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Presidential Candidates Don't Use Education Scholars

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Wondering why education's great academic minds -- Ravitch, Fuller, Hoxby, Hanushek, Murnane, whomever -- aren't in the fray advising the major presidential contenders like their counterparts in other fields? Me, too. The Education Election blog points to this free article in the Chronicle about campaign advisors who come from academia (Scholars Who Counsel Candidates Wield Power). But there is no mention of education. This means (a) education isn't important enough to have any scholars on board, (b) there aren't any education scholars worth having, (c) the education think tanks have pushed the academics out of the way, or (d) the article simply left them out. My guess is "C," which is a big problem if you're the AERA or anyone else who thinks academic research should play a role.
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As a non educator looking at K-12 education in general and at the quality of education research in particular, I cannot for the life of me see how anyone would put much stock in education research. Most of it is terrible. That is an objective fact. President Clinton’s national reading panel said as much in testimony before Congress. Whatworksclearinhouse should be called Nothingworksclearinghouse. Very little education research submitted to the U.S Department of Education let alone the professional opinions expressed by education experts is based on repeatable scientific studies. It is very hard for most of us to distinguish between opinion and fact when looking at education research. We really do not know much about teaching and learning. And what we do know, gets drowned out by the din of “professional opinion”.

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