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robertogreco : via:tom.hoffman   40

Education Should Step Away from Apple Devices | Anthony Carabache
"As an educational consultant for 21st century learning, an experienced classroom teacher and the writer of countless design projects for implementation of technology in the classroom, I have been invited to sit in on numerous meetings with Apple Inc.’s regional representatives to discuss the rollout of devices into the classroom. There once was a time that I highly recommended the iPad as an excellent device for integrating technology into the classroom but no longer is this the case. After examining iPad implementation across the province, country and abroad over the last six years I have come to determine that it is simply not designed for shared use in education. This contradicts the very idea of what it means to collaborate – a 21st century skill we can all agree upon. It would seem that Apple’s philosophy when it comes to education is share less buy more."
2015  apple  edtech  sharing  schools  education  technology  ipad  via:tom.hoffman 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The End of the Skateboard Shop | RIDE Channel
"Your local shop may soon be a thing of the past... if it isn't already."



"Here’s the gist of it.

Has anyone on the planet earth ever purchased a pair of golf cleats or Tom Brady-endorsed footwear to look cool? Somehow, though, Michael Jordan hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than a decade, but his signature shoes and clothing line are still relevant and profitable. That’s because the Air Jordan transcended the actual context of basketball and became an icon in fashion. So even when MJ laced up for the Wiz and sucked, people still wanted his shoe.

Conversely (pun intended), skateboarding, has finally become “normal,” and is a massive influencer in footwear. Through its SB program, Nike reframed the sneaker market, formalizing drops through boutiques instead of chains. As a sport, skateboarding doesn’t mean anything to most, but it allows Nike to keep new colorways of Dunks and Janoskis coming out.

This doesn’t translate into TV ratings or sales of core skate products, but it absolutely drives footwear and clothing trends. So even though it’s a niche market, it’s a valuable one. But what’s relevant to the business side of skating isn’t the board sales—it’s the shoe sales. Don’t believe me? Ask Foot Locker how that played out. The reality is that skateboarding has become a vehicle to sell sneakers, not skateboards, and that’s changed the dynamic of the all-American skateshop.

But what the hell is a skateshop, anyway? The specialized skateboard store wasn’t really a thing across the United States until the industry boom of the ‘80s. Before that—depending on which coast you were nearest—it was just a rack in a surf of bicycle shop.

Think of your favorite fast food establishment deciding that a strong demand for French fries warranted an entire brick-and-mortar store dedicated store to selling items related to potato sticks submerged in oil exclusively. That’s how skateshops originated.

But here’s the weird part: Skateshops have never made much money from skateboarding. I’m not shitting you. In 1984, the average deck sold for $49. In 2014, the average deck sells for $49. If you spoke to any economist, even one recently concussed in a car accident, he’d be puzzled as to how an industry could exist without responding to inflation for the past 30 years.

The only reasonable explanation would be this: Skateboarding doesn’t exist to sell skateboards. As a business, it’s a tool to sell a lifestyle, clothing and footwear included.

Store owners long ago recognized and responded to this reality. For proof, walk into your local shop (provided you still have one) and compare the board wall to the shoe wall. All it takes is some quick math to recognize that the profit margin on the former—probably the smaller of the two—is a fraction of a fraction of what those rows of sneakers are generating.

That makes sense. Skateboarders buy skateboards, but everyone buys sneakers. So do you see the problem here? Even in the early ‘90s, when boards were snapping from sloppily landed flip tricks (or, yeah, from being focused), the profit margin on them wasn’t nearly enough to keep stores in business. And, really, how often do you buy other hard goods—like new trucks?

THE REAL NEED FOR SKATESHOPS
So why the hell would anyone open a skateshop in 2014? There’s a plethora of valid reasons, but the one that resonates strongest is that if someone breaks a skateboard, buying one at a shop is the fastest way to get another. The internet hasn’t figured out how to get you one in a few hours... yet. But that’s not the charm of skateshops. Before communities existed in digital code in some virtual space that most of us barely understand, walking into a skateshop was an experience.

In the ‘80s and even well into the ‘90s, there was a disparity between what you saw in a magazine and what was available to you. Sure, you might have seen an ad for a new graphic from Skater X, but that didn’t mean that you could walk into your local and buy the board. Instead, you entered with a sense of wonderment and anxiety because you had no clue what would actually be on the shelves. Skateshops were hubs of skateboarding—the only places you were guaranteed to meet another skateboarder. Does make sense? It gets crazier. Skateshops used to be one of the few places where you could see skateboarding. I swear.

Most of the skate videos that drove the industry never premiered; they simply showed up in shops. No screenings, no fanfare, no ads, and no fucking hashtags. They just materialized, and the first place you usually saw them was on the convex screen of a tube television sitting on the counter of a skateshop. You’d digest the advertisement for whatever brand made the video, discuss it with fellow shoppers—a term I use loosely, since most skaters lacked the funds to buy anything—and linger. For hours.

Outside of seeing them at spots, this is how most skaters met fellow skaters. Does anyone in a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts talk and share ideas and techniques on how to drink coffee? Hell no—the environment in those chains is exactly the opposite of what you see in a mom-and-pop café equipped with free WiFi. Similarly, you don’t go to your average mall skateshop to hang out. You go there to buy. Just try to sit down to watch a video or whatever. If you’re not asked to leave, a store employee will probably try to push weed-graphic socks on you.

If 2014 is any indicator, skateboarding is going to follow the same trajectory as every other business: Keep a low price point, mass-market product through chain stores and eCommerce sites, and offer the core audience elaborate and exclusive pop-ups in media-driven cities. The stores started and run by actual skateboarders without the vested interest of a larger brand will struggle, hoping their athletic shoe accounts drive enough sales to keep them in business but knowing that the shop groms who hang out each day will eventually get sponsored or find a way not to pay for things.

Basically, running a skateshop is as ill-advised a decision as it’s ever been... unless you flip it and just say you run a sneaker shop that sells skateboards. Online and chain stores haven’t figured out how to replicate the sense of community and belonging common to legitimate shops because that doesn’t serve their agenda. Aside from a need for clothing, there's no connective tissue between people who buy your average jeans and T-shirts.

Every town has a park, everyone can buy anything with a few clicks and swipes from a mini-computer in their pocket, and every kid is good and can get sponsored. For the tiny number of people who care more about the community than the sport, skateshops are clubhouses, VFW halls for each of us, but they’re getting harder to sustain, and in 10 years they’ll be all but extinct."
skateboarding  skating  retail  2014  business  via:tom.hoffman  skateboards 
november 2014 by robertogreco
What These American Educators Learned in Finland | Diane Ravitch's blog
"Naturally, as educators we found Finnish schools to be very attractive, and yet we never lost our faith in the American public schools that had prepared us- the very schools to which we had also dedicated our professional lives. Quite plainly, the successes we saw in Finland should occur in the United States. Not only that, we were made aware that the entire design and implementation of the Finnish school system was based on American education research! As a matter of fact, the United States generates eighty percent of the research in education worldwide. If American education research is a good enough to base the design of one of the very most successful public education systems in the world, why is it not good enough to use in the United States? Furthermore, if we had the answers in the United States, why were we traveling to Finland to find our own answers?"
finland  education  schools  publicschools  us  policy  research  dianeravitch  2014  via:tom.hoffman 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Why Parents Hate Parenting -- New York Magazine
"Of course, this should not be a surprise. If you are no longer fretting about spending too little time with your children after they’re born (because you have a year of paid maternity leave), if you’re no longer anxious about finding affordable child care once you go back to work (because the state subsidizes it), if you’re no longer wondering how to pay for your children’s education and health care (because they’re free)—well, it stands to reason that your own mental health would improve. When Kahneman and his colleagues did another version of his survey of working women, this time comparing those in Columbus, Ohio, to those in Rennes, France, the French sample enjoyed child care a good deal more than its American counterpart. “We’ve put all this energy into being perfect parents,” says Judith Warner, author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, “instead of political change that would make family life better.”"
parenting  via:tom.hoffman  2010  policy  anxiety  politics  families  us  france  happiness  judithwarner 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Do We Really Want “the Best and the Brightest”? « Diane Ravitch's blog
"When David Halberstam used the phrase “Best and Brightest” for his book on the Vietnam War, he used it ironically to show how these so-called geniuses from the so-called elite colleges took the nation down the path of an insane policy that cost many lives.  Even when it became apparent the policy wasn’t working, they continued to double down on it, throwing more soldiers and more money into the conflict, rather than admitting they had been wrong about the whole thing to begin with."
dianeravitch  bestandbrightest  tfa  2012  davidhalberstam  steadfastedness  changemindset  stubborness  genius  via:tom.hoffman  education  policy  vietnamwar  leadership  learning  mindchanges  mindchanging  teachforamerica 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Why Africa lacked Centralized States – The Role of the Bronze Age - Why Nations Fail - Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
"In contrast to copper and tin, iron is very widely spread as the great archaeologist Gordon Childe put it “cheap iron democratized agriculture and industry and warfare too”. So the jump to Iron Age technology may have impeded the development of states in Africa by making it more difficult for elite to concentrate and monopolize power. Africa never experienced the nascent period of political centralization that Europe did during the Bronze Age, perhaps also with a path dependent legacy."
africa  democracy  bronzeage  iron  gordonchilde  daronacemoglu  jamesrobinson  2012  history  centralization  government  power  via:tom.hoffman 
august 2012 by robertogreco
"The Internet is for Porn": Blackmail in 2033 - Charlie's Diary
What is public shame going to look like in 2033? And what are the implications for the psychological profile of the kind of people who will be campaigning for high level office? Are we going to see candidates for the highest posts raised from toddler-dom in hermetically sealed media bubbles by their dynastic political parents, with lives so carefully curated that there's nothing for their rivals to get a handle on during a dirty campaign? Or are we going to see a public who increasingly expect politicians to behave like jaded celebrities (or their own peers) and who won't blink at revelations of anything short of murder?
via:tom.hoffman 
august 2012 by robertogreco
This Week In Education: Thompson: Not Everything New And Shiny Works
I agree. I worked for about forty principals and assistant principals. All worked weeks of 80+hours. Only one, who had a total of one year in the regular classroom, had teaching experience that was relevant to our school. But, today, everyone and his dog must claim to be an "instructional leader." Presumably, they picked up those skills by osmosis or from power point presentations.
via:tom.hoffman 
august 2012 by robertogreco
A Slight Correction to the Duncan Interview « Diane Ravitch's blog
"“When I was in high school in the South Side of Chicago, my friends could drop out and get a decent job in the stockyards or steel mills, and own their own home and support a family.”For the sake of accuracy, I would like to point out that the stockyards in Chicago were closed in 1971, just before Duncan turned 7 years old. Also, by the time he was in high school, the US Steel Southworks plant was actively slashing jobs and had already cut it’s employees by half. So, actually, even when I was in high school in the late 60s, it was apparent that neither of these employers would be providing lasting careers."
via:tom.hoffman  dianeravitch  arneduncan  2012  truth  history 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Skate Spot Porn: Shenzhen, China | Quartersnacks.com
"In recent times, China has surpassed Barcelona as the go-to skate trip destination. Shenzhen, though largely unknown to the west, is a place that any skate company with money has been to film in the past five years. If Instagram is any indicator, the Girl/Chocolate team alone has been there twice this year. The city is just outside Hong Kong, thirty years old (it was farmland up until the late-seventies), and considered to be one of the fastest growing cities in the entire world. Shenzhen looks like a real-life Blade Runner version of Los Angeles, and its sprawl has left a plaza below every single building. Apparently, marble and granite are cheap and abundant for Chinese developers (a few sources claimed they were even less expensive than plywood), and there’s no shortage of cranes in the sky, so Shenzhen’s collection of spots does not seem even close to being finished."
via:tom.hoffman  china  skating  skateboarding  shenzhen  skateboards 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Poverty does not breed support for extremism? | Chris Blattman
"Contrary to expectations, poor Pakistanis dislike militants more than middle-class citizens. This dislike is strongest among the urban poor, particularly those in violent districts, suggesting that exposure to terrorist attacks reduces support for militants. Long-standing arguments tying support for violent organizations to income may require substantial revision."
via:tom.hoffman 
august 2012 by robertogreco
The Other Kids Growing Up in the Bronx « Diane Ravitch's blog
"In short, not everyone who grew up in Morrisania felt so abandoned by the local public school system that they had to circumvent it entirely in order to nurture, inspire and protect young people living in low income communities. The Canada model is an intriguing one, but it is not the only vehicle we have to educate children in poor and working class families. Some public schools were effective when Canada was growing up and some are as effective, or more effective, right now than Canada’s Promise Academy, even without the extra funding."
via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Mitt Romney’s insults and mistakes while at the London Olympics aren’t gaffes as much as a fair representation of his worldview. - Slate Magazine
"The thing that Krauthammer doesn’t get is that Romney is not the sort of businessman—that his brand of capitalism is not the sort of enterprise—that requires even the most elementary understanding of diplomacy, courtesy, or sensitivity to other people’s values, lives, or perceptions."
via:tom.hoffman  mittromney  2012  worldview 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Being Poor – Whatever
"Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you’re not actually stupid.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you’re not actually lazy.
Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap."

"Being poor is having to live with choices you didn’t know you made when you were 14 years old.
Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.
Being poor is knowing you’re being judged."

"Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.
Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.
Being poor is seeing how few options you have.
Being poor is running in place."
via:tom.hoffman  poverty  psychology  culture  economics  money  2005  wealth 
july 2012 by robertogreco
How NYC Department of Education Kills a School: Update! « Diane Ravitch's blog
First, declare it to be a failing schools. Then take away the programs that attract and develop good students. In time, no one will be left who cares about what once was the school, because the school that everyone once knew is dead, even if a few classes remain.
via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Dark Knight Buyses | Dave Ex Machina
"Compare with Superman’s other foil, Lex Luthor. Luthor is, in his most recent forms, a multibillionaire. I don’t know his current origins, but in the past he’s come from pretty humble beginnings. So he’s up there with Batman in the super-wealth and super-brains department, though I don’t think he was just handed his fortune. Fans beg for Superman to fight Batman over and over (though Batman should, according to them — and does — always win) and yet they get this any time Superman goes up against Luthor. Luthor is evil Batman. He’s got the same resources and the same abilities, but unlike Batman, he has not chosen to play by the rules. In the comic book world, this means Luthor doesn’t win, which is why the comic book world is described as “escapism”. In the world as it is, there are far more Luthors than Batmen, and they win far more often."
superman  batman  comics  wealth  escapism  2012  via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Making (Again) « This Brazen Teacher
A few weeks ago I resurrected my high school doodle style and began drawing again. I plugged the drawings into mandala shapes and coupled them up with quotes for fun. Imagine my surprise to receive purchase requests for these things. At the risk of sounding foolish I won’t perseverate too much why the heck anyone would want swirly doodle drawings derived from a 16 year old’s notebook margins. If you like swirly doodles send me an email and I’ll mail you a print for $20 plus shipping. Eventually I might figure out the paypal thing.
via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Shanker Blog » How Often Do Proficiency Rates And Average Scores Move In Different Directions?
Around 30 percent of grade/school groups had disparate trends in their scores and rates. In one in five cases, the two moved in opposite directions. In another 11 percent of grades, either the score or the rate moved while the other was relatively stable.
via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Hullabaloo - A Tale of Two Scandals
"Finally, the country has changed. Over the course of the last two decades we've seen a rather dramatic degradation of political norms, generally. We've had partisan impeachments, stolen elections, bogus wars and massive financial failure. People are a lot more cynical. There was a time when it would have been a reckless act of chutzpah to nominate a Vulture capitalist in the wake of the 2008 meltdown, but now it's just par for the course."
via:tom.hoffman  politics  2012  vulturecapitalism  society  trends  capitalism 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion await their asbestos moment
"If you watch late-night television, you’re bound to see plenty of commercials for law firms soliciting clients for their big class-action suits involving asbestos and mesothelioma, or targeting those who’ve suffered side effects from a wide array of popular medicines.

I will take it as a sign that America is getting better when I start seeing ads like that going after Equifax, Experian and TransUnion."
equifax  experian  transunion  via:tom.hoffman  creditscores  credit  creditreports  personalfinance  power  control 
july 2012 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » Kate On Khan
"BTW. As long as we're here: Khan Academy frequently asserts itself as interested in more than lectures and procedures. Whenever a blogger points out that, "No, there's not a whole lot of evidence for that," a Khan Academy proponent named Jay Patel (who comments under various pseudonyms on this blog and others) will often link to this page in the Khan Academy customer portal, which cites as its project-based bonafides an activity called Simpsons Sunblocker. No problem there, except that Simpsons Sunblocker was developed by my team at Stanford — here's the activity; have fun! — not Khan Academy, whose representatives tried to convince us we should do the activity only after the students watched a lecture about proportions and practiced those procedures. (Playing a game of basketball only after shooting hours of foul shots, essentially.)"
khanacademy  pbl  projectbasedlearning  danmeyer  2012  katenowak  via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Red Squares Everywhere - In These Times
A simple red square of fabric, pinned to a T-shirt or jacket, is the symbol of a movement that has taken over a Canadian province. It comes from the French—“carrément dans le rouge,” or “squarely in the red”—an emblem of the debt that students in Quebec carry as the cost of higher education rises. But that red square has inspired activists from Brooklyn to Brazil—and like the movement it represents, it has come to signify more than just a tuition fight.
via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Permission granted, officially
It must be an awful thing to believe that God will not allow you to be as loving, merciful and generous as you wish you could be. It must be an awful thing to want to be more loving, but then to think that God forbids it and, thus, that your desire to love is somehow wrong.
via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Chris Hedges: How to Think - Chris Hedges' Columns - Truthdig
"Cultures that endure carve out a protected space for those who question and challenge national myths. Artists, writers, poets, activists, journalists, philosophers, dancers, musicians, actors, directors and renegades must be tolerated if a culture is to be pulled back from disaster. Members of this intellectual and artistic class, who are usually not welcome in the stultifying halls of academia where mediocrity is triumphant, serve as prophets. They are dismissed, or labeled by the power elites as subversive, because they do not embrace collective self-worship. They force us to confront unexamined assumptions, ones that, if not challenged, lead to destruction. They expose the ruling elites as hollow and corrupt. They articulate the senselessness of a system built on the ideology of endless growth, ceaseless exploitation and constant expansion. They warn us about the poison of careerism and the futility of the search for happiness in the accumulation of wealth. They make us face ourselves, from the bitter reality of slavery and Jim Crow to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans to the repression of working-class movements to the atrocities carried out in imperial wars to the assault on the ecosystem. They make us unsure of our virtue. They challenge the easy clichés we use to describe the nation—the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, the beacon of liberty—to expose our darkness, crimes and ignorance. They offer the possibility of a life of meaning and the capacity for transformation."
via:tom.hoffman  chrishedges  thinking  culture  2012  transformation  change  meaning  meaningmaking 
july 2012 by robertogreco
‘Why don’t you people ever seem to live near churches?’
"Scalia isn’t a cafeteria Catholic, he’s a concierge Catholic. Invention and choice shape his spirituality, after which he seeks out the “one true church” that will reassure him that what he has invented and chosen is traditional, right and proper, and that his particular inventions and choices are normal and normative."
via:tom.hoffman  antoninscalia  catholicism  christianity  religion  conservatism  ideology  belief 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Hullabaloo - Actually, in Reality my Work is my Life
"We know that it's hard to organize workplaces and we know that most people no longer know what a union is, much less think it can do anything for them. But from where I sit, the real problem is that corporate values have filled the void, with ruthless competition, no job security --- all holding out the false promise that the "best" and "hardest working" will rise to the top. In fact, our whole "exceptional" culture with its fetish for individualism and competition (fed constantly by corporate propaganda) works against the idea that we are in anything together. We don't even have enough of a sense of community anymore to require people not to kill each other when it can be avoided."
work  community  2012  corporatism  competition  us  unions  collaboration  values  workplace  via:tom.hoffman 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » “Anything has to be better than this…”
This is why most teachers in a given district/state/country go along with education reform. They don’t like present conditions, and think that anything would be better, when it really just makes it worse, either in the same way or in a new and really awful way. I’ll share a story I heard about why there is compliance with Arne Duncan and ed.gov on the part of national teacher unions that I find entirely believable. The story goes that rank-and-file members are demanding that the union support the waiver process because they are panicked about being labelled a “failing” school as we approach the time when 100% of students should be at grade-level proficiency. They are solely focused on not being able to achieve that impossibility, and not on what they are signing up for in its place. What SPED teacher would want to have their compliance judged on the test scores of students on their caseload?  The commenter even admits it would be “crazy” to monitor achievement data for students, but says she’d be “happy” to do that in place of 17 page IEPs, not understanding that teachers will be judged on whether they are doing their job based on this, not just school districts and states.  It’s that lack of long-term thinking that has allowed this circus to go forward as long as it has.
via:tom.hoffman 
may 2012 by robertogreco
On Accountability, part 2: how to do it right « Granted, but…
"Ironically (given how many people like to bash the ‘corporate’ quality of accountability), as Joe Nocera points out in an excellent piece in the New York Times, most businesses have far more professional and collegial appraisal systems than schools typically do: the top businesses have systems more like those of BB&N than that of NY State. So, what does that tell you? It tells me that hypocrisy and ignorance are in the air. It is the height of hypocritical arrogance for DoE folks and lawmakers to pounce on these current VAM systems as if they were models. No modern company uses such a capricious ham-handed system as what the states are racing to develop. I’ll leave it to readers to pursue questions as to why we are racing to the bottom in teacher accountability."
hypocrisy  accountability  joenocera  schools  corporations  business  ignorance  collegiality  teachers  teaching  education  policy  via:tom.hoffman  reform  management  administration 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Why Christians Are *Not* The Boss Of Marriage | Jo Hilder
Christians talk about marriage as if we invented it in the first place and only ever meant to loan it to the world, with the condition we always reserve the right to decide who gets to do it. However, practically every religion, people and culture in the world has its own marriage rites. Regardless, Christianity continue to claim their self-professed right to dictate the conditions of everyone’s marriage in the whole world, even though marriage existed way before Christianity, before Judaism, even before people were separated by language, into tribes, cultural groups or nations and even before government. According to the Bible. I’m not making this up.
christianity  marriage  history  via:tom.hoffman 
may 2012 by robertogreco
All Things Education: Ssshhhh! Testing in Progress
"As testing was underway I became more and more irritated with not only the rules, but the fact that teachers’ discretion was being undermined by outsiders claiming to be experts on data, but not on children. Who are these people moving chairs from place to place around my room to see my test administration from multiple angles? Why are these strangers writing pages of notes on the condition of my classroom and my position in the room? The thought crossed my mind of just throwing the pile of test booklets in the air and screaming of its insanity, but what good would that do? I wouldn’t be allowed to finish the year with my students who had to put their science projects on the back burner for the two-week testing period. I would never get to see how they turned out if I was punished for breaching test security. I had already been scolded for allowing children to read books after they finished the test, as well as for allowing them to go to the bathroom. I decided to not push any further."
testing  standardizedtesting  insanity  2012  education  misplacedpriorities  dehumanization  via:tom.hoffman 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Karl Wheatley: Has Direct Instruction Banished Exploration? Not So Fast! - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher
"Under NCLB, our current definition of "scientifically based research" is so flawed that a teaching method can be judged to be "evidence-based" if it reliably improves some narrow academic knowledge or skill (e.g., decoding, math facts) in the short run, but reliably makes five important things worse in the long run. Even fad diets can be "proven" effective in the short run with large-scale well-executed studies, despite setting in motion the mechanisms (cravings, reduced metabolism) that lead to long-term failure. Similarly, a steady diet of directive teacher instruction sets in motion a range of developmental mechanisms that undermine long-term development and learning. Thus, the way we are currently judging "evidence-based" practices is not good applied science or "gold standard" anything: It is fodder for a Comedy Central skit. Given our fatally-flawed definition of "scientific" educational research, I tell teachers that many so-called "evidence-based" practices actually do more harm than good."
via:tom.hoffman  directinstruction  teaching  exploration  learning  education  research  evidence-basedresearch 
may 2012 by robertogreco
What the U.S. can’t learn from Finland about ed reform - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post
"In the United States, education is mostly viewed as a private effort leading to individual good. The performances of individual students and teachers are therefore in the center of the ongoing school reform debate. By contrast, in Finland, education is viewed primarily as a public effort serving a public purpose. As a consequence, education reforms in Finland are judged more in terms of how equitable the system is for different learners. This helps to explain the difference between the American obsession with standardized testing and the Finnish fixation on each school’s ability to cope with individual differences and social inequality. The former is driven by excellence, the latter by equity."
via:tom.hoffman  us  finland  equity  equality  inequality  poverty  policy  education  standardizedtesting  society  socialinequity  differentiation  standardization  2012  politics  mindset  edreform 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Mike Rose's Blog: The Teacher Who Can't Find A Job
"To begin, we hear continually that the ticket to prosperity is education; we will “educate ourselves into a better economy.” Yet there are a lot of educated people who are not prospering. The problem isn’t education, but the absence of jobs, or the cutting of jobs. And a huge category of job loss has been public sector employees as states slash budgets. Then there is the push to get people from non-education careers into teaching, something this fellow did. Yet there is also in educational reform and policymaking a valuing – though not explicitly stated – of youth over experience."
via:tom.hoffman  work  employment  education  teaching  2012  jobs  ageism  age  policy  rttt  publicsector 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Jersey Jazzman: No Child Let Ahead
"Put yourself in an Eighth Grade geometry (a high level of mathematics for that age) teacher's shoes for a minute. Your kids will be taking a test that mostly covers content from last year. Your livelihood is on the line. Your ability to pay your mortgage is predicated not on your kids' abilities to pass a test in this year's content, but on last year's content.

What are you going to do? Push them ahead? Or make damn well sure they "grow" on a test based on what they did the previous year?"
via:tom.hoffman  math  tracking  standardizedtesting  standards  testing  assessment  valueadded  teaching  education  policy  2012 
april 2012 by robertogreco
"The Hunger Games": A lightweight Twi-pocalypse - The Hunger Games - Salon.com
In fact, “The Hunger Games” is precisely the thing it pretends to disapprove of: a pulse-elevating spectacle meant to distract us from the unsatisfying situation of the real world, and to offer a simulated outlet for youthful disaffection and anxiety (in this case, the anxieties of girls and young women in particular). Bread and circuses, only without the bread, and pretending to be anti-circus. I’m not claiming that’s anything new in pop culture, and it certainly isn’t a crime. Furthermore, the shapeless politics of “The Hunger Games” have very little to do with the question of whether it’s any good, although they do illustrate how calculated the whole project is.
hungergames  via:tom.hoffman 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Now I Understand Why Bill Gates Didn’t Want The Value-Added Data Made Public « GFBrandenburg's Blog
"In any introductory statistics course, you learn that a graph like the one below is a textbook case of “no correlation”. I had Excel draw a line of best fit anyway, and calculate an r-squared correlation coefficient. Its value? 0.057 — once again, just about as close to zero correlation as you are ever going to find in the real world.

In plain English, what that means is that there is essentially no such thing as a teacher who is consistently wonderful (or awful) on this extremely complicated measurement scheme. How teacher X does one year in “value-added” in no way allows anybody to predict how teacher X will do the next year. They could do much worse, they could do much better, they could do about the same.

Even I find this to be an amazing revelation. What about you?

And to think that I’m not making any of this up. (unlike Michelle Rhee, who loves to invent statistics and “facts”.)"
publicschools  education  politics  lies  policy  correlation  statistics  learning  teaching  michellerhee  valueadded  schools  nyc  2012  via:tom.hoffman  billgates 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Doubts of my students: Expert teaching is no better than good-enough teaching « Computing Education Blog
"As a teacher of education research, I wasn’t so successful yesterday.  I failed at convincing my class (at least, a vocal group of students in my class) that there is some value in expert teaching, that it’s something to be developed and valued.  What I worry is that these are not just the thoughts of a few undergraduates.  How many more people think that it’s easy to learn to be a teacher?  How many other adults, voting citizens, even members of school boards agree with my students — that expert teaching is not that much better than effective teaching, so hiring a bunch of young, smart kids to teach is good enough?"
via:tom.hoffman  2012  expertise  talentvspreparation  markguzdial  teachereducation  tfa  education  teaching  teachforamerica 
february 2012 by robertogreco
When (and where) work disappears - MIT News Office
"In conducting the study, the researchers found more pronounced economic problems in cities most vulnerable to the rise of low-wage Chinese manufacturing; these include San Jose, Calif.; Providence, R.I.; Manchester, N.H.; and a raft of urban areas below the Mason-Dixon line — the leading example being Raleigh, N.C. “The areas that are most exposed to China trade are not the Rust Belt industries,” Autor says. “They are places like the South, where manufacturing was rising, not falling, through the 1980s.”

All told, as American imports from China grew more than tenfold between 1991 and 2007, roughly a million U.S. workers lost jobs due to increased low-wage competition from China — about a quarter of all U.S. job losses in manufacturing during the time period."
policy  rustbelt  providence  sanjose  south  via:tom.hoffman  manufacturing  us  china  economics 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Eschaton: True About Pretty Much Everything
"One of the most annoying stances of the Sensible Centrist Very Serious People crowd is that even though they are dominant force in Washington, despite not having any real constituency, they imagine themselves to be an extremely brave oppressed minority speaking truths that nobody else dares. Except for every damn day on every page of every one of our national newspapers."
duncanblack  2012  us  policy  media  bravery  politics  centrism  via:tom.hoffman 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Better Test Scores Lead to Better Lives and Strong Economy: Fact or Hunch? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice
"To say “tread carefully” and “proceed with care” after three decades of steel-toed boots stomping of public schools, not to mention, the transfer of an audit culture soaked in high tech from the corporate sector to national educational policy is, well, almost funny. It is, at the least,  a disappointing end to  such a clear laying out of the assumptions embedded in the reigning “tough love” reform ideology in which Mike Petrilli has been a card-carrying member."
via:tom.hoffman  ideology  policy  education  schools  us  publicschools  testing  standardizedtesting  commoncore  nclb  rttt  mikepetrilli  2012 
february 2012 by robertogreco

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