I am Professor Emeritus of Education at Stanford University. I was a high school social studies teacher (14 years), district superintendent (7 years) and university professor (20 years). I have published op-ed pieces, scholarly articles and books on classroom teaching, history of school reform, how policy gets translated into practice, and teacher and student use of technologies in K-12 and college.
Confessions of a School Reformer appeared in December 2021. In my most recent book, I track my life and career as a student, high school history teacher, district superintendent, and professor as both unfolded during three major school reform movements in the 20th century.
I entered elementary school and graduated high school during the later years of the Progressive movement, taught history and social studies in urban high schools while the struggle for civil rights swept across America, and led a school district as the nation’s schools became swept up in the business-inspired standards, testing and accountability reform movement that began in the 1980s and continues into the 21st century.
In Confessions, I analyze each of these 20th century school reform movements in separate chapters. Following each of those analytic chapters are chapters where I entwine my boyhood and teenage life growing up in Pittsburgh (PA), years I taught high school history and social studies in Cleveland (OH) and Washington, D.C., served as a district superintendent in Arlington (VA), and then as a professor at Stanford University researching teaching, classroom technologies and the history of school reform in the U.S.
Other recent research projects have been a study of Silicon Valley exemplary teachers who integrated technology into their daily lessons–The Path of a Butterfly or a Bullet: Integrating Technology in Classrooms–published in 2018. A look at how I taught history over 60 years ago in two high schools and how history is taught today in those same high schools–Teaching History Then and Now (2016). Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice appeared in 2013. Jane David and I finished a second edition of Cutting through the Hype in 2010.