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robertogreco : achievementgap   17

Yong Zhao "What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education" - YouTube
"Proponents of standardized testing and privatization in education have sought to prove their effectiveness in improving education with an abundance of evidence. These efforts, however, can have dangerous side effects, causing long-lasting damage to children, teachers, and schools. Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas, will argue that education interventions are like medical products: They can have serious, sometimes detrimental, side effects while also providing cures. Using standardized testing and privatization as examples, Zhao, author of the internationally bestselling Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World, will talk about his new book on why and how pursuing a narrow set of short-term outcomes causes irreparable harm in education."
yongzhao  2018  schools  schooling  pisa  education  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  china  us  history  testscores  children  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  sideeffects  privatization  tims  math  reading  confidence  assessment  economics  depression  diversity  entrepreneurship  japan  creativity  korea  vietnam  homogenization  intolerance  prosperity  tolerance  filtering  sorting  humans  meritocracy  effort  inheritance  numeracy  literacy  achievementgap  kindergarten  nclb  rttt  policy  data  homogeneity  selectivity  charterschools  centralization  decentralization  local  control  inequity  curriculum  autonomy  learning  memorization  directinstruction  instruction  poverty  outcomes  tfa  teachforamerica  finland  singapore  miltonfriedman  vouchers  resilience  growthmindset  motivation  psychology  research  positivepsychology  caroldweck  intrinsicmotivation  choice  neoliberalism  high-stakestesting 
march 2019 by robertogreco
'Scores in reading, math fail to budge' in Minnesota: Maybe it's time to try the obvious - StarTribune.com
"As a parent, teacher and citizen, I’m concerned about persistent achievement gaps in Minnesota schools, as described once again in Tuesday’s newspaper (“Scores in reading, math fail to budge,” Aug. 8).

While we are looking for new solutions, I propose that we let go of some old obsessions that we now can say clearly have not worked.

For this parent of three kids, the big one is homework, especially the mindless yet stubborn insistence on “10 minutes per grade, per night.” That piece of silliness never was backed up by solid research, and all it has done is drive a wedge between school and home as school personnel, with good intentions at heart, preach endlessly to parents about the importance of creating a space just for homework and offering “a guide by their side.” But that, we can now see, is so much hogwash. As a parent, I would love to stop worrying about it, until my children reach the upper grades. Last year, in 10th grade, my oldest child took command of his own home study. I consider that a sign that home study has begun to do him some good.

A second questionable mantra is that a child has to be organized before he or she can learn. Given that babies are born already learning, it seems obvious that no amount of organization is needed in order to learn. We must stop holding children back from other pursuits until they can tie their shoes, or clean out their desks, or remember to bring papers home and back again (which will be less of an issue once we’ve dispensed with homework). I’m all for quiet study environments, but not all day, every day. Talent goes to waste while we wait for 30 children to stand in a neat line, sit in their squares on a carpet or produce fresh notebooks all year long because we wanted them in five designated colors back in September. Learning is messy, and we only harm ourselves by insisting that it appear neat and orderly.

And while we all know that children learn best at certain hours of the day and that they should sleep and eat according to millennia-old circadian rhythms, most of our schools continue to demand that teenagers “get up and learn” at hours of the day when they should be fast asleep. It may well be that business hours could also use some adult adjustments, but at this point we should be offering young children their intense exposure to learning environments early in the day and elementary kids a little later, and then letting teenagers rest — with proper nourishment and supervision — until midmorning.

All of these wrongheaded obsessions contribute to our achievement gaps by race, class or other divisions, because all of them require added resources at home. A family that can pay for tutors and other supporting adults can meet these obsessions and get their kids through the hoops at school; a family that struggles with multiple jobs at inadequate pay has a much harder time doing so.

The first two obsessions would be easy to drop, and we should do so sooner rather than later. The third one would require significant public investment, but maybe if we all stopped buying so many school supplies, and backpacks to haul them around in, we could afford some added paraprofessional staff members and bus drivers to meet our children’s needs for sleep, nourishment and healthy recreation."
2017  anneholzman  sfsh  schools  education  learning  parenting  children  homework  sleep  organization  howwelearn  race  class  inequality  balance  testing  standardizedtesting  achievementgap 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students - The New York Times
"FOR 15 years, since the passage of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind act, education reformers have promoted standardized testing, school choice, competition and accountability (meaning punishment of teachers and schools) as the primary means of improving education. For many years, I agreed with them. I was an assistant secretary of education in George H. W. Bush’s administration and a member of three conservative think tanks.

But as I watched the harmful effects of No Child Left Behind, I began to have doubts. The law required that all schools reach 100 percent proficiency as measured by state tests or face harsh punishments. This was an impossible goal. Standardized tests became the be-all and end-all of education, and states spent billions on them. Social scientists have long known that the best predictor of test scores is family income. Yet policy makers encouraged the firing of thousands of teachers and the closing of thousands of low-scoring public schools, mostly in poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

As the damage escalated, I renounced my support for high-stakes testing and charter schools. Nonetheless, I clung to the hope that we might agree on national standards and a national curriculum. Surely, I thought, they would promote equity since all children would study the same things and take the same tests. But now I realize that I was wrong about that, too.

Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.

The people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven’t come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. Last year, average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress declined for the first time since 1990; reading scores were flat or decreased compared with a decade earlier.

The development of the Common Core was funded almost entirely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was a rush job, and the final product ignored the needs of children with disabilities, English-language learners and those in the early grades. It’s no surprise that there has been widespread pushback.

In 2009 President Obama announced Race to the Top, a competition for $4.35 billion in federal grant money. To qualify, states had to adopt “college and career ready standards,” a requirement that was used to pressure them into adopting national standards. Almost every state applied, even before the specifics of the Common Core were released in June 2010.

The federal government, states and school districts have spent billions of dollars to phase in the standards, to prepare students to take the tests and to buy the technology needed to administer them online. There is nothing to show for it. The Race to the Top demoralized teachers, caused teacher shortages and led to the defunding of the arts and other subjects that were not tested. Those billions would have been better spent to reduce class sizes, especially in struggling schools, to restore arts and physical education classes, to rebuild physically crumbling schools, and to provide universal early childhood education.

Children starting in the third grade may spend more than 10 hours a year taking state tests — and weeks preparing for them. Studies show that students perform better on written tests than on online tests, yet most schools across the nation are assessing their students online, at enormous costs, because that is how the Common Core tests are usually delivered. Computer glitches are common. Sometimes the server gets overloaded and breaks down. Entire states, like Alaska, have canceled tests because of technical problems. More than 30 states have reported computer testing problems since 2013, according to FairTest, a testing watchdog.

Standardized tests are best at measuring family income. Well-off students usually score in the top half of results; students from poor homes usually score in the bottom. The quest to “close achievement gaps” is vain indeed when the measure of achievement is a test based on a statistical norm. If we awarded driver’s licenses based on standardized tests, half the adults in this country might never receive one. The failure rates on the Common Core tests are staggeringly high for black and Hispanic children, students with disabilities and English-language learners. Making the tests harder predictably depresses test scores, creating a sense of failure and hopelessness among young children.

If we really cared about improving the education of all students, we would give teachers the autonomy to tailor instruction to meet the needs of the children in front of them and to write their own tests. We would insist that students in every school had an equal opportunity to learn in well-maintained schools, in classes of reasonable size taught by expert teachers. Anyone who wants to know how students in one state compare with students in other states can get that information from the N.A.E.P., the existing federal test.

What is called “the achievement gap” is actually an “opportunity gap.” What we need are schools where all children have the same chance to learn. That doesn’t require national standards or national tests, which improve neither teaching nor learning, and do nothing to help poor children at racially segregated schools. We need to focus on that, not on promoting failed ideas."
2016  dianeravitch  commoncore  standardization  standardizedtesting  testing  government  us  nclb  rttt  georgehwbush  gatesfoundation  billgates  standards  education  schools  publischools  poverty  inequality  segregation  naep  statistics  achievementgap  opportunitygap  politics  policy 
july 2016 by robertogreco
How college prep is killing high school - Ideas - The Boston Globe
"Emerging research in the education world suggests that a tougher approach to high school academics might leave students no better prepared for college and work, while also increasing the number of high school dropouts. The National Research Council concluded that high school exit exams have decreased high school graduation rates in the United States by 2 percentage points without increasing achievement. In Chicago, a 2010 study found no positive effects on student achievement from a school reform measure that ended remedial classes and required college preparatory course work for all students. High school graduation rates declined, and there was no improvement in college enrollment and retention rates among students who did graduate."
highschool  college  academics  tcsnmy  toshare  collegeprep  rigor  dropouts  unschooling  deschooling  dropoutrates  education  achievement  achievementgap  graduationrates  2011  research  russellrumberger 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Case Against Standardized Testing
"high scores often signify relatively superficial thinking

many of the leading tests were never intended to measure teaching or learning

a school that improves its test results may well have lowered its standards to do so

far from helping to "close the gap," the use of standardized testing is most damaging for low-income and minority students

as much as 90 percent of the variations in test scores among schools or states have nothing to do with the quality of instruction

far more meaningful measures of student learning - or school quality - are available."
nclb  alfiekohn  testing  testscores  standardizedtesting  criticalthinking  meaning  measurement  learning  teaching  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  achievementgap 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Building Better Kids | Mother Jones
"Intensive, early interventions, by contrast, genuinely seem to work. They aren't cheap, and they aren't easy. And they don't necessarily boost IQ scores or get kids into Harvard. But they produce children who learn better, develop critical life skills, have fewer problems in childhood and adolescence, commit fewer crimes, earn more money, and just generally live happier, stabler, more productive lives. If we spent $50 billion less on K-12 education—in both public and private money—and instead spent $50 billion more on early intervention programs, we'd almost certainly get a way bigger bang for the buck.

Maybe somebody ought to make a documentary about that."
education  children  poverty  2011  politics  headstart  parenting  learning  socialcapital  us  earlyintervention  earlychildhood  achievementgap 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Fact-Challenged Policy
"Last week…Bill Gates published an op-ed in WaPost, “How Teacher Development could Revolutionize our Schools,” proposing that American public schools should do a better job of evaluating effectiveness of teachers, a goal w/ which none can disagree. But his specific prescriptions, & the urgency he attaches to them, are based on the misrepresentation of one fact, the misinterpretation of another & the demagogic presentation of a 3rd. It is remarkable that someone associated w/ technology & progress should have such a careless disregard for accuracy when it comes to the education policy in which he is now so deeply involved.

Gates’ most important factual claim is that “over the past four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our student achievement has remained virtually flat.” And, he adds, “spending has climbed, but our percentage of college graduates has dropped compared with other countries.” Let’s examine these factual claims:"
economics  evaluation  billgates  reform  teaching  learning  education  misrepresentation  data  truth  2011  policy  politics  edreform  arneduncan  achievementgap 
march 2011 by robertogreco
New Mexico: Achievement Gap Widens when Teachers Collectively Bargain | Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. Miller-McCune.
"A new analysis finds the best students are better off, while disadvantaged students are worse off, when teachers collectively bargain for a contract." [Leaves too many questions: especially considering timing and NCLB]
schools  unions  collectivebargaining  sat  standardizedtesting  education  via:javierarbona  policy  politics  teaching  learning  achievementgap 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Economist’s Plan to Improve Schools Begins Before Kindergarten - NYTimes.com
"James J. Heckman, Nobel in economic science…

…marshals ample data to suggest that better teaching, higher standards, smaller classrooms & more Internet access “have less impact than we think…To focus as intently as we do on K-12 years misses how “accident of birth is greatest source of inequality”…

…urges more effectively educating children before they step into classroom where…they often are clueless about letters, numbers & colors — & lack attentiveness & persistence to ever catch up…

…contends that high-quality programs focused on birth to age 5 produce a higher per-$ return than K-12 schooling & later job training…reduce deficits by reducing need for special education & remediation, & by cutting juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy & dropout rates.

…families matter & attributed widening gap btwn advantaged & disadvantaged…

Test scores may measure smarts, not character that turns knowledge into know-how. “Socio-emotional skills”…are critical…"
jamesheckman  education  policy  schools  earlychildhood  poverty  cv  gettingtotheheartofthematter  families  children  parenting  deficit  us  politics  economics  schooling  training  inequality  accidentofbirth  luck  disparity  achievementgap  socialemotionallearning  disadvantages  advantages  delinquency  crime  remediation  learning  money  spending  unschooling  deschooling  socialemotional 
december 2010 by robertogreco
CIPER Chile » Las deficiencias de las actuales políticas educativas que muestra la prueba Pisa
"La prueba PISA, medición de la calidad de la educación que realiza el llamado “club de los países desarrollados” reunido en la OECD, trajo buenas noticias: el nivel de lectura de los niños chilenos ha mejorado progresivamente. Sin embargo, también nos dio lecciones. Las evidencias muestran que el éxito escolar está determinado por el nivel socioeconómico de los alumnos. Además, el estudio asegura que la competencia entre los colegios –base del sistema chileno– no producen sistemáticamente mejores resultados."
chile  education  policy  disparity  achievementgap  inequality  economics  poverty  pisa  2010  schools  competition 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Rothstein on Accountability in Schools
"Approximately 30 well-spent minutes with Richard Rothstein, who patiently spells out what is happening as a consequence of using narrow measures of accountability for schools vs. what really needs to happen."
richardrothstein  policy  accountability  measurement  teaching  learning  schools  us  2010  obesity  children  afterschoolprograms  fitness  poverty  standardizedtesting  extendeddayprograms  health  achievementgap  dougnoon  math  mathematics  reading  crisis  achievement  media  politics  fear  education  ideology  medicaid  parenting  earlychildhood  teacherquality  economics  unemployment  race  wealth  language 
december 2010 by robertogreco
One size doesn’t fit all - The Boston Globe
"The No Child Left Behind Act, with its high-stakes testing beginning in 3rd grade, has led many schools, especially in poor communities, to start the drill and testing regime in kindergarten. This shift, even before the release of the new standards, has eroded the foundation young children need for school success. We won’t make genuine progress in closing the achievement gap in our nation’s schools until we address the underlying inequities that are its root cause. Imposing more standards and tests is a misplaced, misleading, even harmful approach. If these standards are imposed, we will see a continuing achievement gap and new levels of stress and failure among young children. Worst of all, we will have missed an opportunity to give our nation’s children the best possible education, the one they deserve and the one our future depends on."
standards  rotelearning  education  play  schools  experientiallearning  kindergarten  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  schooling  learning  assessment  achievementgap  reading  loveoflearning  children  directinstruction  rttt  nclb  policy  rote 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Can Separate Be Equal? | The American Prospect
"Any effort to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty begins with education. Four decades of research has found that the single best thing one can do for a low-income student is give her a chance to attend a middle-class school. The landmark 1966 Coleman Report found that the most important predictor of academic achievement is the socioeconomic status of the family a child comes from, and the second most important predictor is the socioeconomic makeup of the school she attends. A low-income student given the chance to attend a middle-class school is likely to be surrounded by peers who are academically engaged and less likely to act out; a set of parents who volunteer in the classroom and know how to hold school officials accountable; and high-quality teachers who have high expectations."
education  poverty  research  sociology  desegregation  segregation  learning  class  expectations  policy  achievementgap 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: Dumb Money or Dumb Coverage?
Stephen Downes takes down Newsweek's "Dumb Money" [http://www.newsweek.com/id/209962 ] analysis of education reform. Some great reference links in there too.
stephendownes  education  reform  newsweek  finland  toronto  canada  policy  us  germany  comparison  money  salaries  teaching  learning  schools  achievementgap  testing  assessment  classsize  technology  politics 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Crack learning, the achievement gap and Sisyphean struggle.
"This made me think of “crack learning” and how we might understand learning based on actions of removal rather than by constantly adding new layers and materials to our schools, classrooms and students. I wanted to ask .. What would happen to learning if we removed "the din"? ... What would happen to learning if we removed the expectation that "progress" requires unrelenting change and innovation ... What would happen to learning if we removed "the rush", if we slowed down, learned how to see and took time to realise that all things connect? ... Reading Gladwell made me fret that all our MoE sanctioned interventions to reduce our achievement gap are perhaps a Sisyphean struggle – made me think that perhaps we are doomed to always struggle because in targeting schools we are targeting the wrong intervention. ... Should our focus on reducing disparity look at the effect on learning of time spent outside of school rather than what happens within school?"
slowlearning  slowpedagogy  geethanarayanan  teaching  schools  schooling  achievementgap  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  slow  progress  artichokeblog  pamhook 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Shorter Last Night's Rant [see also: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2009/04/mckinsey-goes-skin-deep.html]
"I've seen no evidence (and McKinsey provides none) that any country has closed an achievement gap tied to income equality as large as the US's.
us  diversity  achievementgap  pisa  humandevelopment  education  schools  publiceducation  tomhoffman  mckinsey  policy  equality  income 
april 2009 by robertogreco

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