"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Superman/A Duncan-Krashen Conversation/Q & A

Three important items...

Fact-Checking Waiting for Superman

Has anyone bothered to check all the facts in Waiting for Superman? A case for teaching critical thinking. Thank you Leonie Haimson.

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Arne Duncan/Stephen Krashen "conversation."

1. by Arne Duncan: School Reform: A Chance for Bipartisan Governing
...no one likes how NCLB labels schools as failures...
...many people across the political spectrum support the work of 44 states to replace multiple choice "bubble" tests with a new test that helps inform and improve instruction by accurately measuring what children know...
...teachers, parents, and union and business leaders want a real definition of teacher effectiveness based on multiple measures, including student growth, principal observation and peer review...
School districts and their local partners in inner cities and rural communities are overcoming poverty and family breakdown to create high-performing schools, including charters and traditional public schools.
2. Krashen's response
...research indicates that there are very few high-performing schools in high poverty conditions...
Duncan gives the impression that "overcoming poverty" happens all the time under his administration. There is no real evidence that it happens at all.
There is no evidence that extensive testing does a better job than teacher evaluation done by professionals who deal with children daily.
There is no evidence that there is a crisis in teacher quality, no evidence that teacher quality has declined.
3 and 4. Duncan's "response" via CNN and Krashen's comments

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Wrong Questions = Wrong Answers

Newsweek journalist Daniel Lyons posed a series of questions recently to Bill Gates, a leading and powerful voice in the new school reform movement, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers—highlighting not what we need to address in our public schools but proving further that the media, celebrity/billionaire experts, and bureaucrats are themselves incompetent and should not be leading a discussion about education.
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