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)

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 Salon.com 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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WHY ISN’T THIS INDOCTRINATION CRIMINAL?

Originally posted on DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing:
We all know who Libertarian Ron Paul was referring to in this quote, but who is it really true about? ? Will this Huffington post report by Christina Wilkie  and Joy Resmovits report be tossed in the collective circular files of those in power or will it be attacked as more from the radical left? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/16/koch-brothers-education_n_5587577.html I am not radical left. I am…

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Linda Darling-Hammond on the “achievement gap”

  Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education has just posted the excellent HuffPost Op-Ed piece (see here) you’ll read below. What will make a genuine difference to student achievement, she argues, is to significantly reduce our reliance on testing, acknowledge the compelling socio-economic factors that favor higher achievement of students of affluent parents, and turn our attention to improved teacher training and ongoing professional […]

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ALEC’s influence on state legislators

This op-ed piece by Paul Krugman does a clear and succinct job of explaining the power of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over legislative action at the state and even at the local level.  The reason this clear and compelling op-ed piece is important for readers of this blog is that ALEC has been instrumental in persuading (read “paying”) state legislatures to increase their support of publicly funded charter schools (with […]

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The pitchforks are coming — for us plutocrats

This article by Nick Hanauer in the July/August 2014 edition of Politico Magazine  (see here) is an eloquent argument for the imperative need to raise the minimum wage.  As I’ve written in earlier posts and comments, those truly interested in “eductional reform” in this nation should be “manning the barricides,” or rather “peopling the barricades,” to demand that this be done.  Good for Nick Hanauer, one of the elite group […]

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Boothbay Harbor Literacy Retreat

I’ve just completed a three day literacy retreat led by the incomparable Kylene Beers and Robert Probst, assisted by Linda Rief, Penny Kittle, Donalyn Miller, Chris Crutcher, and Lester Laminack.  Here’s my contribution, and tribute, to these wonderful educators:     The Smartest Person in the Room is . . . the Room   There is an essay in Lewis Thomas’s Lives of a Cell entitled “Living Language.” Thomas begins this […]

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U.S. and Education Reform Need a Critical Free Press

Originally posted on radical eyes for equity:
Few things are worse than mainstream media coverage of education. Except for that sentence above, which stretches hyperbole beyond credibility. But that is exactly where the mainstream media finds itself when covering education. Journalists, in their quest to maintain the traditional commitment to “fair and balanced” journalism [1], consistently endorse and perpetuate organizations without credibility (such as NCTQ) and baseless claims (such as cries of…

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