Archives for posts with tag: USA

Ecuador President Rafael “We Are Not A Colony” Correa Stands Up To The Jackbooted British Gestapo – PaulCraigRoberts.org.

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Eight problems with Common Core Standards.

 As I write, my wife is in the kitchen. She calls me for lunch. The small television suspended under the kitchen cabinets is tuned to CNN, and Time cover girl Michelle Rhee is being interviewed. “On international tests,” she says, “the U.S. ranks 27th from the top.”Michelle Rhee, three-year teacher, education reactionary, mainstream media star, fired authoritarian head of a school system being investigated for cheating on standardized tests, is given a national platform to misinform. She doesn’t explain that, at the insistence of policymakers, and unlike other countries, America tests every kid — the mentally disabled, the sick, the hungry, the homeless, the transient, the troubled, those for whom English is a second language. That done, the scores are lumped together. She doesn’t even hint that when the scores of the disadvantaged aren’t counted, American students are at the top.

Every once in a while, I read something that rings as true as a perfectly pitched bell or a fine piece of crystal.

Every once in a while, a clear-headed thinker assembles all the pieces of what is happening around us and puts it all together into a sensible and compelling analysis.

Here is that article that did it for me today.

 

It demonstrates, in persuasive detail, why the federal policy framework is failing and will continue to fail.

Why firing half the staff of low performing schools does not produce high performing schools and may make it even harder to hire a new and better staff.

The observations of the author, Arthur H. Camins, are so clear, so smart, and so on-target that I recommend this article to everyone.

It should be required reading at the U.S. Department of Education and at every editorial board in the nation.

 

The voucher legislation in Louisiana will send millions of dollars to Christian academies that repudiate evolution and teach creationism. Their students will never learn about evolution other than to hear it ridiculed(…)

In here or here we can find a discussion on what Bill Gates‘ Foundation try, and to some extent has managed, do to American schools.

So to summarize my views:
We need to pursue the conditions necessary for solid reflective, collaborative cultures at schools. These are dynamic processes that rely on the leadership and inspiration of everyone involved. They require trust to be invested in our school leaders, who in turn need to trust their teachers to engage in this often open-ended work. Constant pressure to raise test scores and top-down mandates destroy this. These external pressures do not add coherence—they subtract it. Teachers need autonomy and time, and they need support, access to partners, the use of strong models of collaboration, and small class sizes so they are not overwhelmed every day. We need to strengthen, not eliminate due process, when we ask teachers to open their classroom practices to one another and reflect honestly about their practice.