’m grateful for the early improvements in the D.C. schools – and I share Chancellor Rhee’s caution. We all know standardized test scores offer just one window into the health of a school system. Any business school student also knows it’s foolish to judge an organization’s overall health based on a single measure of success. And yet the United States is the only nation with an accountability system based solely on standardized test scores. We can do better. That’s why local leaders like Michelle Rhee, and national leaders like Arne Duncan, should lead the charge in demanding a better accountability system for our schools. Here are four things we could do that would make a difference:

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Our Children Deserve Democratic Schools

A few years ago, a reporter in Columbia, South Carolina asked local elementary school children why America celebrates the Fourth of July. Most of the answers were predictably personal. To eat hot dogs, said one boy. To watch fireworks, a girl answered. Another child thought we all celebrated the Fourth of July because it was his brother’s birthday. One student, a fifth grader from Nursery Road Elementary School named Vante Lee, gave a different answer. “We celebrate the 4th of July,” he said, “because we celebrate our freedom and the chance to make our own decisions.” Click here to keep reading.

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Will We Do What it Takes to Improve Public Eduication?

Want to imagine a different path to improving public education in this country? Take my 15-minute challenge.

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