Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today's Random Thoughts

-Can one "bad apple" ruin an entire classroom? Any teacher will tell you that they can. Robert Pondiscio reports on a pair of economists whose findings agree with this observation. I've speculated before about the potentially positive effects of expulsion, and this does little to change my mind.

-I'm not the only person flabbergasted by Brooks' piece on Friday. Claus Van Zastrow had a similar reaction ("What?!?") to the one I did. Diane Ravitch also thinks that Brooks learned the wrong lessons from the Promise Academy's success. Robert Pondiscio thinks Brooks should take some time to read Paul Tough's book that he recommended his readers check out. And a number of readers wrote letters to the editor that weren't exactly glowing.

-Speaking of Brooks' suggested reading, let me point out that I do agree with him that both Sweating the Small Stuff (my review here) and Whatever it Takes (I'll have some more thoughts on it in the next week or so) are both worthwhile reads. It's worth nothing that Brooks could've written nearly the exact column that he did referring only the schools in the former book and he wouldn't have been too out of line -- but I still can't get over his reaction to the success of the Promise Academy. I'd love to hear the reaction of Paul Tough and Geoffrey Canada to that column as well. And, while I'm thinking of it, Fordham but a free copy of Whitman's book online earlier this year -- I've lost the link, but I have the pdf if anybody is interested.

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