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October 29, 2010

Selective Use of Evidence to Improve Schools

When New York City's Education Department announced on Oct. 20 that it intends to release the ratings of 12,000 teachers based on student test scores, United Federation of Teachers immediately said it would seek a court order to block the move. These developments are reminiscent of what took place...

October 18, 2010

Charter School Growth Carries a Price

(First of a three-part series this week on innovative schools.) At first glance, the dramatic increase in the number of charter schools across the country seems to assure their place as the No. 1 player in the parental choice movement. But news reports published just two days apart raise question...

September 06, 2010

Teaching to the New Tests Is Sound Pedagogy

If the new standardized tests slated to make their debut in the 2014-15 school year turn out as their designers promise, classroom instruction will enter a new era. Until now, teachers have argued that the tests in wide use largely measure achievement of low-level cognitive goals. As a result, eve...

September 01, 2010

Romanticists v. Determinists in Education

President Obama's proclamation that "by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world" reignites the long-simmering debate about the issue. To achieve this objective, an additional 375,000 students a year would have to graduate with at least an associate...

March 10, 2010

The Most Misunderstood Strategy in Education

Repeating something often enough does not make it true. This axiom has particular relevance in the debate over how to improve test scores in today's accountability movement. In this context, no phrase is as overused and misunderstood as "teaching to the test." The reason is a failure to distinguish...

March 01, 2010

Draconian Measures at R.I. High School Are Misconceived

Whenever I attend a social function, I'm invariably confronted by other guests who can't understand why schools have gotten so bad. They are angry and frustrated. Truth to tell, if I hadn't taught for 28 years in a public school, I would probably feel that way too because the media are notorious for...



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