Adapted from 'Default Lines' for eSchool News, print edition, July 2009--Transparency is a popular word these days. It's on the tongue of every oleaginous politician and beleaguered corporate chieftain. But as for actual instances of transparency--in business, government, the news media--well, those instances are still exceedingly rare.

One example of it, however, arrived just last month at a singular conference in Washington, D.C. The meeting was supported by software titan Microsoft. It was organized by the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank. The subject was the progress (or the lack thereof) being made at Philadelphia's School of the Future.

Turns out,...

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