A Big Week for Oakland “Privatization”

Oakland schools were front and center in the national and local debate around, “privatization”, with a front page NY Times article and local stories on a contested visit by Steph Curry to a West Oakland district-run school.  The common point shown in both of these events was the division in rhetoric, and in my view … Continue reading A Big Week for Oakland “Privatization”


How We Effed up the Common Core

Flying from California to New York and stopping in the middle, I moved from relative balmy and calm debates over the common core to fierce storms.  In CA, implementation was delayed, and relatively smooth, with minimal pushback and very few opt outs from testing.  In other places it is very different with an astounding 20% … Continue reading How We Effed up the Common Core


What Has Worked in Oakland– Small Schools

I think it was Nietzsche who said that “every revolutionary tide eventually recedes, leaving only the sludge of a new bureaucracy”.  In Oakland he is wrong. I had a chance to reminisce with some of the architects and builders in Oakland’s New Small Autonomous School and early charter movements this week (Superintendent Chacones, Laura Flaxman … Continue reading What Has Worked in Oakland– Small Schools


So You Want to Start a Charter School?

  You have to be Effing crazy.  I should know.  I have helped folks start schools for 20 years.  I run a school incubator, and that line about being crazy is the opening and closing line of my introductory training.  And I am serious. We don’t have any hedge fund donors, aren’t drinking any free … Continue reading So You Want to Start a Charter School?


Education Reform’s “Other People’s Children” Problem

We have a serious “Other People’s Children” problem in education reform. Many if not most of the spokespeople and decision makers, really don’t represent or often understand the communities they are “reforming.” This has a distorting effect on the reforms and also gives folks the often real impression that reforms are being done to them rather than … Continue reading Education Reform’s “Other People’s Children” Problem