few subjects inspire more intellectual dishonesty and political puffery than "school reform."
Since the 1960s, waves of "reform" haven't produced meaningful achievement gains.
no one has yet discovered transformative changes in curriculum or pedagogy, especially for inner-city schools, that are (in business lingo) "scalable" -- easily transferable to other schools, where they would predictably produce achievement gains.
The larger cause of failure is almost unmentionable: shrunken student motivation. Students, after all, have to do the work. If they aren't motivated, even capable teachers may fail.
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Motivation is weak because more students (of all races and economic classes, let it be added) don't like school, don't work hard and don't do well.
Against these realities, school "reform" rhetoric is blissfully evasive. It is often an exercise in extravagant expectations.
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