We hold tightly to the idea of a public education system in the United States because while rich kids have been getting an education forever, poor kids have historically remained uneducated. Americans think of the public education system as the insurance that we truly live in a meritocracy where hard-working kids can rise above their family’s socioeconomic stature. Read more

The cacophony of parents talking about their great charter school is really disheartening. There is no evidence that charter schools work. And the reason for this is that no one knows how to reform schools effectively and charter schools are schools.
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This is a guest post from YesMyKidsAreSocialized. Her name is Elizabeth and she is a parent to three girls that are being unschooled. They reside in the Los Angeles, CA area. This is a picture of her daughter.

After a recent interview he gave while in Beijing, the news that Elon Musk of Tesla, SpaceX and PayPal created his own school for his children spread all over the internet.

My husband works at SpaceX, so I have known about this school for a while, but all my husband would tell me was that there was a school called Ad Astra that was going to be for the children of SpaceX employees.  My interest and curiosity had been piqued. Read more

When we talk about school reform, we never talk about the problems that are impossible to overcome. So often I hear people talking about opting out of tests, volunteering in the classroom, improving arts education—as if these things will make a significant difference. Read more

This is a guest post by Anya Kamenetz, pictured above with her daughter. Kamenetz leads education coverage at NPR, and her new book is The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing – But You Don’t Have to Be.

Between kindergarten and 12th grade, students in the US on average take 113 standardized tests. There is a huge movement among parents to protect their kids from this onslaught of tests. And the teachers generally can’t stand teaching to the tests, or administering the tests. Which makes you wonder, why is the testing culture so entrenched in our schools—even among school reform leaders? Read more

A large percentage of the emails I get from this blog are from teachers. Some teach in a classroom but keep their kids out of school. Some don’t have kids but they read this blog because they are sure they won’t put their kids through what they see their students going through. Many teachers who read this blog feel stuck. So this post is for them.  Read more

Americans love to debate what, exactly does it mean to be rich.  This is probably because we don’t have a handy divider like the British class system.

Do you see this Lego person as rich? Did you say yes? You are right:

Which goes to show that when it comes to rich, it’s hard to define but we know it when we see it.

Yet still, we fret about even the middle-class label for ourselves. Read more

As a society we believe that kids should save some things for later in life.

The easiest example of this is sex. We don’t think it benefits kids to do it early. Even though for centuries older people have forced kids to have sex with impunity, we do not accept that in our society. It’s statutory rape until the youngest of the two people is 16 or so. Read more

When my kids want to know something, they search for it on YouTube. It would kill me to watch a video to find out where Tajikistan is. But the kids go to YouTube for everything. Read more