joe nathan

People like John Benson, Fred Easter, Mike Farley, Cam Hedlund, Dan Hoverman, Jay Haugen, Linda Madsen, Curt Tryggestad and Colleen Wambach are on the correct side of what I think is the most important debate, of many in public education: The question is, “Can we, right now, create a much more effective system for students [...]

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Should we “trust teachers” much more than we do now?  A recently published, intriguing, important book urges “yes.” The book,  “Trusting Teachers with School Success,”  is important in part because it has been endorsed by a variety of educators and education activists, many of whom strongly disagree with each other about other issues such as [...]

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Good intentions but no price tag and too many priorities—that’s how I’d describe a new national Equity and Excellence Commission report. Here’s a brief summary of the report and a few reactions. Several years ago, Congress created a 27-member group that included two national teachers union presidents, college faculty, several lawyers and directors of education [...]

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This week I thought about people like Wayne Pikal, Ramona de Rosales, Doug and Dee Thomas, Eric and Ella Mahmoud and Keith Lester.  Foundation support helped these “practical visionaries” carry out their very good ideas.  This issue comes up, in part, because the Minnesota-based Bush Foundation is seeking a new education director, to help identify [...]

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  Minnesota educators, students, parents and policy-makers received another honor last week: the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranked our state’s charter law as number one in the country.  Thanks to a strong law, suburban and rural, as well as urban Minnesota families have high quality options, including district and charter schools. Most Minnesota [...]

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In some ways, Penny, Pete and Paul were very different.  Penny was a blonde, blue-eyed teenager who grew up on a farm in East Central Minnesota, with 10 younger brothers and sisters.  Pete, who sometimes colored his hair, lived in a western Twin Cities suburb with his single parent mom.  Paul was a tall, handsome, [...]

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