Education

"A Quiet Revolution--Charter schooling's first 25 years"

More charter schools would go a long way toward fixing the problems of K-12 education.

. . . the charter school movement, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall—was a collection of principles that will be familiar to conservatives especially. Charter schools explicitly shifted power from the government to individuals and neighborhood organizations. They prioritized local needs and local decision-making. They trusted families and practitioners to have better information and more wisdom than technocrats. They made room for entrepreneurialism and innovation. They cultivated a diversity of school options to suit a pluralistic society. They focused governments on outcomes instead of inputs. They emerged from piecemeal reform of a longstanding institution, which proceeded slowly from modest community initiatives, not all at once in accord­ance with grand plans devised by experts.


"Too Late to Save English Departments?"

I'd vote "yes".

I am not alone. I have published stories by other adjuncts and even tenured professors who find themselves publicly ridiculed and ostracized for not adhering to the dominant ideology.

What we need is a populist movement that demands that English professors fulfill their job descriptions and teach literature and writing. We don’t have that at the university level.


"Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions"

I won't defend the $ estimate, but I could defend the diagnosis. And this is the beginning of a solution:

Of all the serious problems in the American workplace, this one is the most solvable. And we can solve it one company, one culture, one worker at a time.

The first step is to adopt what I call “The Iron Imperative” in everything you write: treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own. To embrace it means that every time you send an email or write a document, you must take a moment to structure it for maximum readability and meaning. We are lazy; we’d rather save our own time than someone else’s. But writers who adopt The Iron Imperative stand out in the workplace for clarity and efficiency, and are more likely to get ahead. Workplace cultures that adopt it will reduce their poor writing tax.


"L.A. Unified's affordable housing units fill up, but not with teachers"

This week's bulletin from the land of You Can't Make This Stuff Up.

In the mid-2000s, in the midst of a housing boom, the Los Angeles Unified School District realized that skyrocketing rents were fueling teacher turnover.

Nearly half of all new teachers in some neighborhoods were leaving the district after three years. L.A. Unified was pouring millions of dollars into training new hires, only to watch them pick up and go.

Two below-market apartment complexes were built on unused district land and a third is under construction. Today, both are fully occupied. But not one L.A. Unified teacher lives in them.