Badass Mark Naison and the Growing Conflict in American Education: A Book Review

One of the many carefully orchestrated myths of the corporate “reformers” who have hijacked American education this century is that opposition comes only from the Tea Party and from teachers union ‘dead enders.’ All right-thinking Americans, the myth goes, recognize that our public schools have failed and that education in the United States can only be … Continue reading Badass Mark Naison and the Growing Conflict in American Education: A Book Review

"They Are Different"

Cross-posted from the Academe blog:This morning, Diane Ravitch quotes from Mike Lofgren's story in The American Conservative, "Revolt of the Rich." She comments: What is so astonishing these days is that the super-rich... have control of a large part of the mainstream media. They can afford to take out television advertising, even though their views are … Continue reading "They Are Different"

Research: When Is Enough Enough?

This morning, a post from Diane Ravitch's blog appeared in my mailbox. Titled "Accused of Sexism!," it tells a story of how an assumption of provenance can lead in peculiar directions.Ravitch had assumed from her own cursory look that the so-called "Parent Trigger" had originated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Where it came … Continue reading Research: When Is Enough Enough?

Biometric “Hysteria”?

Diane Ravitch may be adamant and forceful... but hysterical? In a post today, she refers to another, one by Gary Houchens, a professor of "Educational, Leadership, & Research" at Western Kentucky University. His is entitled "Biometric hysteria: the anti-research mentality of the educational status quo." In a postscript Ravitch writes: I do not like to … Continue reading Biometric “Hysteria”?

‘I Don’t Have Time for This Nonsense’

Via Diane Ravitch's blog I've been learning more about the Gates Foundation desire to explore galvanic skin-response monitors as a classroom tool. Ravitch links to an article providing a hint of the rationale:Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids … Continue reading ‘I Don’t Have Time for This Nonsense’

Just What Are We Assessing? (Sigh)

High-stakes reading comprehension exams, at least one that I know of, for high-school students give line references pointing to the source for the correct answers to each question. It is possible to get a perfect score without ever having read the passage--just having used the cues. What, then, is being assessed? Certainly not ability to … Continue reading Just What Are We Assessing? (Sigh)

Skinner, Freire… and Ravitch

In a speech last week, Diane Ravitch said:The philanthropists and Wall Street hedge fund managers and Republicans and the Obama administration and assorted rightwing billionaires have some ideas about how to change American education. They aren’t teachers but they think they know how to fix the schools. Their ideas boil down to this strategy: NCLB … Continue reading Skinner, Freire… and Ravitch

Diane Ravitch: The Virtue of Admitting Error

In a speech last week, education expert Diane Ravitch (and not for the first time) did something that our politicians are scared to death of doing: She admitting that she can be, and has been wrong:I said that I was wrong. I was wrong on every count. Testing should be used for diagnostic purposes, to … Continue reading Diane Ravitch: The Virtue of Admitting Error