What Counts Most in Education? Intellect or Interest? Facts or Soul?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In what most surely be the most famous statement by David Coleman, the architect of the Common Core standards, he said that “no one gives a s— what you think or feel.” In place of personal motivation, Coleman stresses cool intellectual analysis of text and problems in the Common Core. Fiction, which might dwell too much on emotion, takes a back seat to informational text.

But this is wrong, says blogger John Chase. Even in the world of business, employers find that their most valued workers are engaged in their work. They bring passion to doing it well. The best places to work have a “soul,” and they strive to keep their workers engaged and purposeful.

He writes:

“K-12 education programs that claim to prepare students for college and careers should be focused more on cultivating a wide array of social and emotional competencies that are transferable workforce skills…

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Is Progressive Schooling Just Around the Corner? (Part 2)

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Predicting the future, well, is iffy. Except for an occasional Nate Silver who became famous in calling the 2012 election of Barack Obama, more often than not, predictions of what is around the corner range from goofy to funny. I do laugh at the big bloopers made by smart people about the future (see here). And I have gotten off a few clumsy ones of my own. So, at best, I am somewhere between occasionally right and, more often than not, wrong.

But my lack of success has yet to stop me from looking around the corner. The previous post asked whether a progressive coalition was forming to challenge frontally the current efficiency-driven, standards-based, testing and accountability movement that has dominated public schooling for the past three decades. I would like to think so but my experience, research, and ability to read portents of the future do not add…

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Columbia Economist Says Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff Are Wrong About VAM

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Moshe Adler, professor of economics at Columbia University, has emerged as one of the most incisive critics of the work of Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Jonah Rockoff on Value-added measurement (VAM).

In the recent Vergara decision about tenure for teachers in California, the study by Raj Chetty and John Friedman of Harvard and Jonah Rockoff of Columbia played a prominent role. But according to the economist Moshe Adler the study is wrong and misleading. According to Adler, the authors suppressed a result that contradicts their main claim, they picked and chose which data sets to use, they used a misleading method of analysis that inflated their results and they misrepresented research that contradicts their claims as supporting them. These are just a few of the problems with the scientific integrity with the study. Adler wrote his review for the National Education Policy Center and it can found at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2014/06/adler-response-to-chetty)

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HuffPost: How the Koch Brothers Are Bringing Their Ideas to High School Students

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The fabulously wealthy Koch brothers have developed a plan to teach their libertarian ideas to high school students. It is sort of like tobacco companies teaching students that smoking is good for you.

They have used their vast resources to identify like-minded teachers, to train them and to supply course materials. Their program, called Young Entrepreneurs, is growing in Kansas, Missouri, and other states.

What do they teach? “Lesson plans and class materials obtained by The Huffington Post make the course’s message clear: The minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper. Public assistance harms the poor. Government, in short, is the enemy of liberty.”

The course didn’t take hold at an elite private school but public schools seem eager for the support and resources.

Another way to sum it up: Greed is good. Look out only for yourself.

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Mark NAISON: Are Charter Schools the Subprime Mortgages of Today?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mark NAISON, co-founder of the BATs, explains why he thinks that charter schools are the subprime mortgages of our time.

The video wa made by videographer Michael Elliott.

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Is Progressive Schooling Just Around the Corner? (Part 1)

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

My record in predictions is, at best, half-wrong and half-right. I have no special powers in looking around the corner. My record in figuring out what is cresting, what will take hold and spread and what will disappear is unenviable.

Not an encouraging way to entice readers to continue, I admit. Nonetheless,  let me tell you what signs I see of a possible progressive coalition emerging. This is impressionistic, to be sure, filled with guesses, occasional fumbles, and error. But there might just be something brewing politically across the country that is emerging as a  counter to the three-decade long concentration on top-down federal, state, and foundation-funded curriculum standards, testing, and accountability.

What do I mean by “progressive?’ In the decades between the 1890s and 1940s, “progressive education” in the U.S. was the reigning political ideology of schooling. There were two main ideas, anchored in what was then…

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FAIRTEST: The Weekly Round-Up on Resistance to Testing

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Parents, educators, students and activists in many communities are using the “quiet” summer months to plan campaigns that will build the assessment reform movement’s power once schools reopen. Across the country, more and more media outlets are reporting on the impact grassroots organizing already has made on policy-makers.

Remember that archived issues of these weekly updates are online at http://fairtest.org/news — a quick review of the clips demonstrates how much progress Testing Resistance & Reform Spring made this year.

How California Can Drive Reform With Better Instruction Not More Testing

Connecticut Professor: We’re Teaching to the Test, Not for Students’ Futures


Florida Schools Need “Recess” From Test-Driven Evaluation


FairTest Challenges New Florida Test-Based Scholarship Program as Race, Gender Biased


Louisiana Schools Stare Into Common Core Testing Abyss


A “Test” for New Jersey Governor’s Standardized Exam Study Commission


New Mexicans Test Legislators About Flawed Teacher…

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