In the time remaining for his administration, Secretary Duncan can still make his place in history by rebalancing the educational reform initiatives in favor of providing more constructive supports for teachers.
Every bit of education reform is an excuse to continue the unconscionable neglect of our children. As Pogo wisely noted, "We have met the enemy and he is us." We did this to our children and our schools.
Considering a perspective for educators to view children as more than the sum of their parts, seeing a learner as a developing entity, understanding that children are multi-faceted and multi-talented, is anathema to today's education policy makers who are governed by market-driven analytics.
The state-led initiative was chugging right along, moving forward without any interference from the feds, when somehow, they decided to leap in. This is part of the current conservative CCSS support narrative. The story goes something like this.
I have sweet, incredible, intelligent children sitting in my classroom who are giving up on their lives already. They feel that they only have failure in their futures because they've been told they aren't good enough by a standardized test.
The ASA warns that VAMs and their simplistic interpretation may have negative effects on the quality of education. There will surely be unintended consequences, such as a diminishment in the number of people willing to become teachers.
In spring 2010, Delaware was one of two states to win the first of Race to the Top's four-year grants, making this month's anniversary an appropriate time to ask whether the multi-billion dollar project has been worth the taxpayers' money.
The impact of Bloomberg, Gates, Bush, and Obama policies on school segregation can be seen in the New York City neighborhoods of Harlem and Central Brooklyn. Since 2000, demographics in central Harlem have shifted dramatically.
Are we that far off from our own American oligarchy, our own American nightmare, when our children, who have few voices in Washington, continue to be ignored? And what business do businessmen have telling teachers how to teach?
I'm worried when policy makers think it's a good idea to want very young children to "excel" in their early learning. And I'm even more worried about young children being "rated" in their skill development.
Notice that the percentage of Chinese eighth graders scoring "advanced" in mathematics is higher that the percentage of eighth graders scoring "advanced" from all other nations. After all, isn't the Race to the Top really the Race to the Top of the World? China sure is lucky. Or is it?
A feature of the Obama presidency has been his campaign against the American public school system, eating way at the foundations of elementary education. That means the erosion of an institution that has been one of the keystones of the Republic.
Using tablet computers to measure a 4-year-old's social and emotional development -- and then applying those scientifically untested results to a teacher's job security -- is an invitation to corrupt the entire public school experience.
Just like the disastrous No Child Left Behind Act of the Bush era, in whose wake it follows, it's all about testing and uniform standards and the "rigorous" evaluation of schools and teachers; and it's clueless about the nature of childhood development, not to mention reality.