The Forum Defends Linda Darling-Hammond

Recently, a number of news editorials and opinion pieces have attempted to discredit Stanford professor (and Forum convener) Linda Darling-Hammond, one of Barack Obama’s top candidates to become the next secretary of education.

In response, several of us here at the Forum have penned response letters, in which we try to set the record straight and explain why she would be the ideal choice. Pedro Noguera and Larry Myatt responded to a piece in the Huffington Post. Sam Chaltain wrote a letter to the editors of the Washington Post. Other conveners have also weighed in.

Forum Outlines Policy Landscape, New Organizational Strategy at CES Fall Forum

On Saturday, November 8, The Forum hosted a featured session on education policy at the Coalition of Essential Schools' Annual Fall Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

During the session, Conveners Carl Glickman, Deborah Meier, Larry Myatt, Ted Sizer and George Wood spoke about the Forum's three primary issue areas -- Teaching & Learning, Governance & Accountability, and Equity & Access -- and what they hoped to see from an Obama administration.

The Latest Nation at Risk Report

We feel compelled to report to the American people that the business and financial foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur— companies that extolled themselves as models of excellent practices have deceived the American people with sloppy, undisciplined, and greedy practices that are driving  Americans out of their homes, threatening their retirements, and dashing their hopes of a financially  secure future. Indeed, if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre corporate financial performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.

One Day at School, Mr. President

It’s mid-October, and with the Presidential Election less than a month away public education is still not playing a major part in the campaign, or in voters’ decisions.  The crumbling financial situation, concerns over health care, and the war in Iraq are all more important to the voters and the candidates. And yet, come January, our new President will appoint a Secretary of Education and begin to influence, if not direct, federal education policy.

Constitution Day

The Forum is pleased to announce that Sam Chaltain has taken the position of National Director and has joined our Washington, DC office.  We asked Sam to introduce himself in this newsletter.  Here are his thoughts....

Back to the Classroom

by Guest Blogger Harry Feder

After a year of practicing law in the pursuit of commerce (my second stint as a litigator; the first one lasted eight years), I am returning to the high school classroom.  I am excited and a little nervous at the prospect.  In my first go round as a teacher, I taught social studies at Urban Academy in New York City, a small public high school that affords its teachers immense curricular freedom and that graduated students based on performance assessments – analytical papers, science and research projects, solutions and explanations to applied mathematical problems, public presentations – that truly assessed their college-ready skills.

The County Fair; A New School Year

Last week I spent a day at the county fair, seen here as the last event of the summer before school opens.  I watched parents guide their children to spend a few minutes looking at the cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and goats before heading back to the mid-way.  And I watched surreptitiously as the new high school and middle school romances paraded by hand-in-hand.  But the biggest event of the day was the annual livestock sale, where kids sell at auction the livestock they had brought for judging after a year of feeding, grooming, and training.

What I Learned in School This Year

For one of the few times this year, I am alone at school.  It is the weekend after all the reports were due for state accountability, after the final requests for next year’s materials were sent to the treasurer’s office, and after I sent off my final report to the school board.  Time to clean up my desk, catch up on some reading, write some notes to faculty members—and  think about what I learned in school this year.

Federal Policy and One High School

On June 16th and 17th Conveners of The Forum will brief House and Senate staffers on our report, “Democracy At Risk.”  Released in April, the report was praised by Representative George Miller as a good place to start in rethinking the federal role in supporting our public schools.  Indeed, when I think about federal policy and education I always begin by thinking about how what Washington does effects the 500 or so kids for whom I am responsible every day.

Education and the Making of a Democratic People

In this newsletter, Forum Convener John Goodlad shares with us his most recent book, Education and the Making of a Democratic People.  It is, as everything John has written, a reminder and a challenge.