The eerie similarity between Secretary Duncan and Bill Gates makes me wonder who is running the Department of Education.
November 2010 Archives
Bridging Differences is taking a break for the rest of Thanksgiving week.
the SAT, the ACT, the end-of-course exams, the AP exams, and graduation exams, the NAEP tests don't matter. And seniors know it. They doodle on their test papers, or they select answers with a pattern, like all B, or all C, or ABCD/ABCD.
Once again, a small elite has come to a "consensus" long before there has been any national debate. In the interests of our commitment to schools that foster democracy, how can we do a better job of including "the people" in the conversation?
Mayoral control, which was enacted by the New York state legislature in 2002, brought stability, but at a price. The price was that executive decisions are made without any democratic process.
"In short, what concerns us, Diane, is not new, but part of some ancient issues that reappear over and over. Ted Sizer used to say that he wanted his own kids in schools where he could look the decisionmakers in the eye and personally expect an answer, other than "I had to do it. THEY made me."...
My favorite line from that day occurred when Jackson said he had recently visited some very high-performing nations. At each stop, he asked authorities: "What do you do about bad teachers?" They consistently replied: "We help them."
We're all entitled to "our opinions," but schooling should take us beyond "mere" opinions into tentative conclusions that once again are held with care. Will this approach lead to dilemmas? Yes, yes, yes.
Diane Ravitch writes: "Somehow our old disputes about whole language, bilingual education, and the new new math pale in comparison to the coordinated assault by powerful forces on the very foundations of public education."