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At Dropout Nation: NAEP Dishonor Roll: Urban EditionBaltimore students

Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, and Detroit among districts excluding more than a fifth of kids in special ed and English Language Learner ghettos from the federal exam. (Read More)

 

At Dropout Nation: New America Shows No Child Waiver Mess

The high cost of weakening accountability. (Read More)

 

 

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Three Gifts for Our Children's Futures Young black man reading book.

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I discuss how we can give all children three gifts that can help them succeed. By providing all children with the gifts of literacy, caring, and being firewalkers advocating for systemic reform, we are building brighter futures for all children — especially our own. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: No Silver Bullets PISA

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I take a look at the reaction from traditionalists and reformers to the 2012 PISA, and explains why their respective silver bullets for the nation’s education crisis won’t work. It will take multiple solutions to help all children gain the knowledge they need to write their own stories — and help America remain competitive in an increasingly global economy. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: NEA's $131 Million SpreeDennis Van Roekel

The nation's largest teachers' union spends big to preserve influence. (Read More)

More on NEA Clout-Buying

Lessons From NEA Spending

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Why Common Core (Part 4) graduation

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast -- and part four of the special series on Common Core -- I explain the three challenges facing implementation of the standards and how families can help reformers overcome them. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Empower Families with Data Data

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I discuss how data can help families transform education for their children — and why reformers must do more to provide comprehensive-yet-simple information parents and caregivers need. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Speak Straight Up for KidsArne Duncan

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I explain why U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was right to point out some of the underlying reasons behind opposition to Common Core standards – and why we should also be unafraid to call out failed policies and practices that condemn 120 children an hour to poverty and prison. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: Obama and Duncan Just Give Up

The revised regulations governing renewal of No Child waivers will allow states to just skate by without helping kids succeed – and that’s a consequence of faulty policymaking. (Read More

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Why Common Core (Part 3)Common Core Implementation

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I explain the wrongheaded reasons why movement conservatives, hardcore progressive traditionalists, and others oppose the standards. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: Maryland Tops NAEP Dishonor Roll

How does the Old Line State do so well on the federal exam of student achievement? By excluding at least 60 percent of kids condemned to special ed and English Language Learner ghettos from the test. (Read More

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Why Common Core (Part 2)Algebra

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I discuss how Common Core's math standards can improve numeracy and math skills for all children. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: Lessons for Reformers from the Shutdown

The stalemate between congressional Republicans and the Obama Administration over both fiscal and education policy – along with the internal battles and mistakes that fuel the sparring – will only continue. (Read More

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Why Common Core (Part 1)Black son reading

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I discuss how Common Core's reading standards can help all children achieve success. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: The American Federation of Fat CatsRandi Weingarten at the White House

Nonprofits run by Bill Clinton and Al Sharpton among those receiving some of the $32 million given out by the American Federation of Teachers last year. (Read More) Also read more.

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Nine Keys to Powering ReformLeading

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I consider nine important lessons new players and established reformers must keep in mind in order to transform education for all children. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: The GAO Report on the Bureau of Indian Education: Another Opportunity for ReformPine Ridge High School Graduate

Overhauling a failinng school system -- and redressing the federal government's educational abuse of Native children. (Read More) Photo courtesy of the Argus-Leader.

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Education for Saving Young Black MenSon of David Robinson

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I look at at the latest debate over gun control arising out of incidents such as the massacre at the Washington Navy Yard, and explain how all sides are failing to deal with both the real violence that happens daily that takes the lives of young black men –  and how the education crisis perpetuates the conditions that lead to death and despair. (Listen, Download or Subscribe) Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

The Conversation at Dropout Nation: Sandy Kress on Accountability, Waivers, Common Core and the Power of No Child Sandy and Pauline Kress

On this edition of The Conversation, I chat with No Child Left Behind Act mastermind Sandy Kress about why accountability matters, the consequences of the Obama Administration's efforts to eviscerate No Child's Adequate Yearly Progress provisions on advancing systemic reform, why Common Core supporters must remember that standards won't work without common measures of achievement, and what must be done to end the soft bigotry of low expectations for poor and minority children. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Choose Better Leaders for School ReformBobby Jindal

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I look at the contrasting moves on reform by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and explains why leadership at the gubernatorial level matters. Reformers need to take five key steps to bring more reform-minded governors and other state leaders into office to advance systemic reform. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

On the Road with Dropout Nation: The Call for Parents to Take Power StudentFirstNY Parent Empowerment Conference

On this edition of On the Road, I join Shirley Ford of Parent Revolution, and Carrie Remis of Rochester’s Parent Power Project at StudentsFirstNY’s first annual Parent Empowerment Conference to discuss how families can take power in American public education, focus on the opportunities and challenges of taking on traditionalists opposed to systemic reform, and explain how parents can gain the knowledge they need to build cultures of genius for their children. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: The Tony Bennett Affair: Plenty of Lessons From Which Reformers Must LearnTony Bennett

False accusations, bad decisions, well-deserved apologies, and the consequences of hasty implementation. (Read More)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Beyond Teacher TurnoverCharter School Teacher

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I explain why traditionalists and even some reformers have misplaced concerns about teacher turnover and attrition. Instead of focusing on whether teachers leave the profession, the focus should be overhauling how we recruit and train teachers as well as build a pipeline of talent that leads to high-quality teachers and school leaders into American public education. (Listen, Download or Subscribe) (Photo courtesy of the New York Times.)

The Conversation at Dropout Nation: Scott Barry Kaufman on Nurturing the Potential of Children Scott Barry Kaufman

On this edition of The Conversation, I chat with New York University psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman about his new book, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, and explains why American public education must change how it looks at the potential of all children, talks about how the misuse of IQ tests have contributed to the condemnation of children to special ed ghettos, and discusses what factors into intelligence. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Time to Employ School ReformUnemployment

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I explain how the consequences of the nation’s education crisis can be seen in the abysmally high numbers of long-term unemployed — especially dropouts and high school grads without some higher ed experience for who the future is bleak.  (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: We Need Google Xs for School ReformProject Loon

Reformers should embrace the go big and go smart approach in advancing reform. (Read More)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: March Forward for School ReformMarch on Washington

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I turn attention to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and James Meredith's graduation from Old Miss, then discusses the lessons reformers can learn from the last century's civil rights struggle. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: Another Bad Obama No Child Waiver (Pennsylvania Edition)

 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett  Perpetuating the soft bigotry of low expectations for our children. (Read more)

At Dropout Nation: Common Core and School Choice: Perfect Together

 Young black man with books  All solutions are needed for overhauling American public education for our children. (Read more)

At Dropout Nation: Virginia is Still Dishonest About How It is Poorly Serving Its Kids

 Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe  The Old Dominion stubbornly resists systemic reform. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Beyond School DistrictsPhiladelphia Public Schools

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I look at the financial insolvencies of districts such as Philadelphia and Pontiac, Mich., and explains why their failures exemplify the obsolescence of the traditional district model. It is time to move away from an approach to providing education that has failed children both fiscally and academically.. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

Best of Dropout Nation: One More Time: Education is the Long-Term Solution for Fighting Poverty

 Oakland Classroom  Do I have to say it again? (Read more)

At Dropout Nation: Why the Obama No Child Waiver Gambit is Bad Policy, Part 30

 Barack Obama and Arne Duncan  The CORE waiver and the failures of three states to undertake promised reforms highlights problems with the administration's entire effort. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: The Seven Keys to Parent Power

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I come back from a Parent Power conference and talk about the seven key steps mothers and fathers need to take power in education for their children. From remembering that Parent Power is about fighting for everyone’s children, to understanding how to take their rightful place at the table of education decision-making, embracing these steps can help every parent transform American public education. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

In the New York Times: Focus on All Schools and All Groups

 Kid taking test  The bad and ugly of eviscerating the No Child Left Behind Act's accountability rules. (Read more)

RiShawn Biddle Chats with the Wall Street Journal About Obama's No Child Waiver Gambit

I chat with the WSJ“s Jason Riley about the latest round of the Obama administration’s wrongheaded move to weaken the No Child Left Behind Act’s accountability provisions, opines on the legality of the waiver effort, and discusses whether the tacit effort by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to advance Common Core standards is the right move. (Watch on YouTube or download.)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Time to Reveal Good and Bad Teachers

On this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, I challenge the view of the Los Angeles Unified School District, teachers' unions, and school reformers who oppose revealing the names -- and performance -- of high-quality and laggard teachers. Presenting good-to-great teachers (and poor-performing counterparts) to the public will provide information that helps families, the teaching profession, and, most importantly, all of our children. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: Diane Ravitch Doesn't Deserve to Be Taken Seriously

 Diane Ravitch    A lack of intellectual honesty from the education historian. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Don't Blame Families

On this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, I take aim at dueling mythologies on the role of families in education and student academic failure offered up this month by Fordham's Mike Petrilli and Dana Goldstein of the Nation. Contrary to what they argue, neither values nor poverty are at the heart of the nation's education crisis and achievement gap. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: The Penn State Scandal: A Reminder That We Must Do Better By Our Most-Vulnerable

 Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno    Abhorrent treatment of our kids extends beyond Happy Valley. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Challenge Achievement Gaps Achievement Gaps and Literacy

On this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, a Webinar I conducted for Students For Education Reform leads me to offer some important reasons why now, more than ever, we must focus on stemming achievement gaps. Contrary to what some may think, we must  address the gaps of literacy, opportunity, teacher quality, and practices that has condemned 1.2 million sixth graders alone (and, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, millions more) to the educational, economic, and social abyss. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: End the Failure of School Leadership

On this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, I explain why we need to foster good-to-great principals and superintendents capable of overhauling American public education. From the abysmal record (and recent statements) of Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White, to Los Angeles Unified School District's lousy handling of teacher performance management, we have far too many school leaders who aren't worth of their titles. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At The American Spectator: Teachers' Union Fat Cats

 They're in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, which actually should be camping out in front of their offices. (Read More)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Beyond No Child Left Behind

On this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, I begin mapping out a path for the school reform movement as the Obama Administration and congressional leaders begin eviscerating the No Child Left Behind Act and its powerful accountability provisions. The scale-back of federal education policy offers opportunities for reformers to use grassroots activism and political savvy -- especially learning from the Freedom Rides and 20th-century political mastermind Wayne Wheeler --  in sustaining a decade of gains in overhauling American public education. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: The Importance of Focusing on Achievement Gaps

 Boys    We're not just talking about a few kids. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: No Silence for Our Children

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I discuss the importance of keeping school reform focused on giving all children schools fit for their futures. Discussions over revamping the No Child Left Behind Act and achievement gaps have split the movement — and at the same time, taken away the ultimate focus of reform. It’s time to get back to business. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Globally Challenged for School Reform Parents

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I consider a conversation with fellow vacationers about American public education’s global standing. While our traditional public schools are better than those in developing countries such as South Africa, they are falling behind rival economic powers such as China, India and Singapore. It’s time to live up to the ideals among those around the world who perceive American education as opening doors to liberty and economic success for all of its children. (Listen, Download or Subscribe) (Photo is of the SS Peter and Paul Catholic School in St. Thomas, USVI)

At Dropout Nation: Time for Freedom Riders for School Reform

 Freedom Riders    Lessons for today's reformers from a turning point in the civil rights struggle. (Read more)

At The American Spectator: Romney's Race From the Top

 On school reform and other issues, he may be more suit than substance. (Read More)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Servant Leaders for School Reform

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I glean some lessons from a sermon by Dallas pastor Frederick D. Haynes III and discuss the need for servant leaders for overhauling American public education. As important as education policy is to spurring systemic reform, it is even more important to embrace people such as Geoffrey Canada, Howard Fuller, and Parent Power activists who can serve our geniuses and lead them to brighter futures.  (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At Dropout Nation: Obama and Arne Gut School Accountability

 Obama and Duncan    Decimating the No Child Left Behind Act doesn't help kids or the president's re-election prospects. (Read more)

At The American Spectator: Wards of the State

Benton Harbor, MI   What Michigan's effort to seize control of failed local governments and school districts may mean for other states with similar problems. (Read More) Painting courtesy of Roger Bansemer.

At Dropout Nation: Dear Rick Hess: There's Nothing Wrong With "Achievement Gap Mania"

Helping poor and minority children helps all kids succeed. (Read more)

At The American Spectator: The New Civil Rights Leaders

Pensions   Geoffrey Canada, Steve Perry and others move the NAACP crowd aside. (Read More)

The Conversation at Dropout Nation: Dr. Steve Perry on the Need for School Reform

On this month’s Conversation, Capital Prep principal, school reformer and CNN commentator Dr. Steve Perry discusses his new book, Push Has Come to Shove, explains the steps parents, policymakers, and think tankers must take in overhauling American public education, and takes aim at teachers’ unions, principals and education traditionalists such as Diane Ravitch who defend failure and the Poverty Myth of Education. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Forget Stimulus, Focus on School Reform Obama

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I discuss the two additional steps needed to help every child get the high-quality teachers they deserve. It isn't enough to just address traditional teacher compensation, overhaul evaluations, and improve support for teachers already in the classroom. Additional steps must be taken not only to help our kids, but even elevate the teaching profession itself and attract talented collegians into the ranks.  (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

On Video: RiShawn Biddle at the Connecticut Parents Union's Inaugural Meeting

   Concerns about school data points to deeper problems. Watch on YouTube or Download)

At Dropout Nation: Education's Sophistication Problem: The Troubles with Data

 Concerns about school data points to deeper problems. (Read more)

At The American Spectator: The Unsustainable Cost of Local Pensions

PensionsThe hidden and most-insidious aspect of the nation's defined-benefit pension crisis. (Read More)

On Radio: RiShawn Biddle Talks Pensions, Schools with KOGO-AM's Chris Reed

Listen in on the conversation with the Top Story host about education and pensions. (Download)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: No Apologies for School Reform Civil Rights

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I explain why school reformers should be strident and unapologetic in advocating for overhauling American public education. Contrary to what education traditionalists may say, strong arguments such as those brought by Whitney Tilson, Steven Brill and others is not "rank demagoguery", but the kind of passionate polemicism needed in order to help every child get the education they deserve. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At The American Spectator: Malcolm X: All-American

Malcolm XThe civil rights leader who disdained this country was like mom and apple pie. (Read More)

At Dropout Nation: Why Education is the Best Long-Term Anti-Poverty Program

Camden   Anti-poverty programs aren't enough to help children emerge from despair. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Use School Reform to Advance Civil Rights The Help

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, a viewing of The Help leads me to think about how we must overhaul education to end the economic-based segregation that is leaving poor and minority communities — and America as a whole — behind. Low-quality teaching, abysmal curricula, the lack of choice, and cultures of mediocrity are perpetuating a class divide as pernicious as Jim Crow segregation. (Listen, Download or Subscribe)

At The American Spectator: The Return of No Child Left Behind

Iowa GOP DebateWhy Republican presidential candidates will end up embracing G.W. Bush's school reform mantra. (Read More)

At Dropout Nation: Beyond Race to the Top: What John Kitzhaber Means for State Education Governance

John Kitzhaber   A once-and-future Oregon governor may show the way on a school reform. (Read more)

On Radio: RiShawn Biddle on the Rod Arquette Show

Listen in on the conversation with the KNRS-AM radio host about education and employment. (Download)

At The American Spectator: School of Unemployment

School reform is critical to reviving the economy. (Read More)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: What School Reform Can Learn From Teachers' Unions

On this week's Dropout Nation Podcast, I take a look back at last week's revelation of the American Federation of Teachers' cynical strategizing against Parent Trigger laws and school reform, then explain how reformers and activists can turn that cynicism to their advantage. Becoming more-politically savvy can advance the systemic reforms our kids need to succeed in school and life. (Listen, Download or Subscribe) Also, read the stories, the coverage and the commentaries from The Wall Street Journal, Daily News, National Review and elsewhere. And here is the infamous presentation.

At Dropout Nation: Every Child Should Read Shakespeare.... And Get College Preparatory Curricula

Pen Pad One-size-fits-all education isn't so bad. (Read more)

The Dropout Nation Podcast: Five Critical Questions Every Parent Should Ask

On this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, I offer some steps parents and caregivers can take to get their kids a great education once school starts back up. From asking about math instruction to seeking out information on magnet schools, it is critical for parents to pose simple questions and use the answers to transform American public education. (Listen or Download)

At The American Spectator: Save What Should Be Lost

SOS RallyWhat the Save Our Schools rally really is (Read More) (Photo courtesy of GothamSchools.org)

At Dropout Nation: We Need Oscar Micheauxs for School Reform

Oscar Micheaux

How a legendary auteur's entrepreneurial social change applies to today's challenges. (Read more)

New RiShawn Biddle Radio Page Launched

Joining the HTML5 revolution, this site now offers a new, easy-to-use radio page from which you can access Dropout Nation Podcasts and radio appearances on such shows as Top Story with Chris Reed. New podcasts are made available in descending order with new podcasts and interviews on at the bottom of the list. Check it out. For the time-being, you can also access the old Flash-enabled radio page for last year's Dropout Nation Podcasts and RiShawn's other appearances.