Thursday, November 09, 2006

Phony school reform advocates

“While it may come as a surprise to those who depend solely on the popular press for information about such issues, the claim that school quality has plummeted since the good old days has been repeatedly and decisively debunked by researchers including David Berliner, Bruce Biddle, Gerald Bracey, and Richard Rothstein. That’s not to say that there aren’t serious problems with American education. There are. But the problems are not new and they have more to do with deeply bred inequities (reflecting those of the society more generally) and a failure to engage students as active learners and meaning makers. The kinds of solutions favored by people who shrilly denounce our ‘failing schools’ and ‘falling standards’ not only do not address these issues but almost seem designed to make things worse."

Alfie Kohn.
The tougher standards fad hits home.
Rethinking Schools. Fall 2006.
On line at www.rethinkingschools.org
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