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)

Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

Here’s an important and insightful article from Thursday’s Huffington Post by the altogether admirable and seemingly indefatiguable Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.   As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily […]

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A response to David Brooks’ op-ed on the “clowns” opposing CC standards

Originally posted on deutsch29:
Why newspapers hire individuals to regularly offer the public unsubstantiated opinions baffles me. I am a researcher. Unless my posts are grounded in my personal experience, I offer my readers links to document my position on matters about which I write. David Brooks is an opinion writer. He publishes his opinions regularly in the New York Times (NYT) and has done so since 2003. Brooks is not a teacher.…

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Another great short animated video, this one all of 3 min 33 sec, by the indefatigable Robert Reich. There is no more important thing we can all do to “raise student achievement” in our schools than to keep our individual and collective focus on the obscene levels of income inequality we have allowed our great nation to not only tolerate, but accept as “the way things are.” Now is the time to remember the transforming influence of Charles Dickens in England, and Teddy Roosevelt in the US, and to believe that we can be similarly transformative in our own day. See here for an extended discussion of income inequality and student achievement.

Something everyone should know on tax day

Mr. Gradgrind and the Common Core ELA Standards

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
Joanne Yatvin, who served for many years as a teacher and principal in Oregon, is a literacy expert. She here expresses her view of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. ? What the Dickens is Education All About? Did you know that Charles Dickens denounced the Common Core Standards more than 150 years ago and didn’t think much of the value of…

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The Educational Reform Movement’s Misplaced Priorities

Since the fall of 1977, when I accepted a position at Columbia University’s Teachers College and began my career in English Education, I have observed approximately two thousand five hundred middle school and high school English classes in four different states. When I have observed these classes, my questions have been consistent and simple.  What is serving to engage and sustain the attention of the students in this class? What […]

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The Common Core Memorandum of Understanding: What a Story

Originally posted on deutsch29:
The question of who, exactly, is truly responsible for writing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been a matter for debate. Here is how the CCSS website (update 03-23-14: link altered on the CCSS website but preserved here) describes CCSS development: Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a…

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“make sure students like what they’re reading”–what a concept!

The new study by researchers at the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College, of 4th graders performance internationally in the areas of reading, math and science, as measured by the 2011 TIMSS (math and science) and PIRLS (reading) tests, reveals some interesting findings.  Some you might expect; others not.  The most important, at least for elementary teachers, is that in the highest scoring nations or regions (Singapore, […]

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