Thursday, September 08, 2011

Education Reform: Failing Schools and How Pretending Can Help


EDUCATION REFORM
  • School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade (Diane Ravitch, NY Review of Books) Because of its utopian goals, coupled with harsh sanctions, NCLB has turned out to be the worst federal education legislation ever passed. Recently, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan predicted that more than 80 percent of the nation’s public schools would be labeled “failing” this year by federal standards, including some excellent schools in which students (usually those with disabilities) were not on track to meet the target. By 2014, if the law is unchanged, very few public schools will not be labeled “failures.” No nation has ever achieved 100 percent proficiency for all its students, and no state in this nation is anywhere close to achieving it. No nation has ever passed a law that would result in stigmatizing almost every one of its schools. The Bush-era law is a public policy disaster of epic proportions, yet Congress has been unable to reach consensus about changing it.
  • "Here is an idea for solving the education crisis in America. What if all the kids currently failing in school pretended to be good learners? What if all the adults - teachers, principals, administrators, parents - played along and pretended that the kids were school achievers, heading for college? What if this national "ensemble" pretended this was the case day after day, classroom after classroom, school district after school district?" The All Stars Project has released a special report in which co-founders Fred Newman, Ph.D. and Lenora B. Fulani, Ph.D. put forth their solution to America's education crisis in a new white paper entitled "Let's Pretend".

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