Sunday, March 13, 2016

ICYMI: A Particularly Good Batch of Readings

From the right to the left, from testing to charters, we've got stirring perspectives from a wide variety of observation posts this week. Enjoy!

PARCC Pusher

A look at Opt Out in New Jersey-- and some of the baloney that testocrats are spreading in an attempt to keep those numbers up

Solving the Mystery of the Schools

In the New York Review of Books, Diane Ravitch takes a look at Russakoff's The Prize and Rizag's book about Mission High. And because it's Ravitch, you get a sharp, clear, pithy look at some of the relevant education history.

Rejecting Charter Takeover of Public Schools

Paul Thomas is a gentleman and a scholar, and one of the great services of his blog is the occasional reading list for a particular issue. This is a great resource for building a serious argument against public school takeovers, with some great links on his list.

On Wisconsin

Well, here's what the destruction of tenure looks like on the ground in higher education. Outspoken scholar Sara Goldrick-Rab talks about why she's leaving the university that she has loved and served, and how the assault on tenure is actually an assault on free speech.

Hubris Core

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you are perhaps not a regular reader of Neal McClusky at the Cato Institute. I pretty much never agree with McClusky when it comes to charter schools and the free market in education, but the man is a great representative of the non-loony right-leaning opposition to Common Core.

The Case for a Broader Approach to Education

Another conservative ed reform fan, Jay Greene (no relation) has always shown a willingness to resolve. Here's his piece about how and why he realized he was wrong to think that a narrow focus on math and reading would be good for education.

Easter and Testing

The Rev. Dr. Hope Lee has written a moving and passionate piece about opposition to the testing culture. It was bouncing all over the interwebs yesterday, but if you missed it then, read it now. It's a powerful testament.

Tech Ed

Alfie Kohn is one of the most articulate advocates for human-centered education around. This recent brief look at the role of tech in education is well worth your time.


  1. This excerpt is from a quick blurb from a short AARP interview with Melinda gates.
    I think it's interesting to know that as long as technocrats are funding "reform" there shall be no value to anything that cannot be measured.
    And certainly that what they decide to measure is all that matters.

    The reporter asks:

    How does being a data geek and computer scientist affect your approach toward philanthropy?

    Melinda gates:
    With that background, I'm always asking, "Do we really know whether this program is making a difference? What do the statistics show us?" And if the data doesn't exist, "How do we build a data system to make sure that it does exist?"

  2. There is some hope here that a broad-spectrum of people are realizing that our overemphasis on testing and the high-stakes nature of this testing is damaging our educational systems. The problem now is pressuring the politicians to do something about it. The current crop of presidential candidates seem quite clueless when it comes to educational policy.