Brill: Another round of promises

September 17, 2009
It’s election season in New Haven, and that means it’s time to talk about our city’s public schools. Just ask Mayor-for-life John DeStefano, who somehow feels the need to make a litany of hollow promises without either any hope of fulfilling them or a serious challenger. This election cycle, DeStefano has hopped on the school »

Brill: A higher, more even bar

September 3, 2009
Imagine it’s September 2012. The Yankees are on their way to their fourth consecutive championship, the economy is booming again and for the first time in American history educators will open classrooms around the country with a common understanding of what their students must learn. I can dream, can’t I? But this may not be »

Brill: No more worrying about Jindal

February 27, 2009
On Tuesday, I may have watched the worst political speech of my short life. And I couldn’t have been more elated. For months, even years, pundits have built up Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, as the second coming — which in today’s political terms means another Barack Obama. Here was another son of »

Brill: No gimmicks for schools

October 17, 2008
After Wednesday night’s presidential debate, I found myself arguing with a friend about the candidates’ education policy. McCain was mostly right, I insisted, that vouchers can be a useful tool for parents in widening school choice, while my friend countered that McCain only wanted to sap money from public schools and create an inequitable hierarchy »

With visionary education policy, Obama is best bet

November 7, 2007
This summer, Avery Martinez, a seventh grader from Williamsburg, Queens, convinced me that we need Barack Obama to be our next president. In an advisory session I taught at Breakthrough Collaborative in New York, I asked the students — all talented, low-income, mostly minority middle schoolers — to name three role models, dead or living. »