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Steve Ransom

The fantasies driving school reform: A primer for education graduates - The Answer Shee... - 5 views

  • Richard Rothstein
  • In truth, this conventional view relies upon imaginary facts.
  • Let me repeat: black elementary school students today have better math skills than white students did only twenty years ago.

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  • As a result, we’ve wasted 15 years avoiding incremental improvement, and instead trying to upend a reasonably successful school system.

  • But the reason it hasn’t narrowed is that your profession has done too good a job — you’ve improved white children’s performance as well, so the score gap persists, but at a higher level for all.
  • Policymakers, pundits, and politicians ignore these gains; they conclude that you, educators, have been incompetent because the test score gap hasn’t much narrowed.
  • If you believe public education deserves greater support, as I do, you will have to boast about your accomplishments, because voters are more likely to aid a successful institution than a collapsing one.
  • In short, underemployment of parents is not only an economic crisis — it is an educational crisis. You cannot ignore it and be good educators.
  • equally important educational goals — citizenship, character, appreciation of the arts and music, physical fitness and health, and knowledge of history, the sciences, and literature.
  • If you have high expectations, your students can succeed regardless of parents’ economic circumstances.

    That is nonsense.

  • health insurance; children are less likely to get routine and preventive care that middle class children take for granted
  • If they can’t see because they don’t get glasses to correct vision difficulties, high expectations can’t teach them to read.
  • Because education has become so politicized, with policy made by those with preconceptions of failure and little understanding of the educational process, you are entering a field that has become obsessed with evaluating only results that are easy to measure, rather than those that are most important. But as Albert Einstein once said, not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
  • To be good educators, you must step up your activity not only in the classroom, but as citizens. You must speak up in the public arena, challenging those policymakers who will accuse you only of making excuses when you speak the truth that children who are hungry, mobile, and stressed, cannot learn as easily as those who are comfortable.
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    An important read for anyone who truly wants to understand what's really important in education and the false reform strategies of our current (and past) administration.
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