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)


Jonathan Lovell: Martin Luther to Walt Disney to Arne Duncan

Diane Ravitch has re-posted my “Martin Luther and Walt Disney as Teachers of Reading” illustrated essay (see the fourth post below this one), which appeared last month in the University of Missouri’s Engaging Cultures and Voices: The Journal of Learning Through Media. Diane writes: Jonathan Lovell is a professor at San Jose State University in San Jose, California, where he supervises students who plan to teach high school English. In this […]

Continue Reading →

Redefining the Art of Response

Redefining the Art of Response “And thus do we, of wisdom and of reach, With windlasses and essays of bias, By indirections find directions out” Hamlet, Act II, scene 1, lines 63-65 You know how it is with a class that’s gone unexpectedly well. Gone a lot better than you’d anticipated. You’re convinced it was an accident. The gods were smiling on you. The law of unintended consequences broke in […]

Continue Reading →

Jonathan Lovell Writes Secretary Duncan About Punishing Colleges of Education for Student Scores

This comment was Initially posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog on December 15, 2014 (see here) Jonathan Lovell, who has contributed several posts to this blog, has written to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about his intention to grade colleges of education by the test scores of the students of their graduates. The deadline for submitting comments is January 2. Send comments to: Lovell writes: Dear Secretary Duncan, As a teacher educator for […]

Continue Reading →

Agency and the Teaching Profession

“Among the . . . young, you see people who have been raised to be approval-seeking machines. They act active, busy and sleepless, but inside they often feel passive and not in control. Their lives are directed by other people’s expectations, external criteria and definitions of success that don’t actually fit them.” David Brooks, “The Agency Moment” (11/13/14 Op-Ed in NYT) I’m excerpting David Brooks recent Op-Ed piece slightly out […]

Continue Reading →

Common Core “irrelevant to any real change in the opportunities available to low-income students”

Diane Ravitch writes yet another scorching blog post on the search for silver bullets in educational policy (see here). In this post, she succinctly summarizes the resesarch of Professor Iris Rotberg of George Washington University. Ravitch begins by noting that, as recalled by Rotberg, “a study [in 2009] claimed that attendance at a charter school in New York City for several years would virtually close the achievement gap.” We now […]

Continue Reading →

How is the US doing in international tests of reading, science and math?

“We’ve all heard how poorly our 15-year-olds are doing in comparison with the rest of our competitor countries across the world on the PISA exams (17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 30th in math).” We hear this quote repeated so often these days by high profile politicians and policy makers, it’s sometimes difficult to remember just how misleading and dishonest it is. Blogger Lloyd Lofthouse has performed the inestimable […]

Continue Reading →

Robert Reich on widening inequality in school funding

  Jonathan Kozol alerted us to the growing disparities between richer and poorer schools and school districts with his eloquent Savage Inequalities (see here). Now Robert Reich brings us up to date with an even more sobering view of this widening gap (see here). Viewed from this perspective, our current obsession with all the remarkable changes in student learning that will be wrought with the implementation of the Common Core […]

Continue Reading →

michelle rhee’s real legacy: masking the importance of child poverty

Matt Bruenig of has written a trenchant and sobering assessment of Michelle Rhee’s relatively brief tenure as the national “face of educational reform” (see here). His main point can’t be emphasized often enough, especially concerning the unspoken complicity of extraordinarily wealthy philanthropists in financially promoting educational reform while effectively diverting our attention from their own active or tacit contribution to one of the root causes of disparate student achievement: […]

Continue Reading →