Here are some good recent school reform-related posts:
Mathematical Intimidation: Driven by the Data is by John Ewing, president of Math For America. He provides a good critique of value-added assessment. Here’s an excerpt:
Whether naïfs or experts, mathematicians need to confront people who misuse their subject to intimidate others into accepting conclusions simply
because they are based on some mathematics. Unlike many policy makers, mathematicians are not bamboozled by the theory behind VAM, and they
need to speak out forcefully. Mathematical models have limitations. They do not by themselves convey authority for their conclusions. They are tools, not magic. And using the mathematics to intimidate—to preempt debate about the goals of education and measures of success—is harmful not only to
education but to mathematics itself.
The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System appears in Forbes. I’m adding it to The Best Resources To Learn About Finland’s Education System.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote a letter to American teachers this week. Aaron Pallas, in return, wrote a brilliant piece in The Washington Post titled What Arne Duncan was (maybe) thinking in his letter to teachers.
Value-Added Evaluation & Those Pesky Collateralized Debt Obligations by Karl Hess appeared in Education Week. The comments are a “must-read,” too. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.
Is Poverty the Key Factor in Student Outcomes? is from The Texas Observer. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement.
Free-Market Think Tanks and the Marketing of Education Policy is by Kevin Welner and appeared in Dissent. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.
Three Cups of Cynicism is by Nancy Flanagan, and appeared in Education Week. It’s a “must-read” with great insight.