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Have hat. Need cattle.

Posted By: Dick Schutz on January 2, 2009
 
The article was published in 2004. We’re entering 2009. The “hat” is as good now as it was then. But what happened to the “cattle? “

The article cites three “herds” : Connecticut, New York City District #2, and New Haven Unified School District, CA. It doesn’t take long to confirm that these administrative units at the state, district, and sub-district level are no better or worse today than any set of administrative units picked at random in the U S.

www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/Pressroom/CTNAEP07.pdf
www.greatschools.net/schools.page?district=806&state=NY
http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2008/Viewreport.asp

The “standards based reform movement” was initiated circa 1989. Twenty years later, there is no evidence of any “movement.” If the “movement” were a parrot, it would be fit for a Monty Python routine: “your movement is dead.” Empirically, the nail in the coffin is the Reading First Impact Study.

The "Standards, Accountability, and School Reform" construct was well-intentioned. As it turned out, the assumption of weapons of mass instruction was faulty intelligence. Non-metaphorically, we don’t know how to reliably teach kids to read and do math through algebra.

That’s seriously bad news. The offfsetting seriously good news is that the “deficit” is not with either kids or teachers at the bottom of the EdChain. The failed policy originated and is being maintained at the top of the EdChain.

Can we change? I haven’t heard anyone say, “Yes we can,” to that. But it’s early in the game. The economic meltdown may well force an educational buildup. El-hi "education building" is feasible technically, but daunting politically.
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 Have hat. Need cattle. by Dick Schutz on January 2, 2009
     
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