Sunday, October 18, 2015

ICYMI: Loads of Interwebs Goodies

Many goodies this week. Here are some of the better items I found.

Black Women Teachers Need Better Working Conditions

Andre Perry talks about the challenges of holding onto black women teachers in the city, and why it's so important to create the conditions that will help them stay.

The Passion of St. Arne

Many, many people have had something to say about the departure of Arne Duncan. Daniel Katz provides one of the better legacy perspective pieces about the Duncantor.

Why Do Rich Kids Do Better Than Poor Kids in School

Guess what? It isn't the word gap. A serious look at the real reasons behind the "achievement gap."

Are There Edu-tribes, Are They at War, and If So, Who's Winning

Nancy Flanagan responds to Sam Chaltain's excessive optimism about the education debate and the many tribes involved. Can the bridge between tribes be built?

Fostering Convention Awareness in Students

I read everything Paul Thomas writes because it makes me feel smarter. This is probably of most interest to those of us who teach writing, but every one of us who teaches writing absolutely must read this.

Aggressive Reply to Common Core Advocates

Out in Arizona, Sandy Merz lays down an outstanding response to the Core boosters.

We Must Teach for Range and Depth

I've been looking at this James Nehring piece for weeks because it deals with what I consider one of the central problems of the accountability movement these days:

The problem is this: Human judgment is poison to accountability, but it is the basic ingredient for assessment of learning.

Read it. Read all of them. Enjoy your Sunday!


  1. We Must Teach for Range and Depth: I wrote about subjective judgment in a guest post for Chris Guerriri's Education Matters blog a week or so ago. Subjective judgment is valid if it is unbiased. That's what the BS test pushers don't realize or won't admit. Besides, when we come down to the heart of the matter, is the 'objective' test really objective? Doesn't it reflect someone's judgment about what is important and how to measure it? Aren't the cut scores a subjective decision about what is passing and what is not?

  2. I just don't agree that human judgment is poison to accountability. They are complements, not opposites. They inform each other. Our entire legal system is based on human judgment, but does a passable job of holding people accountable. Similarly, most private sector professional firms (including law) have heavy elements of judgment. You're right that the education reform movement doesn't currently emphasize human judgment, but that's an artifact of the history and the status quo.

  3. As a polyglot and an amateur linguist, I totally agree with Paul Thomas.