Social studies students in a District middle school use a touch screen to swipe through the articles of the Constitution. A fifth-grade teacher in Arlington County sends video lessons to students as homework so she can spend more time helping them in class.Read full article >>
On the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared the “separate but equal doctrine” in public education to be unconstitutional, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the first African-American to hold that position, delivered the following speech at commencement on the campus of Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore. Here’s the text of remarks as prepared for delivery by Holder, ceremony in Baltimore on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The transcript was provided by the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs.Read full article >>
I know that the headline of this post is open to debate. What I like in a commencement speech may not be what you like in a commencement speech.
But for the sake of non-school reform argument, I’m going to declare for the moment that the greatest commencement speech ever was not the famous Steve Jobs speech of 2005 at Stanford (“Stay hungry, stay foolish”) … and it was not the 1941 Winston Churchill speech at Harrow School (in which, incidentally, he did not, as famously reported, stand up, say “Never give up, never give up, never give up,” and then sit down) … and it was not the one Dolly Parton gave at the University of Tennessee in 2009 (“What has worked for me may not work for you… wigs, tight clothes, push-up bras”) … and it was not the one Jon Stewart gave at the College of William and Mary in 2004 (“Thank you Mr. President, I had forgotten how crushingly dull these ceremonies are”) … and it was not the one Kermit the Frog gave in 1996 at Southampton College (“As we say in the wetlands, ‘Ribbit-ribbit-kneedeep-ribbit,’ which means ‘May success and a smile always be yours … even when you’re knee-deep in the sticky muck of life.’”) And it wasn’t any of these other hilarious speeches.Read full article >>
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws establishing separate schools for black and white students were unconstitutional in the historic case Brown vs. Board of Education. I’ve published a few pieces on the legacy of the decision, here and here. Following is a new piece on where the United States should go from here to realize the promise of Brown. It was written by U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, a Democrat who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union.Read full article >>
Dozens of student and alumni at the Harvard Graduate School of Education issued a statement (see below) protesting the selection of Colorado state Sen. Michael Johnston (D) as the school’s 2014 commencement speaker because, they say, he “embraces a vision of education reform that relies heavily on test-based accountability while weakening the due process protections of teachers.”Read full article >>