Saturday, January 5, 2013

One Page Primer on Education Reform Debate

One Page Primer on Education Reform Debate

From Education Week, Anthony Cody, Living in Dialogue Blog; see the full article at:

"No Excuses" Reform solution or side effect
Social Context reform solution
Low income children lag in educational success, compared to children with higher socioeconomic backgrounds.
Three decades of standards-based testing and corporate-controlled, data-driven accountability to close the test-based achievement gap
Legislated, top-down reform policies that blame teachers of low-income children.
Narrow test prep-focused curriculum, especially for students in high poverty schools.
Actively recognize inequities in society and work to reverse them systematically.
Teacher preparation closely linked to practice, and opportunities to work alongside experienced teachers, who work closely with parents and community leaders to improve education.
Public schools in lower income communities produce much worse outcomes, and in the poorest areas, outcomes are tragic.
Reward affluent and middle-class schools in affluent and middle-class neighborhoods and punish schools in impoverished neighborhood.
Desegregation programs, with an emphasis on high quality schools for all.
Urban and rural communities and school systems are struggling under the weight of escalating child poverty among all ethnic groups.
Children arrive at school lacking vision, dental and health care.
Provide adequate and equitable funding for all schools, including nurses, social workers, and support services where needed.
Universal healthcare (including eye care, dental care) for children and families with children
Increasing segregation, as the most economically needy children are trapped together by residency requirements in desperately dysfunctional, under-resourced schools, in physically dangerous environments where theproblems of violenceand social disconnectedness impact all the children in a school.
Drain public school funding for parental choice policies that reinforce stratification found in those parental choices.
Privately operated charter schools, segregated by race and socioeconomic status
Pursue "mass localism," with educators, parents and communityengaging in place-based education, rooted in community history and needs.
The accumulated public and individual wealth of this generation was somehow "lost" in the financial collapse, so we have insufficient funds available to educate our children
Poor, Latino/Black, special needs, and ELL students assigned disproportionately inexperienced and un-/under-certified teachers.
Ignore the conditions that promote high turnover, and instead recruit TFA or other alternatively certified teachers for these students.
Address conditions that promote high turnover. Develop teaching talent from the local community, reflecting the ethnic and cultural composition of the students. Createresidency programs to train and retain teachers. Honor experience to retain teachers.


  1. Thanks for posting. Readers need to keep this in mind when they see PA's report card from Michelle Rhee and Students First (no excuses camp). PA received a D+ since in their opinion, our schools should have a letter grading system. Smoke and mirrors!


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