Can You Define the Purpose of Education?

August 31, 2016
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by John McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Just as soon as mums start getting color, just as shorebird migration is in full swing, and just as college football rankings start, PDK kicks off the new school year with a healthy of dose of irritation.  For 47 years the PDK poll has welcomed the new school year by trumpeting discord.  It celebrates the diversity of ideas that make our democracy by casting them as lack consensus.  If people had no differences, if consensus ruled, there would be no need for polls.

While PDK is an outstanding organization and its annual poll an important snapshot of public opinion, I take exception with U.S. News & World Report’s lead presentation of the poll’s findings – “There is no consensus among the public about the role of the public school system in the U.S.”

Notably, the poll shows that only 45 percent of respondents thought the main goal of public education should be preparing students academically, while the rest was split between the main goal being preparing students for work or preparing them to be good citizens.

These three “roles” of public education are so similar, so intertwined, so core, that we might conclude that children can’t …

Part 3: How One Man Continues To Support Youth With Special Needs

August 15, 2016

Please see the conclusion to John’s interview with Robyn Shulman of The Huffington Post below:

Let’s talk about today. How does the special education system work for parents who have children with special needs?
For example, if you have

Part 2: How One Man Continues To Support Youth With Special Needs

August 13, 2016

If you would like to read Part 1 click here!

Did you start to see a shift or further results?

In the late 1990s, I was still frustrated. I had been at this for ten years; it should have

Part 1: How One Man Continues To Support Youth With Special Needs

August 12, 2016

John was recently profiled on The Huffington Post by education writer Robyn Shulman. John had a lot to say so I decided to share it based on different subjects. For the original article please visit Shulman’s column.

John, thank

School Reform: Is Disruption Key?

July 22, 2016

A recent piece, in The Atlantic, explored the discussion surrounding the role disruption plays in school reform and if leaders of districts are fully aware of the motivations behind certain initiatives. I spent time with education stalwart John McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Should We Do Away With Grade Levels?

July 1, 2016

Doing Away With Grade Levels

By Dan Domenech | Dan Domenech Blog | June 17th, 2016

It seems sacrilegious, really, but I am advocating that we do away with the K-12 grade level structure in education. Perhaps because it is 

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