Pedro Antonio Noguera's blog

Balancing the Education Equation

by Pedro Noguera and John H. Jackson

(The Answer Sheet, The Washington Post, May 16, 2012)

If it takes a village to raise a child, the same village must share accountability when many children are educationally abandoned. In New York City, the nation's largest schools system, on average, student outcomes and their opportunity to learn are more determined by the neighborhood where a child lives, than his or her abilities.

Confronting challenges of American education, 'civil rights' issue of our time

by Pedro Antonio Noguera

Special to CNN 'In America' blog May 24, 2012

For the Past 25 years I have been working as an educator, researcher and policy advocate.

I am also the parent of four children who have attended public schools.

In each of these roles I have tried to improve public education and advance the educational rights of children, particularly those who have historically been poorly served.

Given my background, I was pleasantly surprised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent assertion that education was "the civil rights issue of our time".

Romney is only the most recent politician to connect changes in education to civil rights.  Similar remarks have been made by President Obama as well.

Why I Resigned From The SUNY Board of Trustees

by Pedro Antonio Noguera

For four years, I was appointed to serve as a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees by Gov. David A. Paterson.

Not long after being appointed I was asked by the chairman, Carl Hayden, to serve as the chairman of the committee that oversaw the authorization of charter schools.

I knew that this would be a controversial position but I agreed to serve because I supported the original idea behind the creation of charter schools: that they could serve as educational sites where innovative practices could be developed that could be used to benefit children in public schools.

I also hoped that with SUNY behind them, the charter schools we authorized could serve as models of "best practice" for expanding access to college and improved forms of teacher education.

What Works in School Turnarounds?

by Alan M. Blankstein and Pedro Antonio Noguera

(commentary in Education Week)

An important feature of the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative is the call to turn around failing schools.  The policy calls for persistently failing schools to be subjected to specific turnaround strategies, and $3.5 billion in federal School Improvement Grant funds has been allocated to support the effort.

We applaud President Barack Obama's desire to address this pervasive problem.  However, we are concerned that the approach prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education, while well intentioned, is misguided.  Because of the vast sums of federal dollars that have been directed toward this effort and the narrow timeline under which changes are expected to be made, we are seeing a new industry of "turnaround experts" emerge, most of whom have no track record of helping struggling schools.

Let's Change Course, Mr. President

This is Forum Convener Pedro Noguera's speech at the Save Our Schools rally on Saturday, July 30th, on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.

Someone needs to tell President Obama to get out here, because his base is getting out ahead of him.

Obama has a Long Way to Go on Education Reform

(CNN) -- President Obama should be applauded for keeping education at the top of the nation's policy agenda at a time when so many other important issues -- the ongoing recession, two wars, health care, etc. -- demand his attention.

He was right to urge parents to do their part to reinforce the importance of education with their children, and he is to be commended for recognizing the important role of teachers who so often are blamed for the failings of our nation's schools.

Beyond Silver Bullets for American Education

By Pedro Noguera and Randi Weingarten, December 22, 2010
previously published in The Nation

Some of today's leading school "reformers" claim that the primary cause of the ills affecting American education is a glut of bad teachers, and that the unions that represent them are the major obstacles to progress. How does this viewpoint square with what is happening in our schools?

A New Vision of School Reform

(first published on May 27th, 2010 in The Nation)

Before his election President Obama carved out what many regarded as a more progressive and enlightened position on education reform. Recognizing that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) had become widely unpopular because of its overemphasis on standardized tests, he declared, "Don't tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend too much of the year preparing him to fill out a few bubbles in a standardized test." He pledged to lead the nation in a different direction.

We Need a Win-Win Strategy for Education

President Obama has made it clear from the earliest days of his presidency that he intended to make education a high priority for his administration.  He will reaffirm that commitment this week when he addresses the nation on the topic.  In one of his first presidential addresses, he made a special appeal to students at risk of dropping out: “… [D]ropping out of high school is no longer an option.  It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country, and this country needs and values the talents of every American.”

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