Anyone with an Appalachian background understands the references in the old Merle Travis song (made popular by Tennessee Ernie Ford) "Sixteen Tons":You load sixteen tons and what do you get?Another day older and deeper in debt;Saint Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go:I owe my soul to the company storeUntil the triumph of … Continue reading Sixteen Tons
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
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
Recently, I posted a response to Steven Brill's piece for Reuters, "The School Reform Deniers" (it was reposted by Raging Chicken Press a few days ago). In it, I call into question what he claims as his journalistic impartiality and also question what he resorts to calling "facts." In the latest issue of The New … Continue reading Education "Facts": Brill v. Ravitch
When someone says:I had no dog in this fightLook out! What they are saying is that they do (or did), but don't want to admit it. Personally, I have never seen any claim of impartiality that proved true. I know, that's a blanket statement, and I am sure instances could be dredged up where someone … Continue reading "No Dog In This Fight"
In a blog post last month, Diane Ravitch introduced a list of reasons to be a little more hopeful about American public education than one might expect to be, given the concentrated and coordinated attack on it we are now in the midst of. What interested me most, however, wasn't the list, but the quick comments she … Continue reading Attacking Education
OK, I'm confused. All these people keep talking about 'value added' as a means of rating teachers. If a teacher is shown to improve student test scores more than the average teacher does, there is added value in that teacher's classroom. I'll buy that, though with reservations. Implied is the notion that there's real value … Continue reading Adding Value?