Today’s February 16th, 66 years ago American and Philippine forces were landing in Corregidor Island in the Philippines to begin what would be ten-day effort to reclaim the island from the Japanese. It’s one of numerous small battles that along with the larger and better known ones added up to the effort to change the strategic map in the Pacific and end the war. Today, though thankfully less bloody, around our country there are numerous labor-management battles that add up to a problematic whole and get in the way of genuinely improving our schools. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is in Denver trying to put a dent in that problem. I’m skeptical that just more collaboration is the solution because that misreads the labor-management landscape to some extent. Nonetheless, Duncan’s opening speech to the assembled crowd is a pretty good place to start a conversation that does need to happen. If you want to think about how far (or not far at all depending on your perspective) the issue has moved, here are highlights of a National Governors Association meeting on the same topic in 2006 (pdf).
Also related to history Fordham Foundation has a new report out today on history standards, well-worth checking out. And worth remembering that if we want to do a better job of teaching kids to read, a key strategy is to do a better job teaching things like history where kids can engage with real and relevant content.