Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Michele Rhee in Sacramento

The Sacramento Bee has an interesting news/ promotion piece   about Michele Rhee and her new foundation. It is here. http://www.sacbee.com/2010/12/08/3241311/michelle-rhee-brings-her-fix-the.html

Yes, Michele Rhee is controversial.  More important, while firing and evaluation changed, there really is no solid evidence that her approach improved schooling for kids in D.C.  Please look at the data.
Just because Michele Rhee and her cohort make unfair and uninformed attacks on U.S. Schools, that does not mean that there are not serious problems in our schools.
I encourage you to read Diane Ravitch’s book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System; How Testing and Choice Are undermining education. (2010).  She used to be on their side, until she looked closely at the evidence.


The claim that persons entering teaching are in the lowest part of their university classes, well, we don’t have any evidence that this makes a major difference.  What she is really saying is that graduates of elite or selective colleges do better.  That is why she was in Teach for America and started the New Teacher Project.   There is simply no evidence that elite status makes a positive difference.  Primarily you are dealing with working class students attending public universities vs. upper middle class kids going to private universities.
The difference is in the class composition of the students and how many hours per week they work to get through college.


It is a mistake to dismiss every criticism of the “corporate reformers’, the problem is they solutions which they advocate.  There is little evidence that  testing and choice and the profit based solutions work.
More at www.choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com

Yes, Michele Rhee is controversial.  More important, while firing and evaluation changed, there really is no solid evidence that her approach improved schooling for kids in D.C.  Please look at the data.
Just because Michele Rhee and her cohort make unfair and uninformed attacks on U.S. Schools, that does not mean that there are not serious problems in our schools.
I encourage you to read Diane Ravitch’s book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System; How Testing and Choice Are undermining education. (2010).  She used to be on their side, until she looked closely at the evidence.

The claim that persons entering teaching are in the lowest part of their university classes, well, we don’t have any evidence that this makes a major difference.  What she is really saying is that graduates of elite or selective colleges do better.  That is why she was in Teach for America and started the New Teacher Project.   There is simply no evidence that elite status makes a positive difference.  Primarily you are dealing with working class students attending public universities vs. upper middle class kids going to private universities.
The difference is in the class composition of the students and how many hours per week they work to get through college.


For a view of Ravitch's position see this.  

   http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2010/12/we_need_public_schools_and_democratic_governance.html




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