Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Questions for Arne

Today  Arne Duncan will be answering your questions on education  reform. Ask a question here: http://j.mp/cTzX6i

The Obama-Duncan education plan for public schools would appear to reserve innovation to charter schools, leaving public schools in a
morass of more heavy-handed testing that will narrow the curriculum
even further to what is easy to measure, and drive talented educators
from the field, all in the name of rigor and accountability.  Why must
innovation in curricula and assessment be reserved only for charter
Priscilla Shannon Gutiérrez,

Stephen Krashen.

Your administration has declared standards and testing to be first
priority in education. One reason is because our international test
scores are low. But when poverty is considered, our test scores are
very high; our low scores are a result of the fact that we have so many  high poverty children in our schools school (25%, compared to Denmark's  2%). American children from high-income families do very well on these  tests.

This result agrees with the many studies showing the strong impact
of poverty on school performance. One thing we can do about this
immediately is to improve libraries. Current research strongly suggests  that access to good libraries and the presence of competent librarians  can mitigate some of the effects of poverty.

All educators understand the necessity of assessment, but it is our
obligation to do the minimum amount of testing necessary, and no more.  Libraries in high poverty areas can be dramatically improved at a  fraction of the cost of the new standards and tests.

How about spending some money to solve the problem and not just
measure it?
Stephen Krashen 

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