Saturday, August 24, 2013

Easing Back In...

The school year is ramping up, so I'm easing my way back into blogging. I'm thinking of a few big posts, but I 'll start as we always do at the beginning of the year with the essential information. And what I've learned from two weeks of meetings, it's this: there's never any excuse for using the non-word 'planfulness,'

That is all.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rhetoric Versus Results

The actual results of current school reform efforts undergo some close study. Not surprisingly, the results don't quite match up with what anyone is saying.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Income Inequality and Academic Performance:


The conclusion that made my heart swell:

But we need to do much more than expand and improve preschool and child care. There is a lot of discussion these days about investing in teachers and “improving teacher quality,” but improving the quality of our parenting and of our children’s earliest environments may be even more important. Let’s invest in parents so they can better invest in their children.

This means finding ways of helping parents become better teachers themselves. This might include strategies to support working families so that they can read to their children more often.. It also means expanding programs like the Nurse-Family Partnership that have proved to be effective at helping single parents educate their children; but we also need to pay for research to develop new resources for single parents.

It might also mean greater business and government support for maternity and paternity leave and day care so that the middle class and the poor can get some of the educational benefits that the early academic intervention of the rich provides their children. Fundamentally, it means rethinking our still-persistent notion that educational problems should be solved by schools alone.

The more we do to ensure that all children have similar cognitively stimulating early childhood experiences, the less we will have to worry about failing schools. This in turn will enable us to let our schools focus on teaching the skills — how to solve complex problems, how to think critically and how to collaborate — essential to a growing economy and a lively democracy.
                                                                        --Sean F. Reardon

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Privatization of Education has always been seen for what it is: an assault. So, why are we suddenly so complacent?

Check out this thoughtful piece that gives some historical background on the trend of private foundations driving school reform. It's pretty fascinating.

The final paragraph is a kicker:
I would find this a worrisome situation for public education even if I thought the education policies of the new large foundations were sound. But I do not. I find the brazenness, arrogance, and disregard for public decision making of current philanthropic attempts to influence federal policy just as dangerous to democracy as the critics of the original foundations contended so vociferously 100 years ago.

Friday, April 19, 2013

More for-profit education "reform"

I will make the leap and assume that I have said enough here that I don't need to even express my disgust with essentially every word used to describe the goals of this "skunk group."