If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I’ve been interviewing a lot of folks who are well known in education, Debbie Meier, Margaret Spellings, Diane Ravitch, Pat Callan and others. Many readers have posted comments, which I read with interest. Sometimes I wonder about the writers, and sometimes I reach out.
This post came from my interest in one reader’s comments to my recent post on innovation in schools. His name is Philip Kovacs, and he’s a former high school English teacher who now teaches would-be teachers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I also know that he has a PhD in Educational Policy Studies, a 6 month-old son, and some strong convictions about public education. (The latter is the focus of the interview, although the proud new Dad manages to work his son into the conversation a couple of times).
So tell me what you believe, and why.
In my dissertation I argue for keeping public schools public, but after four years working with local public schools, I’m open to alternatives. I am now working on starting a project-based lab school.
How did you find Learning Matters?
It was research into the Gates Foundation that brought me to your website in the first place. The Foundation funds an unbelievable number of projects, some of which argue against one another, though the larger of the funded organizations agree on key points, none of which, in my humble opinion, are very innovative. I do not, for the record, think Bill Gates is controlling your content!
I am now editing a book about the Gates Foundation’s involvement in educational reform. I am 100% sure that the edited volume is going to anger the educational “right” and “left.”
You sound as if you want to anger both ends of the spectrum.
I guess I do, now that you mention it. Three years ago I helped about 30 scholars, teachers, and other concerned individuals create and post a petition calling for an end to No Child Left Behind. Continue reading →