Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today's Random Thoughts

-19 states were named finalists in the "Scramble furiously for cash that amounts about a 1% boost in your state's education budget" competition . . . in related news, I remain skeptical about the impact of the monies (but not about the impact of the chase for the monies)

-Speaking of reforms that won't do as much on the ground as policy wonks would like to believe, the adoption of common core standards has been getting a lot of attention.  If we insist on having test-based accountability, I think national standards are an absolute must -- but that hardly means they'll fix everything.  Alexander Hoffman writes that they're "still crap".  I don't know that I'd go that far, but I did notice during the transition from teaching to research that researchers tended to pay a lot more attention to standards than did teachers with whom I worked.

-I can't help but notice a theme running through virtually every complaint I hear from teachers I know: principals treat them like idiots (which very much jibes with my experience).  Ms. Mimi wonders which came first: unprofessional teachers, or teachers being treated unprofessionally?  Education policy has veered pretty far into "blame the teachers for everything" territory recently, and I wonder if that's making principals any more likely to run their schools with the same attitude.

-Newsweek has an article about a "creativity crisis" in America's schools.  Fordham's response is to call for a "basic liberal arts education for all children."  I'm all for the latter, but I'm not sure I understand why that's the solution to a focus on test prep and decline in creative thinking.

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