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Like the dead space of the American mall, the school systems promoted by billionaire un-reformers and titans of finance such as Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family and Michael Bloomberg offer the empty ideological seduction of consumerism as the ultimate form of citizenship and learning.

TD originals

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Never mind, data is good, data is great. It can’t hurt to give the tests, right? Oh, but it can, it really can.

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It is time to acknowledge that the fashionable theory of school reform -- requiring that pay and job security for teachers, principals and administrators depend on their students' standardized test scores -- is at best a well-intentioned mistake, and at worst nothing but a racket.

Larry's List

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Many Dutch citizens are attempting to "de-baptize" themselves to protest Pope Benedict's anti-gay marriage declarations; a national database of gun owners may have helped prevent the Newtown shooting; and although the media insist the president is giving in to the Republicans' demands to make cuts to Social Security, Obama's been trying to reduce it all along. These discoveries and more after the jump.

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With the broadly lamented education bill turning 10 on Sunday and Congress and the White House divided over how to update it, Dana Goldstein at The Nation considers the effects of some of the law's mainstays: the spotlight on the achievement gap, standardized testing, the rhetoric of failing schools and upper-middle-class alienation.

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