BBS Articles

The Big Picture

The School Improvement Debate

The Three Goals of Public Education
This article explains a tendency among school reformers to view job preparation as the primary goal of education, ignoring the vital role it plays in promoting democracy and developing well-rounded individuals.

Have High-Stakes Testing and Privatization Been Effective?
This article summarizes the evidence that documents the lack of success of conventional school “reform” and describes the considerable collateral damage these policies have caused.

Why Conventional School “Reforms” Have Failed

Reformers Target the Wrong Levers of Improvement
This article explains how reform efforts have targeted the wrong levers of improvement and identifies a number of key leverage points that reform measures must address if they are to produce results.

Teacher and School Evaluations Are Based on Students’ Test Scores
This article examines the failure of one of the major initiatives of the school reform movement: high-stakes teacher and school evaluations based on test scores.

Charter Schools Are Not the Key to Improving Public Education
This article examines the misguided belief that charter schools are the key to improving public education.

Four Nostrums of Conventional School Reform
This article examines the four nostrums of school reform: Teach for America, merit pay, test-based retention, and technology.

Reformers Allowed Their Rhetoric to Be Hijacked
This article examines an unfortunate side effect of the reform movement; it has allowed antipublic school advocates to hijack the rhetoric that demonizes teachers and trumpets market-based solutions for schools.

How Top Performers Build-and-Support

Ground Efforts in Unassailable Research
This article delineates the large body of research that demonstrates the efficacy of a Build-and-Support approach for school improvement.

Provide an Engaging Broad-Based Liberal Arts Curriculum
This article explains the crucial role that curriculum plays in school improvement and provides a reasoned defense of the Common Core State Standards.

Provide High-Quality Instruction
This article explains the crucial role that high-quality instruction plays in school improvement and summarizes key research findings on effective teaching.

Build Teams and Focus on Continuous Improvement
This article explores team building and collaboration in the context of continuous school improvement.

Provide Adequate School Funding
This article summarizes research on the importance of funding and its impact on educational outcomes.

Lessons Learned from Successful Districts
This article describes what successful school districts have done to improve school quality and academic achievement.

Exemplary Models of Build-and-Support
This article provides examples of districts, states, and nations that have achieved successful results.

The California Context

California Policymakers and Educators Shift from Test-and-Punish to Build-and-Support
This article describes California’s shift to the Build-and-Support strategy.

How the California Reading Wars Got Resolved: A Personal Story
This article tells a personal story about why and how Bill Honig devoted a substantial part of his educational career to advocate for improved reading instruction based on evidence-based research.

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