The former director of the American Association of School Administrators outlines a coherent countervision for turning schools back into places that nurture children.

Getting the Words and Symbols Right

Getting the words and symbols right

What we got here is a failure to communicate.

—Warden in Cool Hand Luke

One of my favorite old movies is Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. In the movie, Luke is jailed for cutting off the tops of parking meters. He wasn't stealing the money; like a lot our children who act out in school, he was just staving off boredom. He told the judge it was just something to do. Once he is sent to a prison work camp somewhere in the Deep South, his behavior doesn't really change. His rebellious attitude soon puts him at odds with the warden. After sending him several times to spend a night in “the box,” a very ...

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