jonathan lovell's blog

a site to explore the difference between meaningful and ill-conceived educational reform (note: you have to open a post for its links to be activated)

Keeping our eye on the prize

This is the conclusion to an essay I wrote here in my “jonathan’s edutalk” blog.  It is somewhat re-worked from the version quoted a few entries earlier in the blog entry by Diane Ravitch sub-titled “when critics rage.” While I do not plan to circulate the resolution below, much as I think it would help to raise public consciousness on the issue of income inequality and student achievement, I think it represents a very important point of view.

My point is to demonstrate that we can all deliberately and systematically draw on the various ways we know our kids are smart. That is, we can draw on their various talents as readers, listeners, responders to and shapers of their world. In doing so, we can not only speak out but “teach out” against practices and policies that we know are damaging our students, preventing them from experiencing themselves as the diversely talented group of individuals that, in our heart of hearts, we know them to be.

And in light of what is sure to be a tidal wave of curriculum materials purporting to “raise students’ scores” on the spring 2015 CCS assessments, I propose the adoption of the following resolution:

WHEREAS every large scale study over the past 30 years of income level in relation to student achievement has shown a compelling correlation between the two, and

WHEREAS the percentage of students in poverty in our nation’s schools has grown steadily and persistently over the past 39 years, and

WHEREAS the present levels of income inequality in our nation can be related directly to conscious public policy,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED

That the Common Core Standards, individual schools that “beat the odds,” Teach for America Interns whose students outperform those of traditionally credentialed teachers, and all such examples of the need to “reform” the American system of public education, be understood for what they are:

Seductive distractions from the overriding issue we must face as a nation if “fixing” public schools is be anything more than an irresponsible instance of political posturing–the shameful growth in income disparity between our poorest and wealthiest citizens.

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1 reply

  1. I’m slowly working towards a goal of 100,000 “page visits” to this essay between now and the turn of the 2014-2015 year. The way I’m keeping track is to document the number of times readers visit my “jonathan’s edutalk” bogsite, where this essay appears as the first post that one reads. I suppose I could also track the number of visits to this identical version of the essay, looking somewhat spiffier, on this website. I just have not figured out where to go to locate this information using this quite new (at least for me) platform. Can anyone who visits this page help me out on this?

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