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  1. Maybe instead of racing to the top, we could just stop for a moment and reflect on where we have been for the last 10 or 20 years. We could stop and figure out what has worked and what has not worked. We know testing and a narrowed curriculum have not worked. And we know that “for profit” charter schools, those that skim the best students, don’t work either. We know that ignoring the effects of poverty doesn’t work. We know that merit pay for teachers doesn’t work. It seems we know lots of thing about what doesn’t work. We could have a conversation about what we know does work. You know, those things that the Obama girls have access to at their school. Art, music, theatre, etc. And some others things that many of my high poverty students don’t have. Like health care at a school based health center. Social workers and counselors to help them with their problems. A pupil-teacher ratio that helps make up for the fact that they begin school an average of 18 months behind their non-poverty peers. I could go on and on, but it really isn’t rocket science, and we all know that this isn’t hard to figure out. That 4 billion and change could go a long way to provide lots of great things, especially for our most at risk students. But we all know by now that this really isn’t about our students. That money is already tagged to go directly into the pockets of a few already wealthy individuals. They have already started cashing in. You know them by name. Two bits the first one to name them. Here’s a hint. Follow the big money.

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  2. The problem with creating winners is that there have to be losers. I can accept that when I submit a grant for a research project, but I can’t when we are talking about the nations children and their education. I would rather spend this money on all the children rather than just on children in 10 or 11 states. I want us all to be winners. I think we should recreate the game, and its rules, and refuse to play a game whose rules mean some us have to lose.

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