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)

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: […]

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Countering the false narrative of our national educational reform movement (NERM)

In this exceptionally powerful and concisely written 8/5/14 post (see here),Diane Ravitch alerts readers to the wide range of documentry films that help to expose the soft underbelly of the corporate educational reform movement. I join with Diane in urging the showing of these films at PTA meetings, churches, and commmunity centers, so that an informed public can begin to engage in genuine debate on these vital issues. Diane’s post […]

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“improving educational outcomes is a hard, messy, complicated process”

This thoughtful article on Sweden’s ten years’ experiment with “choice” in public education, by Ray Fisman, Professor of Economics at the Columbia Business School, places our own nation’s infatuation with “choice” in a useful context. As Fisman writes at the end of this article, “Simply opening the floodgates to more education entrepreneurs doesn’t disrupt education. It’s just plain disruptive.” Enjoy the read! Sweden’s School Choice Disaster Every three years, Americans […]

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