Politics and Policies–Good and Bad

 1/2/17

Build and Support Measures (and Resisting Test and Punish and Market-based Solutions) Propelled Massachusetts Public Schools to World-Class Status

Marc Tucker delineates how Massachusetts became a top performer by avoiding the specious “reform” package and concentrating on funding, improving the teacher force, strong curriculum, and community support. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/top_performers/2016/12/how_massachusetts_built_a_world-class_school_system.html?r=1502902393&utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=top_performers  This has been the argument throughout www.buildingbetterschools.com and specifically in http://www.buildingbetterschools.com/exemplary-models/

What Makes a Good Teacher

A study by Kraft and Blazar supports a multi-dimensional view of teacher proficiency. The best teachers in Math impart high levels of math performance, but also produce a well-behaved and happy class, and students who persevere. Unfortunately, according to the author’s research, even most of our successful teachers only excel on some of these dimensions. http://hechingerreport.org/new-study-shows-variety-in-teachers-influences-on-kids-futures-and-how-poorly-we-measure-that/

The Failure of State Takeovers

An informative graphic demonstrating the failure of state takeovers. http://www.reclaimourschools.org/sites/default/files/statetakeoversinfographic.pdf

Bad Testing Policy

Marc Tucker points out that no high-performing country or province tests all students every year. https://dianeravitch.net/2016/11/22/no-high-performing-nation-in-the-world-tests-every-student-every-year/

Bad Politics and Policies

Lindsay Wagner, an educational reporter, describes the devastation of public education in North Carolina from five years of conservative Republic rule (which many Trumpians want to replicate in the nation). She wrote three articles, Starving the Schools, Losing Its Luster: the Teaching Profession is Battered from All Sides, and Paving the Way to Privatization; Lawmakers Embrace Charters and Vouchers but Not Accountability. http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/NC-Policy-Watch-Altered-State-How-5-years-of-conservative-rule-have-redefined-north-carolina-december-2015.pdf  Betsy Devos lead the charge for similar destructive policies in Michigan.

In the same vein, Jeff Bryant blows the whistle on the damage caused to North Carolina public schools by out-of-state charter school management companies ripping off funds from public education. http://www.alternet.org/education/north-carolinas-charter-school-industry-slowly-gutting-public-education

Graham Vyse writing in The New Republic argues that to successfully resist Betsy DeVos’’s scary anti-public school policies  Democrats have to admit that the last eight years of Obama’s high-stakes, test-driven “reforms” have not worked and have caused considerable collateral damage as www.buildingbetterschools.com has been advocating. https://newrepublic.com/article/139071/can-democrats-save-public-schools-trump-devos

Latest international test results from PISA show our students made no progress after a decade of high-stakes test-driven reforms. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/12/03/14pisa.h33.html These findings support the argument made in this website that the conventional “reform” effort has not worked but has caused considerable collateral damage to our public schools and the teaching profession. http://www.buildingbetterschools.com/have-high-stakes-testing-and-privatization-been-effective-2/

Questions on the Efficacy of EdTech

According to Pasi Sahlberg, one of the driving forces behind the Finnish educational miracle, a growing body of research is starting to show detrimental effects of over-reliance on technology in schools. http://lit.blogg.gu.se/2016/12/05/big-tobacco-moment/

 

Public School Investment Outperforms Market-Based Strategies

A new report Privatization or Public Investment in Education authored by Frank Adamson and published by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policies in Education (SCOPE) found investment in public schools significantly outperformed market-based strategies such as extensive charter schools and vouchers. schools. https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/publications/pubs/1456

This research supports claims made in this website. The report was offered further evidence reinforcing the SCOPE book published in April: Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes. To quote: [The book] contains a set of supporting infographics, videos, and research briefs, provides hard evidence supporting investment in public schools. Researchers thoroughly investigated the results of experiments with education in Chile, Sweden, and the U.S. and compared their educational outcomes with those of nearby countries with similar economic and social conditions: Cuba, Finland, and Canada (Ontario). At the national levels in Sweden, the U.S., and Chile, market, charter, or voucher systems are associated with greater disparities and lower student outcomes on international tests. https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/GlobalEdReform

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