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Dan Meyer published a typically excellent post today about how many tech developers and advocates of Artificial Intelligence are pretty up-front about the fact their tools are likely only helping five percent of students – the most motivated ones.

That’s not a revelation to any teacher who’s tried using them.  Developers of many of the tools that could reach beyond that percentage – like ones that can specificially support English Language Learners – won’t even be bothered to create student privacy agreements to make them accessible to students at school (even Duolingo!).

Dan’s post reminded me of a similar problem with some education researchers who choose to focus their studies on easily identifiable problems without grappling  with potential solutions.

Like researchers who criticize teachers for spending too much time having students explicitly apply certain reading strategies without acknowledging that without requiring their use, many students might never do any of the reading at all.

Or those who continue to dunk on the already thoroughly debunked theory of “learning styles” instead of spending their time on the genuine need to develop more and more differentiated instructional strategies.

And those who spend more time being critical of common studying strategies instead of identifying ways we can get many of students to do any studying at all.

This kind of “cherry-picking,” of course, is not limited in education to tech bros and researchers.   Many charter schools and public selective high schools do the same.

Most of us teachers don’t have the ability to just teach the most motivated students, and I would bet most of us didn’t join the profession to do that, anyway.

It would just be nice to get a little more help from those who appear to have the power to pick-and-choose what they want to do, who they want to serve, and what they want to study.