Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Achievement Gap Summit

November 13.
The California Dept. of Education and Jack O'Connell are hosting a major conference on the Achievement Gap at the Sacramento Convention Center on Nov.13 and 14. There is a wide diversity of speakers. Attendees, like myself, have a great deal of choice.
Perhaps I am just picking poorly. But, after the first day I observe that there are a great number of presenters claiming to be experts, each with a fix, and very few teachers making presentations.
Here is a part of the problem. You can not reform schools without bringing teachers along in the reform. Most speakers agreed that there is little evidence of improved scores in California.
So, 14 years of standards based reform. And, 14 years of test based reform. Little or no improvement in scores. Russlynn Ali of Ed trust west provided again the data.
If you want to influence teachers you will have to listen to teachers. You will have to know their views well.
So far, I have seen endless panels of experts and very few teachers. That is a part of the problem.

I recognize that this may be only a selection bias. Perhaps I just picked the wrong presentations. I tried to get into one panel described as teacher centered but it was full.
It was a good choice to have a debate between Chester Finn and Richard Rothstein.
Duane Campbell
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